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Middle Of The Road Ragtop Beetle


If you’ve been looking for a budget minded classic to have a bit of fun in, this one could be a desirable option. It’s a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle that is a running and driving project car offered for sale in the southern Illinois town of Alto Pass. It’s advertised here on craigslist for $3,200.


This may be an interesting car due to it’s middle-of-the-road status as a reasonably priced project in need of some work, but unlike so many others, isn’t a hopeless disaster to start with. It has the desirable “rag top”, which is awesome for partaking in some stars or sunshine and air, but without the hassles and inconveniences of a full-on convertible.

The seller says it’s a 1960 body on a 1969 pan, and provides a long list of performance parts, upgrades and recently replaced components. He says it needs an alignment, and a rear main seal in the engine. ‘Rear main seal replacement’ is quite a project on most cars, but how big of a deal is it on this one? Have you ever seen an engine swap done with no power tools in one minute and four seconds? How hard could that be?


The seller’s interior shot leaves a lot to be desired, but he says the car has Hyundai Tiburon front seats installed with custom made brackets. While those certainly won’t appeal to everyone, the damage is probably easy enough to undo and re-install stock (or other aftermarket) seats again.


He also has two other bugs and a four-seat rail for sale, as well as several years worth of accumulation of parts, so he’s probably an interesting guy to talk to if you’re into these.


While it won’t win any awards for originality at Pebble Beach, it might be a lot of fun to fool around with, both on and off road. Parts and support are great for these cars. Do you think this one is a good deal for $3,200?


  1. Avatar photo tepesquintle

    That’s not middle of the road unless they swapped the front end. With the later front beam, this is “pavement only”.

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    • Avatar photo Marty Member

      Middle of the road not referring to off road ability, it was intended to mean ‘medium price project that is not a derelict and not a trailer queen’.

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  2. Avatar photo JW

    I had a chance to buy one of these in the mid 70’s. A friend had a orange one sitting in his garage that needed a clutch, the Baja Bug as we called it was one VW I should have bought as it was dirt cheap and looked like fun.

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  3. Avatar photo MountainMan

    I have several air cooled VWs over the years. The last baja bug I owned was 20 years ago and it was fun to off road. This one seems to be priced very fairly and while not to everyones taste can be easily modified or changed to personalize but going back from a baja conversion is not the easiest thing in VW land

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  4. Avatar photo KO

    It’s a good deal if a PI reveals nothing surprising. Good find! These are a blast to drive even with a stock 1600. Rear main is no sweat to replace.

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  5. Avatar photo Aaron

    How is this not a hopeless disaster? Both the front and rear have been cut off.

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    • Avatar photo Marty Member

      These converted VW dune buggies were popular in the 70s, and seldom seen today. If the next owner intends to preserve it the way it is, it’s not even a minor disaster.

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    • Avatar photo Rich

      The front and rear clips are easily replaced as they’re non-structural. You can buy at least a complete front clip as a panel ready to weld on.
      I like a Baja, not sure an early 60’s sunroof bug would be my preferred starting point but as stated elsewhere, could have been damaged already.

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  6. Avatar photo DP

    Hopeless Disaster? Alot of us out here Like the Baja Look. Not everyone wants a bone stock or a cal look bug, each to their own. Who knows what it was like b4 it was converted, could have been wrecked in front and rear and this was a least costly alternative to trying to go back stock, plus it looks good. At least it’s back on the road.

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  7. Avatar photo Mark E

    Watch me if I win the lottery: I’ll move to a warm location like Florida or California, buy a baja bug like this one, install big fat sand flap tires on the back and go cruising on the beach! ^_^

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  8. Avatar photo Mike

    The Baja VW’s were the rave around my parts because of the Sand Drags, and the Off Road area of St Joe State Park for many years. I had seen many of them running around up there, but today with the new ATV and 4 runner they are a bye gone beauties. They would also run the rail buggies, but you don’t even see them anymore. Man what a shame!

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  9. Avatar photo Dave

    Really really want. Even with the crap Canadian dollar right now this would be a good price.

    Like 0

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