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No Reserve Rat: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

This 1963 Volkswagen Beetle is loaded with patina and sports a dropped suspension to give it that gnarly, rat-rod look. The seller doesn’t provide much in the way of details, but does claim that the owner of the car claims it has a connection to hot rod builder Boyd Coddington’s shop. Do with that what you will, and check out the low Beetle here on eBay where bidding is at $3,400 with no reserve.

Being an earlier model, the Beetle sports the big chrome bumpers with overriders. The bumpers may actually be in better cosmetic shape than most other exposed surfaces, which all show plenty of signs of paint fade and sun damage. That’s OK, though – for a Beetle like this, that distressed look is exactly what you want, like a pair of pre-faded jeans with knee holes.

The interior is spartan but complete, with front buckets and a rear bench seat in fair condition. The original dash contains what looks like a factory radio, and the floors don’t show any major signs of rot-through. The door panels are a bit dingy but untorn and really, this is where I’d focus my attention if it were mine. Leave the outside scruffy but make the interior pop.

The seller mentions the Beetle has been stored for the last two years, and seemingly indicating it doesn’t see much use. A video included in the listing shows the lowered Bug starting up with ease, and rolling out of the shop with its nose practically touching the ground. Change the front suspension back to a conventional setup and simply enjoy – that’s what I’d do.


  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    It looks like that fuel filter has been installed without any hose clamps.

    Like 4
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Those are the new compression hoses CapNemo, No worries.

      Like 3
    • Marshall

      Yep, and unless the owner puts those clamps on, s/he is asking for a fire!

      Like 0
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Aren’t you supposed to put those on your legs?

    Like 5
  3. Philip Bregar

    Boyd Coddington. So what? Who cares?

    Like 8
  4. Steve H.

    A VW bug as a rat rod? I see a lot of rat but not much rod.

    Like 10
  5. Andrew S Mace Member

    ” …for a Beetle like this, that distressed look is exactly what you want….”

    Why would I want that? Ok, perhaps if I were 14…. ;)

    Like 6
  6. Ian C

    I agree about dressing up the interior and leaving the outside as is on this particular ride. It has a good look to it. However I disagree about returning to stock height. I would leave the narrowed and lowered beam personally. Not to mention tons of engine/trans upgrades. But that is just me. I have a lowered 69 VW show car, and would daily drive the heck out of this one!

    Like 0
    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      This is a long shot but, would you happen to be the Ian I would shoot the bull with on Friday nights at Jerry’s in Manassas va,and at the Bug-Outs in same town? Circa 92-96

      Like 0
      • Ian C

        I did go to the Manassas shows throughout the 90’s, but never went to Jerry’s though. I think during those years I was showing a 74 that was Porsche pale yellow with pink flames. Ahhh, the 80’s and 90’s paint jobs! LOL

        Like 0
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    I’m with Ian C. Leave it low, but I’d put the original paint color back on and put more grunt in the rear. Would add sway bar up front and some good shocks. Neat Bug.

    Like 0
  8. TimM

    Looks pretty good I’d drive it around!! Go over it mechanically and drive the snot out of it!!!

    Like 0
  9. jimmy the orphan

    No, It doesn’t have a good look to it. People will just feel sorry for you and say things like “look Sue poor slob can’t even afford to paint a Bug” Paint it then work on the inside that way you can drive it and avoid being pitied. BTW anyone who buys a pair of jeans with the knees ripped out is a stupid fool. Anyone who sells a pair is a genius, And the hell with Boyd Coddington. So there. Later…………………………………..JIMMY

    Like 2
  10. Marshall

    I have always loved the 1958-early 1964 “Herbie Generation” bugs. I have owned four of these bugs from that era back in the day. But when they are lowered, that is a serious detraction from their looks. I say restore it to its original ground clearance!

    Like 1
  11. Dave

    Clean up the interior, paint and re-upholster the inside, but leave the exterior alone. Lots of people say a car like this should be painted have no idea the effort new paint takes to look right. Why would you paint wavy rusted panels and have a total 12 year old kids paintjob on it? That looks terrible, IMO.

    Like 0
  12. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    Leave it lowered but bag it so you can make it into a parking lot at something faster than that of a snails pace. Love the dropped look but dislike the chewed up front ends. Once parked pancake it and go about your business knowing it’ll be lookin’ good upon your return.

    Like 0
  13. jimmy the orphan

    For you youngsters who are so serious I’m sorry I forgot to say LOL. Later……………………………JIMMY

    Like 1
  14. Gaspumpchas

    Think its a later 40 hp eng? Forgot what year they started the 40, 64 maybe?? I’d restore riding height and drive it. Fond memories of all of the vw’s I worked on, dune buggies, etc . Good stuff for a young gear head to cut his teeth on!!
    Good luck!

    Like 0
  15. JJ

    I like the return spring on the carburetor and the way it is hooked up to the hold-down clamp on the air filter. Must be mod somewhere along the way some time ago……….

    Like 0

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