Original Everything: 1958 Volkswagen Beetle

This VW was parked in a nice dry storage unit in 1982 along with the family’s other treasures. Can you imagine the conversation? “What are we ever going to do with all that junk in the storage unit? That little black car must be worth some good money by now!” It looks really nice but the owner admits to chips and blemishes in the paint. It’s in Bellingham, Washington and listed on TheSamba for $8,500. It needs brake work, new tires and a new muffler. There is only surface rust except for the muffler. The seller says the engine was rebuilt before it was put away and it runs well. The owner says the 64,000 miles showing are accurate. The first owner put 40,000 miles on it before selling it in 1967. The next owner ran it up to 67,000 miles before putting it away.

“Hey Pa, is that a car back in there?” At least there wasn’t too much stuff piled on it. There appear to be parts of another car as well. It sure cleaned up nicely though and is looking pretty good now.

Don’t those seats look nice? It would be nice to see more of the interior, but from what we can see really looks nice.

This peek of the underside looks really nice. It’s still covered in undercoating, so rust shouldn’t be an issue.

It looks original under here except for the white painted fan shroud cover and the lack of an air cleaner. The heater hoses are suspect as well. They should be black. Some 1958 bugs didn’t have the ducts, some like this one did.

This old bug looks really original from every angle. 1958 was the first year for the larger rear window. The roof rack is an iconic accessory. The running board trim appears to have taken a rub on this side. I wonder what it looks like under the hood, especially in the spare tire well. There are likely more mechanical gremlins to deal with, but it looks almost ready to enjoy. It actually appears to be in amazing condition for a 59-year-old car. Hopefully, the new owner keeps it this way, but black is not everyone’s favorite color. I wouldn’t touch a thing except for any necessary mechanical work. If you are thinking the price is a little high, have a look at another black 1958 VW barn find listed on TheSamba. They want $15,000 for it! It will be interesting to see what readers have to say. It is from New Mexico, the land of the magic cactus, so perhaps that has something to do with the $15,000 price tag.


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  1. Metoo

    That’s a beauty. Fix any mechanicals and small interior defects (in a VW that old there may be a cracked knob or two) and hit the road.

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Not a muscle car. ;-)
    But it really is an amazing find.
    This car belongs in a museum, or in the hands of someone who will preserve it, and let people see it. A true time warp vehicle.
    With those snow tires, it must have been pretty good at getting through in the winter weather! Note, I didn’t say it would have been warm inside, though.

  3. TriPowerVette

    Clearly, they didn’t bury it deep enough. It escaped…

    • Dave

      Makes a guy want to goose-step with glee, doesn’t it?

      • TriPowerVette


  4. Johnrm

    Snow tires on the rear. Would like to see more underside pics.

  5. Kenneth karlsson

    OEM motor gone…That is a newer 34hp engine or more…should have 30horse …
    Otherwise nice))

    • Kevin

      I had a 58 in 1982. Its original engine was a 36 HP. The one shown is most likely a 40 HP. It’s easy to see the difference. 36 HP has a solid pedestal on which the generator is mounted. 40 HP has a bolt on pedestal.

    • Andy

      I had a ’74 Beetle and a ’66 Microbus; a buddy had a Squareback, a ’71 bus and a Thing (at least.) I don’t think any of them had their original motors when we got them in the ’80s. VW owners used to change engines like everybody else changes spark plugs. That being said, if you want the big bucks, I think you better have the original engine. (Not necessarily in the car, but at least where you can find it.)

  6. ron tyrrell

    Not original motor, fuel pump location reveals it is a 1200 cc forty horse power, late 1961 thru 1965 . It would have had a 36 horse power when it was assembled, fuel pump would have been forward below the distributor.

  7. Scott

    A lot of classics are around for $15k. Just sayin’.

  8. JimmyJ

    Missed the oval window by one year😞

  9. Eric Barbosa

    Nic car but thats vw bus prices

  10. David C

    The engine is not correct.This is a later model engine.

  11. Greg

    This was a 6 volt system, like my ’66. Had to put a 6 to 9 volt inverter in to run my Zayre cassete tape player …

    The rear window defroster kept your hands just warm enough while you were pushing it.

    The spare tire provided pressure for the windshield washer reservoir. Great idea and tell you have a flat.

    Man I would love to be driving this thing around.

    • TriPowerVette

      Yabba, Dabba, Dooooo.

  12. Mark

    Wonder if those U.S. Mail tubs contain mail from 1982 as well…lol
    GLWTS. Nice car.

  13. Larry Q

    I’ve never cared much for older bugs…but this one is sweeeet!

  14. Henry's Garage

    8500 seems pretty fair the second one that is non negotiable for 15k should be available for another 4-5 years. I like the first one better anyway!

  15. Shelli Anne

    Nice enough sort of original (no Corvair motor anyway) old V.W., had a ’57 model back in the early 80’s I was fond of. It would appear to be located on the other side of Bellingham (I’m in Fairhaven),might wander over this afternoon for a look-see.

  16. Southside5459

    The engine is a 40 horse not the original 36horse and the seats are cheap recovers. And it has the wrong carpet. Looks like a very nice car though,well worth 8500 by the looks of the pics. But not as original as the author makes it sound.

  17. TriPowerVette

    OK. I’ve had about enough of the discussion of this pile’s engine. My brother’s (for that matter, my) MGA’s came with more than double this car’s standard horsepower. They weigh less. And MGA’s, I am here to tell you, CANNOT GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY (in stock form)!

    Where does that leave the lowly VW? It is a curiosity. An anachronism. A conversation piece. I never credited hippies with much common sense. However; if EVER there was a car that needed a ‘peace sign’ hand painted on it, this one is it.

    Further; the people who buy these are supposed to be so earth-conscious, but these cars have the WORST emissions profiles of nearly anything on the road. Air-cooled engines must necessarily run rich for cooling. They are not efficient, they just don;t make any power.

    This is a cave car, for the upscale cave man (or woman) to get around urban Bedrock in.

    • Aaron

      I don’t know anyone who has a bug that would be considered a tree hugger.

    • Glen B

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard such inaccurate generalization or stereotyping before.
      You sir now have about a million dubbers laughing. And not with you, I’ll add.

      • rick hutchinson


      • TriPowerVette

        +Glen B – …and believe me when I tell you that that factoid helps me sleep better at night.

        How many people reading this right now remember accelerating behind one of these off a stoplight, and thinking it would be easier to just jump out and run (trot?) up to the VW ‘driver’, and ask whether he might not have noticed the parking brake in the ‘engaged’ position?

        Believe me when I say this; the best VW I ever saw was a dune buggy! And the best dune buggy I ever saw was powered by a Corvair!

        God bless Bruce Meyers, wherever you are.

    • Tony C. Australia

      Hey TriPower, who gives a rats arse about power and speed in these things they’re a piece of history on wheels and anyone who owns and still drives one can feel proud to be preserving what little there is left of this era that a lot of us grew up in and remember fondly !! If I lived in the US this thing would be in my driveway in a heartbeat.

      • TriPowerVette

        +Tony C. Australia – “who gives a rats arse about power and speed”: I do.

        The the world car market is clamoring for more G.T. 350’s, ZR-1’s, even Lotus Exige’s. There is ‘0’ demand for GoGomobiles, Isettas, and yes, Bugs, except as the cute curiosities they are.

        When VW brought out the modern 2nd generation Beetle (if you don’t count the gag! Super Beetle), it even had a Turbo option; and with enough power, it is an excellent car in its own right.

        Wax nostalgic about those underpowered, top heavy disposi-cars all you like, the world is nostalgic for the early days of class racing at NHRA, Formula Libre racing in the Can-Am, screaming V8 pony cars in the Trans-Am, and Dodge, Plymouth and Ford hemis duking it out on banked ovals in NASCAR.

        God. Men were men back then, and women liked it that way.

      • audifan

        Well said Tony C. from Australia. These big useless monsters racing in ovals, called nascar, are like rednecks running in circles. BORING.
        Women love these bugs, Gogomobiles, Isettas and other microcars. Yes, there are some women loving these muscle things, the ones with the heavy tatoos, riden hard and put away wet.

  18. Chebby

    That first picture almost looks like it has T-tops. That’s something I haven’t seen on a VW!


    I had one like that for about 15 minutes. I bought it from a mechanic that I worked with and flipped it to an acquaintance with the understanding he would make payments. I had to nag and pressure him for a year until I finally got my money. It turns out he bought it for his girl friend (he was married) and it leaked oil so badly that she soon burned up the engine…now he had to pay to get it fixed so he didn’t have money to pay me. Lots of lessons to be learned here. Just lots of ’em!

  20. David Miraglia

    An other bug and in better condition. Gotta have it….

  21. cudaman

    What’s with all the U.S. Postal equipment in the garage???? Call the inspectors….

    • Andy


      • TriPowerVette


  22. MGSteve

    Eric B–where are you finding even remotely comparable busses for $15K? I’ll take a dozen . . . or, did you forget a zero?

  23. Eric Barbosa

    IStock vws can be made to do this

  24. Eric Barbosa


  25. audifan

    Thank you moderators for eliminating my post showing values of Isettas. Obviously you did not like the BaT links. It’s sad when moderators of an open forum use random censorship. Please take my profile off. There are way better car sites out there anyway.

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