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Late Production Survivor: 1980 VW Beetle Convertible

When it comes to air-cooled Beetles, the most desirable cars are either super early or very late. This 1980 VW Beetle convertible falls into the latter category, seemingly one of the last cars produced and showing all the positive signs of loving ownership. This specimen has less than 70,000 miles from new and is quite well-preserved. Find it here on craigslist for $16,900. 

Silver and black is one of the best color combinations for these late-production convertibles, and this car’s paint appears to be in excellent condition. Said to have just one female owner from new, the Beetle shows 64,574 miles today. Original wheels show quite well, as do the polished U.S. safety bumpers that so many pretty cars are marred by. At this point, however, the refreshed Beetle styling was accepted, along with the bulky bumpers.

Wow – if only this were a Jeans edition interior. Still, denim or not, the interior of this Bug is excellent. The seats remain untorn and the wrapped surfaces are in mint condition. Carpets look good from here, though we suspect there are relatively few cosmetic issues thanks to the car’s Texas location, long-term female ownership and low mileage. No Autostick here – just a proper 4-speed and believe it or not, air conditioning.

We love seeing the original dealer plate frame still on the back of the car. The selling dealer was also a Subaru franchise, making Mr. Ozmun quite a pioneer to be selling VWs and Subarus in Texas in the late 70s. This Beetle appears to be a fine example of a late-production model, and though enthusiasts like myself prefer the early cars, this also looks like heaps of fun. Would you lay out the cash for a museum piece like this, or wait for something cheaper?


  1. Dean

    Wow beautiful

  2. Adam T45 Staff

    I’ve never seen a Beetle with air conditioning before. That makes the engine and the driver both air cooled. I crack me up!

    • Steve65

      On a hot day you could improve cooling by redirecting the AC output onto the cylinder fins…

  3. Nrg8

    Could you not import this s#@tbox IE same car just new from Mexico up until a few years back?

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Not legally.

      MOT safety and emissions.

    • Miguel

      Convertibles were never sold in Mexico.

      Actually I know a guy that is exporting bugs to the US from Mexico.

      I want to know his secret so I can do the same. We have some great cars here that would be worth a ton in the US.

      • Steve65

        If he’s importing cars older than 1992ish, no big secret. The 25 year exemption makes that pretty simple.

        If they’re younger than that, VIN fraud is about the only way for cars that aren’t really rare or somehow important and special. There was a big bust a few years ago where a bunch of Land Rover Defender 110s got rounded up and crushed by Customs Enforcement for that.

      • Miguel

        I am anxious to find out how he is doing it.

  4. jw454

    I don’t care for the panel outline striping but, I wouldn’t let that stop me from driving the heck out of it.

  5. Leon

    Too bad they didn’t get the next sequence plate 1980. Would have been perfect. As a plate collector I despise these flat plates. The reflective sheeting also goes gray fast on these TX plates

  6. Mark

    What is difference with this and a super beetle?

    • grant

      This is a super beetle. It’s a little wider in the front fenders, it has more ventilation in the engine lid, and the biggest difference is that a super Beetle has struts instead of a torsion bar suspension. There are a lot of other little differences too but those are the main ones.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      It’s interesting how identical cars can have different model designations in different countries. Obviously in the US you use the term “super beetle”. In Australia the identical car was referred to as the “Superbug”.

    • Big Rob Mia

      They were built in Mexico and Brazil until 1984..You can bring them up to the US and use the 25 year import exemption..There is a guy in Miami that brings them in 4-5or so at a time..

  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Two things: first, how does the AC in a rear-engine beetle work? And second, isn’t it a bit of reverse Chauvinism to keep mentioning that this car is “female-owned”. What difference does that make? Just asking.

    • Fred W.

      The A/C in a Beetle works exactly like that in a water cooled car. Compressor on the engine, condensor coil, evaporator coil, refrigerant. Only difference is the location of the two coils. It’s a tiny engine so it works very hard to both cool the car and propel it.

      “Female owned” may be chauvinistic but who wouldn’t want a female owned car? Chances are it hasn’t been driven hard and put away wet like many male owned cars. “Little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday…” There are of course exceptions to that rule on both sides. Like the other little old lady from Pasadena…

    • Francisco

      Chicks grind gears on a stick.

      • Steve65

        I dare you to say that to my mom or my sister, to their faces.

  8. Mountainwoodie

    Time has really passed! 16 grand for a 1980 VW even though it is a convertible. Wow!. Personally never liked the larger rear lights of the later bug iterations but thats just me.

  9. Dick Johnson

    Steve65; or my wife. Do that, and anyone having said that would end up with a shredded face.

    My wife learned to drive a stick in a 1600 Roadster. All of our manually equipped vehicles have gone well over 100,000 miles on the same clutch.

  10. EJB

    Whenever I see pictures of a bug, particularly the interior, I feel nauseas.

    No It’s not the styling or performance. I always kind of liked VW bugs. When I was a kid in the 70’s it seemed like every time I road in the back seat of one of these I felt sick.

    I like the one pictured, I just won’t offer to be a passenger.

  11. James

    Looks to be a very nice example… but you could get three for the asking price . Great little cars to drive…. just a dime a dozen

  12. David Miraglia

    Any Beetle any year, any age will do.

    • Miguel

      How many do you want?

      We are full of them here in Mexico and they sell for cheap.

      They are all 1968 design models. I mean even the last edition was based on a 1968 design. We never had the Super Beetle design here.

      • bill nelson

        Miguel, what is cheap in Mexico for a VW in good shape?

  13. Gary Gee

    No such thing as an 80 air cooled Beetle in the states. 79 was the last year they were imported.

  14. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    A droptop Super Beetle for $16.9k? Darn decent price in these parts. Question: was the comment about the “jeans edition” interior supposed to be a joke, conjuring up the AMC Levi’s cars or is the writer of this BF story just wrong? I don’t recall VW’s with denim interiors. I had a Rabbit GTI with a tartan interior though.

  15. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Looks more like “Jenns” edition based on those vinyl graphics. Thanks for that info Jesse. According to the article, these would not have been convertibles and base models not Super Beetles.

    AMC did it with a cooler car, during the same timeframe, but with Levi Strauss tagging seemed a tad more sophisticated and far from noogen.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      If you look close it is an “A”.

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