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Rescued And Running: 1971 VW Beetle

It’s no surprise that people toss away perfectly good cars on a daily basis. I know this for a fact, as I’ve now rescued three vehicles from junkyards, and while all of the vehicles had some needs, two of the three came back to life and one is showing signs of being savable. This 1971 Volkswagen Beetle is another example of a classic that wasn’t done providing reliable service, but the longtime original owner felt their only option was to dump it at the local salvage yard. Thankfully, the owner of the yard bought it to save it from being scrapped, and the current owner is a VW restoration shop that got wind of the car and brought it back to life. You’ll find the resurrected Beetle here on eBay with a $6,000 Buy-It-Now and the option to submit a best offer.

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t situations that develop beyond the control of owners, who are then forced to make tough decisions about keeping an aging vehicle when the cost of a repair matches the down payment on a trouble-free ride. This Beetle ended up at the junkyard once its owner of 47 years decided to move and deducted that their trusted steed could not make the trip with them. The car was obviously tired, with dead paint, loads of surface rust, dented fenders, and other faults that come with being a very well used car. Take a look at the after photo up above and it’s incredible to see how much of the original paint bounced back to a lovely dark-green luster, which was then clear-coated once suitably sanded down.

The interior was also beyond salvation, revealing the impact of years of use but not much in the way of regular detailing. The seller perhaps did even more work inside the car, and the results (below) speak for themselves. Before we get to that, however, it’s worth noting the seller also replaced the windshield; removed all fixed glass and replaced window seals; installed four new tires; and removed and replaced both bumpers and corresponding sets of brackets. The work done to the exterior was not over the top, just addressing the immediate needs without distorting the awesome patina. While little is said about its mechanical condition, the seller notes it runs and drives well – oh, and the original floorboards were found to be rust-free.

I applaud the seller for going somewhat overboard inside the Beetle, as there’s nothing like sitting down inside a classic car that just feels clean. Honestly, it can be ratty as hell on the outside, but if the interior is a pleasant place to spend time, you can live with half the paint missing for years. The list of improvements is extensive, and I doubt the seller even wants to tally up how much was spent inside. The work includes all new upholstery, leather headliner with matching package tray, new seat foam, replacement door panel seals, and more – it should come as no surprise that the seller is a restoration shop that does everything from mild refreshes to full frame-off projects. For $6K, it seems like you’re getting a fantastic Beetle with a great story – what’s not to love?


  1. jmolsn Member

    Love it!!!!

    Like 6
  2. alphasud Member

    I own a 71 Super Beetle that was originally this green with the linen interior. This is a Super so it has the strut front suspension. Rust free cars are getting harder to find. Bought mine in San Diego when I was doing a job in CA. Mine got restored and eventually received a 2.5 SOHC Subaru engine, pro street transaxle with Quafe differential, 4 wheel discs, and Fuchs wheels from a 911.
    I had to sell it but the new owner called me 5 years later and I bought it back. Now it sits waiting to be restored again.

    Like 11
  3. stilbo

    For $6K I’d expect the exterior to look as good as the interior… Even a “splash job” refinish would look better.

    Like 4
    • MBorst

      Rather have the outside left alone than a cheap “splash job”. Yes $6000 is a little much for this classic. Maybe closer to $3-4000 Max. Beetles are fun and way to tinker with. Parts like all parts are get expensive tho.

      Like 1
  4. Bob C.

    This car found a happy ending. It will be happier if the new owner continues making it nicer

    Like 2
  5. John C.

    Yes people do throw out cars that are still good or easily fixable, my friend has been scrapping cars for about 10 years, he tells me stories all the time about a car that someone took to a “mechanic” and they told them it needed a new motor, etc. so they scrapped it, when he got it home it was just something simple, he is still driving 2 cars from a year ago or more that someone scrapped and only had something minor wrong. Luckily him and myself are all for saving older cars that still run and look decent.

    Like 3
    • Rabbit

      My first three Beetles were $50 specials that didn’t run. Like you stated, a “mechanic” told the owners that the motor was shot. After picking them up on the cheap, I found that all three had just puked out their pushrods, because the owners & “mechanics” didn’t know enough to set the valves every 5000 miles. Popped them back on, fast tune-up, & made enough on them to buy my first legally registered car, a pretty nice 15 year old 66 Impala SS.

      Like 3
  6. Bob McK Member

    Nice job on the interior. Hopefully the new owner will do the same with the exterior. Lots of work and money to complete this. Glad it was saved.

  7. Moparman Member

    He left off the front bumper guards! I like this green, and I would have to refinish the exterior! GLWTA! :-)

    Like 1
    • Puhnto

      Looks like he replaced the original bumper with a cheap after market bumper. Too bad too as the replacement bumpers don’t have the thick rubber strip or the fairly rare, optional guards. The new one may be shinier but is much less desirable. I hope they kept the original for the new owners.

      Like 1
  8. Miguel

    For the $6000.00 he is offering it restored, right?

    I read the descrption.

    They did the old sand and clear coat over the horrible paint trick.

    For this price I can get the nicest Mexican Beetle, even the 2004 Final Edition ever made.

    No thanks

    It was good he added a whole 5 pictures to his Ebay ad though.

    Like 2
    • Gary D. Oliver

      Sure Miguel, there’s a Mexican Beetle on for $14,750. You better grab those Mexican Beetles and even the 2004 final editions if you can find them for less than $6000.00

    • Mountainwoodie

      No bueno, hombre. They could have painted it…I mean it is a restoration shop. I couldn’t have NOT painted it. The human mind is indeed impenetrable at times.

      Like 1
  9. TimM

    It’s great in my opinion to save as many old cars as possible!!! There not making cool stuff like this anymore!! 6 large is a little much I do agree but the time it took to get the interior that nice I don’t think the owner is swimming in cash!! Good job!!

  10. Steve RM

    Paint it.

  11. Louis Chen

    For $6000 is too much for an outside patinaed exterior is too high! From the pictures, this VeeDub has the wrong front lid! The lid looks like a ’71 Super Beetle but the windshield is from a regular Bug. The ’71 Super Beetle had the “bulging” windshield and the front struts suspension and a 60 HP 1600 engine. I still have my ’71 Super Beetle on it’s 4 engine rebuilt and the original Auto Stick Shift trans.with new clutch and the vac & electro sensor and the original “Marina Blue” paint. She’s my special “Baby” as well as a daily driver. The mods that I’ve done are electronic ignition and hydraulic lifter on the newest engine courtesy of a upgraded Mexican engine. You can’t a simplier car today!

    • Steve RM

      The 71 Super Beetle did not have the bulging window. That started in 73.

      Like 3

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