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Cheap Split Window: 1965 Volkswagen Beetle

Scan the listing for this pretty 1965 Volkswagen Beetle. Did it take you a second to spot the word “graft” and understand its significance? It did for me, as I was all too excited to gloss over the fact that this wasn’t an actual split window (given it’s a 1965 model) but instead had those tiny porthole-esque windows grafted in. Does it add value, or just make it an oddball? Check it out here on eBay and decide, where bidding is over $7K and the reserve remains unmet.

On the one hand, you have a Beetle with immense eyeball appeal. The manageable patina, as I like to call it, means you can leave as-is and have a car you can still proudly drive, or a foundation upon which to restore without losing your shirt. The details are what get people hungry for a Beetle in their garage, like the lowered stance, period roof rack, and wide Porsche 356 wheels.

Underneath is a pleasant surprise, too, but  I won’t call it perfect yet as the seller doesn’t clarify whether the pleasing condition includes being completely rust-free. Ironically, this Beetle is just down the road from me in Coventry, Rhode Island, despite looking like it belongs in southern California. If anyone wants me to take a look, I could possibly make an in-person visit this weekend before the auction ends.

Since it is local, I’m curious where the shop is located that the Bug is parked in – looks like a fine place to spend some time. You can’t deny the stance is perfect, but I’d love to know the history of the split window conversion. Given the following for early models wasn’t really a phenomenon until recently, I wonder when the conversion occurred – and what became of the Bug that gave up its signature glass.


  1. Avatar photo sir mike

    Needs a lot of body work…you can see where the old rear window was on the Ebay ad.Will make a nice driver to the right person.

    Like 3
  2. Avatar photo Bluetec320 Member

    Definitely a goofy looking odd duck of a beetle, but I must say that I like it. It is not worth anywhere close to that current bid, and the reserve is not met! This isn’t a 356, it is a chopped up, hacked together old beetle, and not one interior picture. Sheesh!

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Andy

      A 356 in this shape would probably go for $40k now. That being said, I’m not as offended as some people seem to be by the conversion–remember all the stuff people used to do to these cars? But I also wouldn’t pay half the asking even if I were in the market. There’s lots of rust, including where the old window used to be, the bumpers don’t have overriders, and the lack of interior shots hurts even though everything it could need is probably available. The rack is cool, though.

      Like 4
  3. Avatar photo CapNemo

    Just my taste, but I’d take stock height suspension any day. Never been one for lowering vehicles, just looks like worn out springs to me. However, I love the look of a split window Bug!

    Like 9
  4. Avatar photo Rube Goldberg Member

    Clearly, the authors idea of cheap differs greatly from mine. I’d like to have a Bug, only because, of the hundreds of vehicles I’ve owned, I never had a Bug. It seems I’ve waited too long, like the TR6/ MGB saga, prices are off the screen. This pricing is obviously for the sheer novelty, and knowing what VW’s are, they are not $7,000 dollar cars. I don’t need a rare split window, a Bug is a Bug, and quite frankly, a newer Bug is just much more civilized than these. The 1300 is a bit of an upgrade over the 36hp, but still nothing for the left lane. I wouldn’t pay more than $2-$3g’s for a Bug today. By the looks of things, I guess I won’t be getting a Bug after all, not off Ebay anyway,,,

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo grant

      If you’re going to drive a Bug, get a super. They’re a bit plumper, but they drive like a proper car, rather than a swing arm tuna can on wheels.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Rube Goldberg Member

        A Super is about the only ones you can make a deal on these days. Seems they haven’t quite caught on yet like these,,,but they will. I’d take a Super.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Charlie

        Super Beetles are perhaps more modern in driving ability, but they (especially the curved windshield versions) abandoned the elegant simplicity of the standard Beetle. They are generally priced lower because the diehard Beetle fan doesn’t think that much of them.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Compare the price to that of a real split window.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Bluetec320 Member

        I do to agree with you 100%, but without the split window “graft”, it is simply a modified 65 beetle with nothing else going for it. We have no idea what the interior or floors look like. I was watching a nice rust free 64 last winter on EBay that sold for $8900. Nice interior, nice body and paint, and numbers matching. This car has now reached the same price point and the reserve still has not been met. I guess I just don’t get it.

        Like 1
  5. Avatar photo JBP

    7000 isnt cheap. And for that kind of money, u can find better projekts. My grand dad had a 62 or 63 model in blue. Such one i want. That double window isnt mee.

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo ken tilly Member

    I like the tow rope wound around the front bumper. Either it doesn’t run or the driver hasn’t got much confidence in it’s ability to keep running for long.

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo RADARONE

    The rear window makes it look like it is looking back at you Cross-Eyed.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Daniel R. Salisbury

    I remember when you could get 3 bugs for 7k. probably in much better shape. i’ll never understand how people come up with these prices. I suppose this is true with any type of collectable. it’s worth what someone is willing to pay for it. VW bugs are more a novelty than a high priced “collectable”. supply and demand theory. Still, it’s fun to see these ad’s and the prices. like reading the Sunday funnies! Thanks Barn Finds.Keep up the good work!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Charlie

      $7K isn’t as much money now as it used to be. In the 1970’s, I had a job that paid me $7800 a year, and I lived very comfortably with that. The late 70’s and early 80’s started a period of rapid inflation,

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo VWBussEd

    They sell aftermarket split window kits you can put on your newer beetle. I know a guy who grafted a fiberglass split window onto his beetle.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Ted

    I hate to say it but if you think bugs are cute and lotsa fun and gee my midlife crisis says I should get one, don’t.

    They can’t out accelerate a senior pushing a shopping cart, the brakes belong on a radio flyer, and the noise of the engine is not melodious, it’s the aural equivalent of the toilet tank draining all night.

    I had one that I got for free, and that was one too many.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

      As a certified shopping cart pushing senior, I have to say that it is the rare VW that I can beat, usually one without a transaxle.

      That said there is a lot to be said for driving in the slow lane. Where you all going anyway?

      The Porsche emblem on this seals the deal.

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo TimM

    $7000 cheap VW I bought one in 92 for $300 in better shape than this one it didn’t have a rear split window welded in but it didn’t need the work this one needs!!

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jul 14, 2019 , 7:40AM
    Winning bid:US $8,955.00
    [ 21 bids ]

    Like 0

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