Movie Car: VW Squareback from “Witness”

Lately, I’ve been on a Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones movie binge. These guys actually put together some of the better action films of the 90s, despite many of them fading into relative obscurity. If you want a way to never forget how Harrison Ford joined an Amish family and still kicked some ass in the middle of a busy street, consider bidding on this 1971 VW Squareback he crashed in the movie Witness. You’ll find it here on eBay with bidding over $1,500 and the reserve unmet.

The Squareback first appeared on eBay a few days ago, clearly stuffed in the back of a storage unit and forgotten. It’s now been relisted following extraction, and it looks like a decent project with some added appeal thanks to its prominent appearance in a major motion picture. The term “wrecked” on the placard in the window is a bit strong; he coasts into a pole and the roof catches a dent and the windshield cracked. Otherwise, the Squareback emerges unscathed from its off-road encounter.

A quick Google search reveals this is not the first time this car has come up for sale; in face, a post on the VW fanatic website VWVortex reveals it once appeared on eBay with an $85,000 asking price! While I get why the car is a conversation piece, I don’t really understand why people think its appearance in a movie makes it exceptionally more valuable than a car that never went to Hollywood. Aside from icons like the Mustang in Bullitt or the Mini Coopers in the Italian Job, very few vehicles see their values jump exponentially as a result of driving across a screen.

Perhaps that’s why the Squareback hasn’t been seen for sale in many years – the owner is hoping times have changed, and the appetite for former Harrison Ford-driven movie vehicles is heating up. Fact check: it’s not. This is still an automatic Squareback with slightly above-average cosmetics, with a mild claim to fame that only enthusiasts of a certain age will recognize as being significant. The Squareback should either be retired to a small, nondescript car museum alongside Route 66 or live in a permanent exhibit alongside Mr. Ford’s wax figure in Madame Tussaud’s celebrity museum in New York. Which fate would you choose?

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Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Member

    4:30, Time for milking!

    6
    • James

      Amish Grandfather: Haven’t you ever had your hand on a teet before?
      Ford: Not one this big!

      2
  2. bobhess Member

    Owned 2 Notchbacks. Solid and dependable cars. But… don’t think even Harrison Ford would give you more than 2K for this one.

    7
    • Sandy Claws

      Now if it was the Porsche McQueen drove in the opening scene of Lemans, might fetch a little more. How about one of Mike Bradys convertibles? The Corvette from Route 66.. Were there any Challengers left undamaged enough to survive from Vanishing Point? The list goes on and on.

      1
      • KeithK

        You know , Kowalski is still out there. The challenger in the final crash scene of vanishing point magically morphs into a Camaro . https://images.app.goo.gl/6iyzTdDtKpfYT6T3A

        2
      • John Bendle

        That would be corvettes

      • 36 Packard

        Keith, If Kowlaski is still out there, how does he get his walker in and out of the car? Does Super Soul do shows from his nursing home? So many questions, so little time.

    • PatrickM

      Bidding now at $3,250.00. Not out of this boys pocket, as it is not running. too much work. Bye.

  3. dirtyharry

    Absurd, some totally insignificant auto prop is somehow worth money because an actor used it for 5 minutes. Why not follow Mr. Famous around, take every toilet seat he sat on and put that on ebay too.

    17
    • Superdessucke

      LOL! Good comparison. Here’s the vehicle in its shining moment…

      https://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_69400-Volkswagen-Squareback-Sedan-Typ-36-1971.html

      3
    • Mountainwoodie

      Hilarious……so true. We live in a culture where whats valuable in popular culture to many people is………..well…..ridiculous. Now if Harrison Ford signed that rusty dent on the roof……..nah.not even.

      But I like squarebacks. But not slushboxes.

      6
    • Willowen Member

      Not TOTALLY insignificant: The Amish family hiding him did him the very great favor of allowing it to be stashed in the barn under a whole lot of hay. And that was even before he and the Amish daughter had entirely too much fun together.

      Okay, that’s almost as much of the movie as I remember, which does not include the year that I saw it … but as soon as I saw the word “Witness” I knew what car that was, and whose. But $2K is still about what I’d pay.

      1
    • Sandy Claws

      Actually I bet a toilet seat he used regularly and could be proven would sell for more then this. Not sure what that says about society though. There are a lot of strange people out there besides car nuts.

      2
      • Bill Parker

        Odd coincidence, I just watched the movie again a few days ago and now the car is featured. A favorite feature of the movie is of course Kelly McGillis but I nearly always like Harrison Ford in anything he does. Anyway I suppose this car sort of fit the surroundings.

        2
  4. Phil Lapp

    Would be great for this event Saturday! https://www.facebook.com/events/642913906133275/

    • Frank Y Member

      With a little Rumspringin and A horse and buggy we could all have some fun. And BtW Lebanon Levi drove a caddy where is that car??

  5. Scott Marquis

    No good if you can’t see where the birdhouse crunched it.

    1
  6. Jim

    I had a 1968 Squareback, the absolute worst car I have ever owned in my 83 years. It had a soft block and the studs kept pulling out. I finally had to take the dealer to court. It was an known fault and he should have replaced the motor.

  7. Roy L

    The question is, does it run?

    1
    • PatrickM

      Listing says, “No.”

      1
  8. Sam61

    I’ve got a Impala sedan from Fugitive…just kidding.

    How about a squareback sleeper…Porsche motor, stiffen the suspension, mini lites/good rubber and a nice interior.

    2
  9. George

    I’d rather have the airplane he crash landed on a golf course.

    5
  10. Lyle Rigdon

    A good friend of mine from college did exactly that. He was a certified VW mechanic. He picked up the type 3 from the dealership he worked in for a song (blown motor). One a afternoon a badly wrecked Porsche was towed in for an insurance claim/inspection. My friend casually mentioned to the shop foreman that if the car was totalled he wanted the engine for his type 3. The shop foreman laughed at him saying it couldn’t be done. That was like waving a red flag in front of a bull to my friend. Needless to say, he got the engine, made all the adapters, and ended with the ultimate Corvette eating street sleeper. My friend is gone now but I often think about us ripping around the Purdue campus back in the day in his screaming red type 3 wagon.

    3
  11. Louis Q Chen

    My Dad used to own one of these, in fact it was also a ’71 with Auto & a Saphire Am/FM radio and cig. lighter plug, leatherette interior and same color-Marina Blue. I would buy it if it was closer! The only concern with this Type 3 Squareback is the fuel injection system (Bosch type D F.I.). They work great except when one gets into an accident, it is very difficult to fix properly. I recall this Type 3 sold relatively well and quite reliable car with two trunks. I recalled back then we pulled into a gas station, the attendant asked “Where is the fuel tank?”

    1
    • Jeff

      Good memory, lol, I had a ’73 Super Beetle in Marina Blue. I’d love to have this squareback!

  12. don

    If I were into these, I’d fix the roof , replace the windshield and forget all about that it was in a movie and just enjoy the car

    1
  13. TimM

    My 85k will stay right where it is!!
    Tanks but no thanks!!!

  14. Richard F

    Oh brother! Any time someone has to spend hours convincing (themselves mostly) me that some car is worth ‘all that’ because of: movie star who drove it, movie it was in, famous someone who sat in it once…blah blah…tell me about the car itself and what its all about – everyone else will decide if the mostly non-relevant factors add up to much, if anything. Buried in the “Witness” movie review and factoid of Harrison Ford’s life write-up on eBay is the fact that it doesn’t run, hasn’t for 15 years and the roof is wrinkled from an overbuilt birdhouse crashing down on it. Hmmm…maybe that’s why they chose to use this car in the first place, because it was dirt cheap and nobody would care if an apartment building for birds fell on it and caved in the roof? Just sayin’….

  15. angliagt

    I’m still waiting for the Suburban in “Patriot Games”
    comes up for sale

    2
  16. Steve S

    Type 3 was what the engine was called in the squareback. My grampa owned several squarebacks and beetles when I was growing up. I don’t know how many for sure. He had 1 vw that had a 1300 which was a 50 horsepower engine.

  17. bog

    I had a white squareback with red interior, but mine had the first gen fuel injection engine. My VW mechanic hated them (and I learned how costly they could be) as the computer “brain” for the FI/engine was sealed and could only be worked on back in Germany. Unplug it, buy new one, get minimal amount for “trade-in” of old box. What a scheme ! Then, as mentioned earlier, the cylinder head studs gave “issue” with block, so I replaced the engine with a souped-up carb version that had a better block and oversized studs. That was a killer combo. Best thing about it was that with the back seat fully folded down my massive Great Dane actually fit. He did take up the entire space, which was fine with him and me.

  18. W9BAG Member

    I got a ride home in one of these when I was about 10. It was during a serious snowstorm, and there was already about 7 ” of snow on the ground. The car had snow tires on it, and it never slid 1 time. It really impressed me as a great snow car (except for the heat, of course).

  19. VW Collector

    I heard it didn’t sell on eBay and is now at the PA Auction Center, 2 miles from where the movie was filmed.

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