Classic Convertible: 1958 Volkswagen Beetle Karmann Kabriolett

It certainly isn’t too late to grab hold of a classic convertible and enjoy some top-down Summer cruising, and perhaps this 1958 Beetle Karmann Kabriolett would be a great option for those on the search for a true classic. This car has belonged to the same family for the last 49-years, but the time has come for it to move on to a new home. Located in Brentwood, Tennessee, the VW is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $15,200, and the reserve hasn’t been met.

The little Beetle appears to be in great condition, and the Bamboo paint has a nice shine to it. The car received a repaint in this original color back in the 1980s, and it was at this point that it also received new pan halves and rails. The result is a car that not only looks good but is as solid as a rock. It has never suffered any accident damage, and all of the body panels are said to be original. The top also looks to be in really good condition, and the white-wall tires are a nice finishing touch. It is incredible to think that this car is now 61-years-old, and all of the glass, including the windshield, is original. This looks like a car that was much loved by its family.

The originality of the Beetle extends to the drive-train. Nestling under the hood is the original 36hp, air-cooled, flat-four engine, along with the original 4-speed, split case transmission. The owner says that the engine is smooth and tight, while the transmission shifts cleanly. The car has recently had a significant amount of work performed on it to ensure that it is at its absolute best. As well as those nice new tires, it has received new king-pins, new soft brake lines, a new master cylinder, new starter motor, a full flush of all fluids, and a tune-up. This is now a little classic that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

The owner says that the interior of the vehicle is original, and I tend to believe that this is true for the most part. The trim that I don’t believe is original is the carpet. Having said that, the carpet looks immaculate and doesn’t detract from the rest of the interior at all. When the original owner chose the Bamboo exterior paint, this came as standard with Green interior trim. The interior of the Beetle isn’t perfect, but it still presents very nicely. The Motorola radio fitted to the dash doesn’t work, nor does the horn. Everything else is good, and the new owner doesn’t look like they need to do much interior refurbishing on this little car.

The Volkswagen Beetle was originally designed to be the ultimate car of the people, and it certainly achieved that objective. In the 1980s, I won’t say that these were a dime a dozen, but you could find some pretty decent examples at very affordable prices. Since then, values have climbed steadily, and this is a trend that doesn’t appear to be destined to end soon. Today, if you want to get your hands on a really nice Beetle Karmann Kabriolett, then you really need to have more than $30,000 in your pocket, although $45,000 certainly isn’t out of the question. I don’t know what the reserve is on this, but if it turns out to be less than the lower figure that I’ve just quoted, then it could be a good buy that should continue appreciate in value.

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Comments

  1. CapNemo

    Insinuating that the owner is a liar isn’t a very classy move.

    Like 4
    • Oregon_Guy78

      I didn’t get that impression at all. Everything looks original except the carpet, easy to notice

      Like 7
      • CapNemo

        The carpeting is a multi piece setup. If the pieces were removed and cleaned as part of the car’s refreshing and detailing process, it could very well affect the way they fit back into place for a while until they settle back in. Perhaps they are new, who knows. But the owner knows that car better than any of us or a kangaroo ever will. To publicly doubt him without evidence is disrespectful. Best wishes to you.

        Like 2
      • Chimmy

        Having owned a 59’ the first thing that struck me was the floors, clearly they were replaced and the seller states they were, in my experience, the floors only have to be replaced if you have a significant accident or they rust out as many do. Regardless, the seller stated that they were replaced in he 80’s which leads me to believe that 1: the car was never driven in 30 years or 2 they were replaced in the not so distant past. Still a great car, but when you start replacing the floors in a VW there tends to be bigger issues that have lead up to a total replacement.

        Like 2
    • HydTech

      Right on Cap.

      Like 2
    • Scott Williams

      If that comment bugs you, go read the post for the alleged Z16 Chevelle here a few days back.
      The carpet comment is a nit, and the writer noted that.

      Sometimes sellers don’t know, sometimes they hide info, and sometimes they flat out lie. Part of the game here is to try to flush that out.

      Like 1
    • David Ulrey

      A kangaroo? Wow

  2. Ramone

    Fantastic little car! Well kept by a family until they decided to part with it. Stuff happens, and when it does we all get a chance at gem like this. This will bring good money, I think. There’s plenty of interest in them, and this is a beauty.

    Like 1
  3. ken tilly Member

    One of the very few convertibles that looks better with the top up than down. If it were mine I would remove the top completely and only drive it in the summer months. I wonder if the driver can actually see what is behind him via the rear view mirror? I doubt it. I think it would act like an air brake.

    Like 4
  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    They’re nuts, sellers and buyers alike. VW’s were indeed a dime a dozen, ok, not convertibles, but even so, I just can’t see $15 thousand dollars worth of vehicle here. Like ken sez, the top down looks ridiculous, I got a chuckle out of the air brake, and with 36 hp, it should be as streamlined as possible. 36 hp isn’t much. ( and watch out for #3 exhaust valve letting loose) and with very limited heat as it is, you aren’t going to drive this after the leaves fall, and rest assured, they will. I want a VW I can use, year ’round, they go through snow great, Super Beetles are a tad below the radar, and are much better cars. Sorry, to me,a bug is a bug, you want to plunk down Trans Am money on a ’58 bug, go right ahead. I’m looking to get into one for under $2g’s, and there are plenty.

    Like 4
    • On and On On and On Member

      True that Rube, a guy once said I could have his 1965 bug if I got a tire for it and got it out of his garage. I did, sold it to some guys in high school. I never really liked driving it in winter in Chicago. Had to drive 5 miles to clear the windows and get your feet warm. What really gets me is the price of the old vans. I admit they were cool, but awful to live with. I drove one for a laundry in H.S. Worse heat situation than a bug cause of the cubic feet of space and square feet of windows. When the laundry bought a new Falcon Econoline I was elated. Hot water heat and 6 cylinder power.

      Like 4
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        It’s the same old thing, years ago, junkyards probably took in a couple VW’s a day. The local yard had a pile of motors we got parts from several times. But hat was then, this now, and very few of these exist, especially in this condition. That in itself makes it pretty special. I’m flabbergasted 5 figures special, but here it is.
        BTW, what kind of bike is in your avatar, is it a CL 160? Those are even harder to find!

        Like 1
    • Daymo

      $2g’s for a Beetle? Plenty? Not this side of the pond there aren’t. £2000 doesn’t even get a basket case here. £4000 min for a rough one with a couple months MOT or £6-7000 minimum for a nice useable one.

      Like 2
    • On and On On and On Member

      No Rube, It’s a 1965 CL77. I have the twin in my garage here in Wisconsin. I have 4 motorcycles left, and just don’t ride that much anymore, I’ve owned probably 50 over the years. I’m keeping the CL77 (305 Scrambler) cause I HAVE TO HAVE ONE! and it was one of my first bikes back when. I’m selling an ’82 Honda 500 Ascot, a 1968 Honda CL450 Scrambler with 1700mi on it, found it in a basement in Beloit, and a “73 BMW R75/5 big tank. My 69y/o body needs a seat back and sweetie pie in the seat next to me. I’m looking for a 65-69 Corvair convertible to replace the motorcycles.

      Like 3
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Thanks, a guy across the alley when I was a kid, had a yellow 305 Scrambler ( with snuff or nots) I had a 450 Scrambler, with those up pipes. Not many like that were sold.

        Like 1
  5. Bob McK Member

    I sure would love to own this beauty. Living in Southern Florida, it would make the perfect winter driver. The heaters are almost worthless in these. For me, $15K would be top dollar, but according to the writer, this is worth north of $30K. Guess I am out of touch with the VW market.

    Like 2
  6. JTC

    They’re going to run out of gas without notice if they don’t flip the lever back to vertical.

    Like 3
  7. Mountainwoodie

    I love these cars……..at a price,

    On another topic, do you wonder as I do, how these “one owner for X years” cars end up being repped by a dealer, seemingly always?

    Not with this particular car as someone has obviously owned it for the last 12 years give or take since the 49 yr original owner, but you get my point.

    With the internet you’d have to be living under a rock to not realize that a real owner, short of a death or estate sale, can sell the car herself.

    Like 2
  8. Del

    Some people hate tire kickers.

    Some people do not care.

    Nice car. Worth a good dollar

    Like 2
  9. MG Steve

    I have restored virtually this same car, albeit a ’57. The color combination, including the carpet is correct. The cost of correctly doing these cabriolet tops is horridly expensive. This is a beautiful appearing car, with original items through and through. Honestly, I’m surprised so many “contributors” expend so much time bashing the listed car. Between this car, and the Porsche Speedster listed above, that’s about enough negativity to last me a month +. I guess I need to look at the multitudinous ads for Corvettes, muscle cars, Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, and other huge Detroit slabs to find what it is that the rest of you like so much. Ya know, if it is too expensive, no one is forcing you to buy it. I see the Speepster sold for $300K, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this Cabriolet sell for nearly $50K. Crazy you say? Fine, but it remains your opinion.

    Like 3
  10. MGSteve

    TO THE NEW OWNER: I have a dang near perfect Owner’s Manual specifically for this car. Contact me at skirby3020at gmail.com

    Like 1
  11. Marshall

    As of right now, there are 58 bids, 15 bidders, high bid = $21,100, with exactly 3 days left,…with the reserve STILL not met! If that really is 76,000 original miles, I am not surprised.

  12. MGSteve

    Regarding the prices and listings found by Daymo: Good research, and rather solidly proves my point. Those are not even VINTAGE VWs. The first 3 are relatively new VWs, and the bottom one is not really a convertible at all, but a bodge job of a seday, and good luck with the body sagging on that one. The car in question is a 58 . . . not as vintage as the “Oval years” (53 – 57), but mighty dang close. Those of you still in shock, know this: Some years ago, when the Japanese economy was booming, Oval year VW Cabriolets were being sold for $100K. Yes, that bubble has burst (replaced by the Type II “bus”), but still, a very nice Oval Year Cabriolet should bring near $50K.

    • Daymo

      MG Steve, don’t even get me going with the Type 2’s – here on eBay UK are plenty in the £25-30k bracket and another in the mid-£30k too!

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