Mugging For The Camera?

Imagine a soft drink company needing an unusual sales promotion–and their name happens to rhyme with “Bug.” You have the ingredients for a 1999 promotion involving 25 refurbished vintage VW Beetles, MTV and lots of vinyl decals! And now, thanks to this auction here on eBay, you have the chance to purchase one of the prize vehicles for your very own. This 1972 Volkswagen Beetle is located in Boonville, New York and bidding is under $800 at the moment, although the reserve hasn’t been met yet.

I was able to find this picture here posted by someone who helped refurbish the bugs for the promotion. Apparently it wasn’t just a cosmetic re-do, as I found a list of the items that were handled by the shops: pan restoration, complete repaint, new interiors, new chrome (including bumpers, headlight rims, etc.), new tires and a complete engine rebuild.

What I don’t know is whether or not the fact that this is a “Mug Bug” adds to or detracts from the value of the car at this point. This particular car looks a little rough around the edges and has apparently been stored outside for a while, although the seller says it’s been in a barn for the last 15 years.

If you want a decent 1972 Volkswagen, there are probably other choices (unless, of course, the foam has indeed gone straight to your brain!) If, however, you collect promotional items, I suspect you won’t find many automobiles for much less than this will end up going for.

The interior certainly looks nice, although I think I’d change the steering wheel out. Just a little bright for me.

The engine also still looks pretty good, and the seller reports that after a carburetor rebuild, it runs well too. I’d want to contact the seller before bidding just to evaluate the rest of the car and see what it would need to be on the road safely. Would you mug for the camera after being the high bidder on this bug? Are any of you promotional item collectors?


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  1. JW

    It’s a VW with a corporate logo on it, nothing special IMHO but someone may see value here. I’m actually a fan of Rootbeer but I prefer A & W.

  2. Francisco

    I’d buy this and make it a daily driver. Do you think Mug would pay me?

  3. Fred W.

    If it was Coca Cola collectors would be lining up for it. Mug, not so much, but a way to get an easy to restore bug cheap.

    • Matt A

      It was actually a Pepsi Promotion and not Coke. I also see they mentioned a 1999 promotion. I worked for Pepsi at this point and it was prior to 1999. Possibly 1997 or 1998. Was the coolest thing to see the carrier bring all of these. At the same time, Pepsi was promoting Josta which had a 1/4 ton Dodge Ram as their spokes vehicle. Very cool at the time!

  4. Puhnto

    I saw one of these drive by my house in Massachusetts right after they were given away! I thought it was really cool at the time.

  5. Chebby

    In the early 70’s there was a bug in my NYC neighborhood custom painted to promote KOOL cigarettes….it blew my 5-year old mind.

    • George

      I grew up in Long Island and a cafeteria worker at my elementary school had a KOOL promo VW too in the mid ’70s

  6. Howard A Member

    Apparently, in 1999, Pepsi “wrapped ” 25 vintage Beetles for their root beer promotion. There’s no breakdown of the years, but most seem to be in the ’69-’71 vintage. I’ve never been one to advertise anything on my cars ( I even took the dealers name off my vehicles) and I suppose it’s catchy. Probably not many of the original 25 exist. Looks like they ( Pepsi) were trying to “recapture” that 60’s feeling with a VW and “puffy” graphics. Be fun at a show.

  7. oh irony!

    I totally tried to win this contest!

  8. Newtown Jack

    I remember entering this contest…and losing

  9. Muz

    Mug would certainly not add any value out here is Australia. call someone a Mug out here and you’re likely to cop a punch in the nose by return. Would you drive a car around LA with Fool or Idiot emblazoned across and over it?

  10. 00midnight

    I met the guy (Robie) who buil these. If I remember his story …there were 25 built by his team. I knew him because he did the body work and paint on the 72 bug I restored in 2008…the pain came out show quality…. This work was done in Everett, WA

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