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Crazy Colors! 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

The VW Beetle (aka “Bug”) is the world’s most-produced automobile, with 21.5 million copies built between 1938-03. That eclipsed the second-most popular car of the 20th Century, the Ford Model T, by nearly 50%. The Super Beetle debuted in 1971 with a larger front storage compartment than earlier editions. This ’73 Super Beetle has a recently rebuilt drivetrain and a funky paint job that would be impossible to lose in a parking lot. Located near Madison, Wisconsin, this VW is available here on craigslist for $7,900 OBO. Our thanks to Barn Finder Pat L. for uncovering this tip for us!

Beginning in the early 1970s, two Beetles were offered to U.S. buyers: a standard Bug and a new, larger version that was different from the windshield forward. Technically called the 1302 (1303 by 1973) but marketed as the Super Beetle, it had room for 43% more stuff upfront. Not that it made a huge difference, but the 1302 was a whopping two inches longer and 1.4 inches wider. These cars had a larger 1600 cc engine that had an output of 60 hp. The cars had an improved ventilation system which was of the flow-through variety with crescent-shaped air exits fitted behind the rear quarter windows.

The first thing that jumps out about the seller’s car is the wild paint job – if it’s actually painted at all. They can get really creative with wraps these days and this auto could be wearing one. The wheels and inside the engine compartment show a cream-colored car, to begin with – and may still be under all that. The seller refers to it as a “million-dollar” paint job, so at least he/she has a sense of humor.

Both the 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission have been rebuilt, with less than 1,000 miles on each. So, it runs well, and no other mechanical needs of this Bug are mentioned. The VW has disc brakes both front and rear, which I don’t believe was available on the 1970s Beetles. We’re told the interior features new seat covers and door panels, although no detailed photos are provided for us to determine if they are as wild as the exterior. If you’re looking for a vintage Volkswagen to tool around in, this one will surely get you a lot of attention!


  1. jnard90 jnard90 Member

    This would have been a nice car without the “please look at me” paint job. Looks like someone vomited all over it.

    Like 13
    • Mike

      Looks like an attempt to get the car in Hot VWs magazine.

      Like 1
  2. alphasud Member

    71 and 72 super Beetles had the flat windshield and dash same as the standard model. 73 received the curved windshield and the revised dash. Also 73 received the large tail lamps and the 5mph bumpers and a alternator replaced the generator. Engine is sporting the dual 1bbl. Solex or copycat equivalent carbs which is a nice upgrade. What is still needed is the SVDA distributor which lowers head temps at cruising speeds. The only problem with a wrap is the hidden treasures that can turn a smile into a frown. And a Beetle from Wisconsin might have as many holes as the cheese the state is known for.

    Like 14
    • alphasud Member

      I need to revise my facts. 74 was the first year for 5mph bumpers and the Beetle never had disc brakes for the US market. The Karman Ghia did have front discs later on.

      Like 5

    Great car to cruise to the local cars and waffles.

    Like 18
  4. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I don’t think this is wearing a wrap. To me, it looks like a tan beetle that was criss crossed with painters tape and sprayed with a rattle can of orange paint around the squares.

    Like 26
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Coming out of the Madcity, the paint does not surprise me at all. Madison should be a separate state located in Wisconsin.

    Like 7
  6. AndyinMA

    I don’t like Beetles enough to buy one. And I certainly don’t like that paint job. Yet together, something makes we want to have this……..

    Like 2
    • Big_Fun Member

      Hmmm….does this “Belgian Beetle” run on maple syrup?
      Park this in front of a Waffle House, or IHOP…then it makes sense.

      Like 2
  7. Bamapoppy

    Not to be picky but hasn’t the Corolla now surpassed the bug as the highest volume produced vehicle?

    Like 1
    • Chris In Australia

      The Corolla name plate has. The Beetle is recognisable as one from the very first to the very last. The appliance from Toyota isn’t.

      Like 6
    • Solosolo UK Solosolo Member

      I don’t know about that, but if it has it would hardly count because the VW Beetle came in only ONE design whereas just about every small Toyota was badged as a Corolla.

      Like 1
  8. Sam61

    It takes a lot of focus to stay drunk and create such a symetrical masterpiece! The only thing more impressive would be Banksy laying down a tartan on a Land Rover while playing the bagpipes.

    Like 3
  9. Madison Blues

    Personally I like it! You can always find it in a crowd, and you can leave the keys in it because it’s unlikely anyone would steal it, but if they did it easy to find. I like the way they finished the bumper with the vwvwvwvw.

    Like 0
  10. Gtoforever

    Someone had a lot of time to kill!

    Like 1
  11. Troy

    Crazy paint job is a under statement but I like it just because it’s a bug

    Like 0
  12. Martinsane

    Nothing wrong with the “creative”paintwork. Would have been a thousand times better if they didn’t carry the paint treatment to the bumpers but whatever I’ll never own it or see it again so there you go.

    Like 1
  13. Martinsane

    Don’t mind the “creative” paintwork in the least. However it would be a thousand times better if the bumpers were not painted as well. But I will never own it or see it again so there you go.

    Like 0
  14. Russ Ashley

    Is the owner mistaken, or did these really have four wheel disc brakes? I haven’t really kept current on VW’s since I sold my 70 Beetle around 1985, and never wanted another one.

    Like 0
  15. Frank D

    I’m dizzy! is it COVID or this ad? Anyone for a picnic?

    Like 0
  16. Johnny C.

    Oh… COME – ON! Step awwaaaay from the magic mushrooms!!!

    Like 1
  17. Jeff Quintrall

    Had four of these. Could take out motor in 30 minutes, solo!

    Like 0
  18. RMac

    Didn’t super beetles change to McPherson strut front suspension which improved the ride and handling?

    Like 2
  19. TATJ

    Ranks right up there with the AMC Pacer that Edd China built on Wheeler Dealers.

    Like 0
  20. Dave

    He should have done the wheels while at it!!!!!

    Like 0
  21. chrlsful

    hey, I’d daily it (till I could change for short cash). Rather that than the beach bomb lower in the front page…

    Like 0

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