No Reserve Oval: 1957 Volkswagen Beetle


It’s rare to see desirable collector cars offered at no reserve, but that’s what we have here with this 1957 Volkswagen Beetle, a genuine oval window riding on a later pan but still titled as a ’57. The Beetle sports a very cool period custom vibe reflecting the “California” style of air-cooled modifications from the 1970s and 1980s. The seller notes it runs and drives well enough but needs bodywork, and the eBay photos show some area of true rot-through. The seller is letting the next owner have at the bodywork and paintjob, but aside from fixing the rust, I’m not sure I’d touch a thing on it. Find this oval window Bug here on eBay where there’s just one bid to $11,500.

These days, you likely wouldn’t think of modifying a genuine oval window Beetle, but it was less of a sin in the 60s and 70s when this was just a cheap used car. The paint job is a custom one, with the seller referring to it as metallic rose. Quite fancy if not elegant, but not exactly a factory color. The chrome bumpers still look good and the glass is ship-shape, but the seller contends you’ll notice things like the clearcoat fade, dings and dents, and a few rust spots up close. However, the main trouble areas on an air-cooled Beetle don’t seem to be a problem here, with the seller reporting that the “….battery area, heater channels and boxes are good.”

The interior is also done up with some custom touches, but the seller claims it wasn’t a cheap-o job. The seats and door panels have been redone and look sharp, and the headliner features simulated snake skin. The dash was painted to match the exterior, and the steering wheel is a clean aftermarket job. The radio has been updated to incorporate Bluetooth functionality, and overall, there’s not a lot to complain about inside. Some of the headliner has started to droop, but overall, this is a wicked period-correct custom interior. The amount of effort tuners and custom shops poured into some of these builds back in the day was truly impressive.

The engine has been worked over as well, featuring a 1600 dual port with a new carburetor, distributor with electronic ignition, spark plugs and wires, fresh fuel pump, and more. The electrical system has been converted to 12 volts, and the transmission is a 1969 I.R.S. unit with new parts including shifter bushings and coupler, as well as an Empi shifter with a custom leather cover and a new clutch and throw out bearing. Overall, this is a turnkey Beetle with some iffy cosmetics, but nothing you couldn’t live with for quite some time before they become a problem. I love it, and no reserve means a very good deal for any potential buyers.


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  1. John

    My bondo sense is tingling. this thing scares me. I sense much rust and many dents lurk under the 90’s refresh. Neat old car, but something seems off to me. I wish the new owner good luck and happy trails.

    Like 4
  2. Luki

    Oval Window on a later chassis.
    I’m out and so should everyone else.

    Like 7
    • nlpnt

      Diminshed collectibility and diminished visibility.

      Like 1
    • Bamapoppy

      Love the bugs! Owned 2 and would do it again if I had the disposable cash.

  3. T

    Had one of these. The guy I bought from for $25.00 had backed it into a light pole shoving the exhaust pipe into the heater box. With little back pressure top speed was 30 mph. New heater boxes were too expensive so my mechanic told me to go to the hardware store and buy some flexible pipe used in gas appliance installations. He welded one end to the exhaust port and stuck the other end into the old tailpipe. It could do 70 mph easy. Sold it for $75.00 due to an upcoming inspection law in Iowa which never took place. Fun times.

    Like 4
  4. Stephan k Homewood

    Old shell with an IRS CHASSIS and double port. reads kit car.

  5. Jimbosidecar

    I had a 57 VW hotrod back in the 1980s. It also was on a 1971 chassis. 1600 dual port, had Saab disc brakes all around and gauges stretching all the way across the dash. Pretty quick little car. With I still had it.

    Like 1
  6. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Oroville, California

  7. John

    Metallic Rose was a better metal band than paint color, LOL!

    Like 3
  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Ah… the purists have risen. There are tons of everything cars in California and the majority of them have some modifications. You don’t have a garage find here but a car that’s been on the road and should stay on the road. Also, finding one on it’s original pan anywhere is pretty hard to do. Solid street machine needing a little body rust repair and probably a better shade of purple that you could surly have fun driving.

    Like 1
    • Dusty

      I am something of a purist, I admit – I like a vintage car to look pretty much as it did when it was a year or two old. I would be interested in this car, however – the 1957 body is a classic look. However, the lack of vent windows (there was a craze in CA to remove them), the lack of a VW steering wheel (I owned two Karmann Ghias ages ago), and the somewhat dinged up, non-stock color would discourage me considerably. Update to 12v and a modified engine are a plus to me, however.

  9. Kurt

    It is indeed rare to find a 100% original air cooled Beetle. The dual port engine is very desirable however.

  10. t-bone bob

    Jun 17, 2021 , 10:00AM
    Winning bid:
    US $11,700.00
    [ 2 bids ]

    Like 1

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