Oval Window Runner: 1957 Volkswagen Beetle

The VW Beetle, technically known as the Type !, was one of the world’s most successful cars. Over 65 years, more than 23 million of the small German cars were produced and you saw them everywhere in the 1960s and 1970s, their heyday in the U.S. market. This 1957 edition is notable as the last year for the smaller, oval rear window. Located in Yuba City, California, the seller categorizes this car as a barn find that runs but is not quite ready to get back out on the road. This Bug is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $11,105, but the reserve still lingers.

Also known as the “People’s Car,” the Type 1 first came to life in 1938, but production didn’t get serious until after World War II. And it wasn’t until the 1950s that you saw many of them imported to the U.S. Annual changes to the VW Beetle were usually minimal and 1957 was no exception. They were minor things, like the oil galleries in the engines got bigger, the ring and pinion steering ratio was changed, adjustable striker plates were added to the door frames, and so forth. To improve rearward visibility, the oval rear window changed shape and got bigger in 1958.

We believe this Bug was off the road for a time, so the seller had to do a few things to it. While it drives, we’re told the seller has only driven it around his property, so it’s probably not ready for the highway. Items that were installed include new tires, a new battery, rebuilding the carburetor, and fitting new seat covers with padding underneath. The seller says this is a rust-free example of an earlier Beetle, with just a small hole where the battery goes.

The air-cooled engine in this VW is not original but is from the correct year and puts out 36 hp in stock condition. This Volkswagen could be put back into service without new paint, but you’d probably want to go that route anyway. The driver’s side door doesn’t match the rest of the car because the seller replaced it with another door, also from 1957, for reasons not mentioned. If you’ve been hankering to get your hands on a 1950s VW Beetle, this one could be a good place to start.


  1. Bill

    Seems to be missing the entire interior and trunk lining. Seats are generic aftermarket. Instrument panel paint does not match the exterior, as it should.

    I guess it could be fixed up and driven as is, but I think a total correct re-do is more appropriate.

    Like 5
  2. Troy

    The listing says its a NO RUST car, the seller needs to be reeducation on what rust is. You call it patina I call it needs paint

    Like 6

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