One Owner Survivor: 1970 VW Sunroof Bug

Volkswagens, especially the Beetle, have been part of our culture for many years. Some of us have fond memories the familiar clatter of an underwhelming VW engine and the meandering progress across the landscape of our youth. This bug with it’s squared off bumpers, gas filler door and a plastic dash is a couple of years too young to be very collectible. It does have a sunroof, though and most folks would prefer it over a super beetle. This beetle is a one owner survivor with less than 100,000 miles. Hopefully, the owners have had it serviced regularly and kept records. This bug is listed on craigslist right here in Sacramento. The $6,850 asking price is a little high but it could be reasonable if it is as nice as it looks. I do wonder why the seller has removed the license plates. One might assume it’s running and driving but that is unknown.

The interior looks just like what you’d expect of a 100,000-mile beetle, although those could be aftermarket seat covers. This is typical of how a VW might have looked just before a trusting adult handed over their cherished bug to be thrashed by their adolescent offspring. It’s great fun, for example, driving around in the desert perched on top, feet through the sunroof steering with your feet and using a yucca stick on the gas pedal. This bug appears to have been treated much better.

Things look neat and tidy under the hood. The air hose for the windshield washer is even still in place. One peek under the hood tells you this is no super beetle. The spare would be laying flat.

Here’s where all the noise comes from. It looks really complete and original under the lid. Even the air hoses are in place. There are some great memories here, like the shim washers in the generator pulley to adjust the belt tension.  If this VW is nearly as nice as it appears it would be a nice driver, especially if you live where the winters are mild, the summers not too hot and the hills not too steep. Beetles are certainly a simple car and easy to repair. Surely there’s a sympathetic spouse out there somewhere who would allow their significant other to bring home this little toy. And yes, it is yellow, but since when did the color of a V-dub really matter?

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Comments

  1. Rustytech Member

    Though these don’t fit my lifestyle today, they do bring back fond memories. We used to pile 8 of us into one of these just for fun. They were also very safe for such a small car. This looks to be in excellent condition for a 47 year old car. I hope it finds a good home.

  2. Steve R

    If it runs well that price doesn’t seem out of line. Sacramento is really dry, there is a good chance you could take it apart with a 3/8 drive socket set and not break one bolt. Sure the paint is faded, but so what, it looks like there haven’t been many sets of hands messing with it.

    If it had personalized license plates the seller would be smart to take them off or they will likely never see them again. If it had the older blue plates they would be replaced with the new ugly white plates, at the owners expense. That happened with my mom when she sold her car, the buyer promised to return her 30 year old blue personalized plates, but didn’t.

    Steve R

  3. Pat

    Looks nice, had 70 red one in college,,,,really dependable and a lot of fun. Taught my wife to drive a stick in it….oh the memories

  4. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Super Beetle has a curved windshield.

    • marcus

      Only after 72 the super had a curved windshield and they didn’t make a super in 70. 71 was the first year for super it is a nice car at a good price

      Like 1
    • Richard

      Not all Supers had a curved windshield!

    • B Thériault

      Curved windshield on the Super Bug only appeared the second year of production I think in 1972.

    • Dave Debien

      Not in the 1st 2 years if I remember correctly, 71 & 72!

  5. B J

    I owned the same model in New Zealand as a youngster, it was a fantastic lil car, same exterior colour , but mine had red seats and door trim , my Dad owned a Carmen Gia , another great car, we towed a 1930 Chrysler 70 8 miles from a shed in town to our home, the vintage was a barn find , complete not running , shed stored for some Years, VW towed it no bother up hills , thru traffic lights , fun lil car

  6. Doug

    That air cleaner would normally be used on a 73 or 74 model. But the engine compartment looks so complete and original, this may be a California emission spec vehicle. Not that it makes it any more collectible, but the whole thing looks very original.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      I was going to say that also. It should still have an oil bath air cleaner.

  7. RoughDiamond rough diamond Member

    Pushes all the right buttons for me. Sunroof is a added bonus. If I lived anywhere close I’d be looking at it to buy it. An old-school VW mechanic told me the best Bug by far was a ’67 with the most desirable and valuable of that model being a sliding sunroof equipped one. He said a ’70 Bug with the same sunroof option would be his second choice. I was never able to find either. VWs around here got cut up into Baja bugs or their pans were used for dune buggies.

    • Ian Sights

      Second most desirable after a ’67 (my first car) is a ’71 because it was the first year they had the dual port engine and fewer emission controls than later.
      Super Beetles were available from ’71 and the curved windshield began in ’73

      I never liked this color yellow though my ’67 convertible was also this color. My ’67 sedan was white. Somehow the black top of the convertible made the color look somewhat better, IMHO.

  8. Joe Haska

    Came home from Viet-Nam and bought this exact car brand new, it was yellow, and the dealer put on custom wheels, wood steering wheel, fake wood dash, and I think some more stuff, but I can’t remember it all. The base car was $1800 and we paid near $2400 with all the extras, I think the payment was 70 bucks a month. I bought my wife a new VW convert in the early 1990’s and that was our 2nd and last VW, and one of the very few new cars we ever bought. The Bug does bring back good memories, it was certainly a different world then!

  9. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Sold………..

  10. Mark in WNC

    1963 was the last year of the sliding sunroof.

  11. grant

    One look at this car from any angle will tell anyone who knows this isn’t a super beetle. No need to look under the hood.

    • Pat

      Super beetle had a curved windshield, non sb had a flat one.

      • 68 custom

        easiest was to distinguish a super beetle from a beetle is torsion bars front on beetle and McPherson struts on a super beetle early supers did not have curved windshields. like this one toss an 041 distributor on her and a 4 to 1 header to really wake up that 1600 dual port.

      • Puhnto

        The ’71 and ’72 Super Beetles had flat windshields. From ’73 on they had the curved windshield and a real dashboard, the rounded trunk lid allowing the trunk to hold nearly twice as much as a standard beetle, the big orange turn signals on the front fenders, and the big round taillights (with back up, brake, running, and amber turn signals).

        ’73 was also the last year of the carbureted engine, and that year also had seats that were unique to that year.

      • Richard Allen

        And until 1971, the engine in these was single port. You can see in the pictures that this one correct for a 70 Beetle. These seemed to have more torque than the dual port engines. Both were 1600 cc’s, with the single port rated at 57 hp gross, and the dual port 60 hp gross. I liked the 1970 Beetle better than the 1967. It was quieter and had more power.

  12. Mark in WNC

    Super Beetles began in 1971. 1971and 1972 Super Beetles had the same windshield as the standard Beetle.

  13. Will

    Here’s the saved ad with all the pictures http://www.craigslistadsaver.com/view.php?name=1970VWBug

  14. King Al

    Article could have been titled: “If you’re going to San Francisco….”

  15. David Miraglia

    always wanted one of these.

  16. Rodent

    The photos were taken among the Rancho Cordova auto wrecking yards. Wonder what that means, if anything?

    • Marauder X-100

      Wow, those wrecking yards (OMEC Co.) have been gone for 30 years. They were decontaminated and it is now part of the “upscale” Gold River community. Thunderbird Drive In site is now a 4 story Hilton.

  17. Maestro1 Member

    The upholstery on the seats is not correct, probably seat covers. Fully service the car and drive it if it runs to begin with. I had a 63 and a 68 Squareback, both
    wonderful cars, not notorious for grunt off the line but who cares? If I had room I’d buy it.

  18. Jim Norman

    The only thing t was ever fatal to a Beetle was rust. Bad engine? Jack up the car, loosen four bolts and drop out the motor literally in minutes. Pop in a rebuilt or a running motor from a junked wreck and you are good to go. But rust in the floor pan or torsion bar or the front shock towers or rear shock mounts and you have an expensive, time-consuming mess on your hands. t

  19. Paul B

    I like the yellow.

  20. Ron Daily

    I would interested in seeing the VIN on this unit. They are claiming it’s a one owner 1970 Beetle. However, 1970 didn’t offer a light yellow color in sedans. You could get Yukon Yellow in a convertible, but not a sedan. In 1971 they offered the sedan in Shantung Yellow, paint code 12D. So it could be a respray that’s very old. But this unit doesn’t have the quarter 1/4 moons vents of the ’71 or later beetles. That aside it appears to be a fairly well maintained 47 year old beetle. Parts are inexpensive(so far). I am considering it.

  21. CaCarDude

    Bought a 1970 Bug in late ’77 after selling off my ’71 Nova SS, quite a difference in power and fuel consumption, but going to trade school and recovering from a cruel divorce has it’s up’s and down’s. The VW was a great car at the time and it had factory A/C, which I removed promptly. Too much strain on the little 4 banger! My ’70 was dark green and black interior, I kept for about 8 years and did some various custom work on it during that time, custom fenders and one piece door glass, custom Caddy firemist paint. I have to say the bug was one fine economical car at the time. This Yellow listed is a good example to jump on today, may be priced just a bit high IMO, but if a local car would be rust free. Keep it original and tuned up, drive the wheels off of it!

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