Rust Free Oval: 1957 Volkswagen Beetle

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We just wrote up a listing on eBay for an oval window Beetle in Florida, one that had significant rust issues but was selling so cheaply it was hard to ignore. As I rarely take my own advice, I shudder a bit when I say that you may put less money into a rust-free survivor like this 1957 Volkswagen Beetle, another oval window, that’s offered for sale at $12,500. If you ever want to restore another car, you should never total up your bills to see if you’re in over your head. In this case, the early model Beetle seen here on Facebook Marketplace looks like a much smarter buy, if for no other reason than all the hard to find trim pieces are still attached (oh, and it has no rust.)

The seller says it still needs restoration, but I have a feeling this is the California definition of a project car versus the snow- or rust-belt version of a project car. The Beetle has no rust, for God’s sake, which is something you never get a chance to say here in the northeast when a car is dragged from its long-term slumber. So, perhaps he is just speaking about the need to sort out the mechanical bits before driving it down the road, which it absolutely looks like it will do, especially with the tires still holding air. The bullet-style turn signals are another hallmark of an older model, and those and the chrome bumpers look to be in fine shape.

The seller claims the Beetle has been sitting since 1975, and wherever that was, it must have been dry and secure. The Beetle doesn’t show any of the typical signs of neglect, other than being dusty and dirty. The dash is complete and the interior trim looks surprisingly nice for a vehicle that has been parked for decades. Mouse intrusion, of course, is always a possibility, but you won’t be able to deduct that until you see the Beetle up close. The painted dash may indicate that the exterior retains its original colors, and the bucket seats certainly look like the same ones it had when it rolled off the dealer lot in 1957.

To top it all off, the seller claims that the engine is numbers matching, and that it still turns over! That’s just incredible, and may even indicate that a previous owner did all the right prep work for the Beetle to be off the road for a few years or more. The rear chrome bumper with overriders is a staple of the earlier models, along with the narrow taillights. The oval window, though, is what gets Bug fanatics all hot and bothered, but this one would still be appealing without it given the high state of preservation. The question as to whether it’s better to start with a solid foundation versus saving a few bucks and buying a ruffian will always rage on, but in the case of the California versus Florida ovals, I choose California.

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  1. Johnny

    Nice little car,but $12,500??????? It probably cost $800 new,plus he got his money back out of it buy useing it a good many years. Let,s be reasonable and say$2,500. Its no Barret Jackson and everyone ,s pockets is not stuffed with green backs. Plus they froze your buns off,but was good on slick roads.In the 60,s one sat on a car lot hear for along time. No one would have it because no heat and it was German made. People still had hard feelings about WW2

    Like 12
    • Steve R

      That’s funny. Since when do random people on a website get to determine what a seller gets it ask for their car? It may or may not be worth $12,500, but the suggestion that the seller should ask $2,500 is a joke, to put it kindly.

      Steve R

      Like 30
      • Dave

        This is the virtual equivalent of a bar, where us barflies argue about the attributes and relative worth of whatever our gracious hosts out up for us. That said…the axiom about buying the car that needs the least amount of time, money, and work comes into play here. Two other axioms come into play here as well: how badly do you want to sell it and how badly do you want to buy it?
        The true value of anything is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it…unless you live in the West Allegheny school district, in which case the school board will determine the value of your home regardless of what you paid for it. States that tax you based upon the value of your car use the KBB and not the price you negotiated.

        Like 12
      • Scott

        Everyone has an opinion and its a free country. Keep on scrolling if it bothers you.

        Like 12
      • David Taylor

        He can “ask” for $1Mill but he ain’t gonna get it! The description SOUNDS like the car is a bargain for $12,500 EXCEPT for a couple of points.
        1) No Rust – in the pix I can clearly see several small – and at least one large – areas that APPEAR to be rust.
        2) Needs restoration – what the heck does THAT mean/ I have seen similar VWs with new paint and good running for HALF that amount.
        3) Engine has all matching numbers – I ain’t no mechanic, but it seems to me that matching number don’t mean a lot if it don’t run or if the engine is “frozen”.

        Like 8
    • David D Taylor

      NO RUST?!?!? Then, pray tell, what is the brown spot on the “trunk” (engine cover?

      Like 1
  2. T

    Had the same car, even the same color. Sold it in 1973 for $75.00.

    Like 4
    • Racer-x

      20 years old is generally a cars lowest value if its to ever become a “collector” or interest model. If not, then the value just keeps dropping. Factor in inflation (or really dollar dilution) 100 dollars in 1957 is equivalent to 950 dollars in 2020.

      Oval beetles are collectible. The dollar becomes worth less every year because its not backed by silver or gold.

      Like 9
    • moosie moosie

      @ ” T ” , You should have held onto yours for either more money or for waiting for it to be worth more money. The collectible car market is a strange & wonderful place. But I do think no matter how nice this one appears to be I dont see it being worth any wheres near $12,500. Especially in its non running condition.

      Like 6
    • Will

      I bought one just like it in ’76 for $280. It was the first car I ever bought.

      Like 0
  3. Bob

    IMHO it’s always “one man’s treasure is another man’s trash” & viceversa…

    Like 0
  4. Classic Steel

    I would say the owner is not too far off the price and did his homework. Its a buyers market and demand sets pricing and VWs are a great iconic car.
    The body looks solid and with all original numbers matching is very good for value.
    To our 2500 hundred person .. might I suggest Hagerty as a future bookmark. 👍

    Like 1
    • Fred

      nice try, that was a link to 1958 values. The 1957 values are only 2500 bucks :-)

      Like 0
  5. RayZ

    “This is the virtual equivalent of a bar, where us barflies argue about the attributes and relative worth of whatever our gracious hosts out up for us.”
    I just love this analogy. I couldn’t of expressed my feelings about this site any better.

    Like 11
  6. Eric_13cars Eric_13carsMember

    Notice the accelerator pedal is like a hockey puck on end…a roller that sits between 2 prongs, like a tuning fork. My baby-sitter (when I was 6 or so) had one (back in the mid-fifties, to be clear :-)) and even at that age, I recognized the strange pedal and the turn signal flags on the B-pillars.

    Like 2
  7. Terry T

    Bought my 1956 VW new for $1640….traded it in on a new 1962 and got $800 towards the $2000 purchase price of tgher new 1962VW.

    Like 0
  8. Robert Pellow

    I have a horn button from a 58 that might fit this car.

    Like 1
  9. cmarvMember

    I’d be real surprised if he don’t get real close to the asking price . Old VW’s are going off the charts . JMO.

    Like 4
  10. Tempo Matador Ray

    Hey Jeff,
    Nice feature. I love all things vintage air-cooled. This appears to be quite complete and solid. For anyone interested in what the air-cooled world is doing…check out “”
    This may help you navigate through the prices various models and years command. Steve R 👍👏

    Like 3
  11. CaCarDude

    In Jan ’66 (senior HS year) I was driving my brothers 57 bug black on red, at 35 mph city street I was hit head on by a jeep doing about the same speed, impact turned the jeep on it driver side, the bug held ground, totalled of course. I got a busted left knee and my passenger (best friend) got a two week stay in local ICU, both survived of course by miracle I guess, but shows you the bug is one stout little car. Funny I went on to buy and drive a ’56 after that incident and did till I was drafted in ’68. My brother got into ’40 Ford coupes after that. I never dreamed the old bugs would be so valuable today, amazing and I still like them to this day.

    Like 5
  12. Charles Sawka

    I have restored a number of these as well as early busses. When you find one that A. isn’t eaten by rust and B. has its original drive train intact. It’s worth whatever you have to pay to get it ! And I’m not gonna say anything about finding some of the original bits that this one has. Most have been decimated by weather and careless modifications.

    Like 1
  13. Kenton Briscoe

    It’s such a weird feeling seeing these cars now knowing that at one point in my life I would have walked away if it were for sale for any amount over a thousand bucks. Anyway, I do feel that as long as a seller is open to a realistic offer (and not offended by it) that they can set the bar high. Some people would rather keep a car than “give it away”. Also, my dad always said that “you can’t order a used car” so, when a buyer finds close to what he is looking for, he or she might just step up and pay the price.

    Like 1
  14. Solosolo UK SolosoloMember

    If memory serves me correctly the centre of the floor carpet looks like it is held in place by the reserve tank lever.

    Like 0
  15. MitchRossMember

    In 1935 I bought a hamburger and a coke for 5 cents

    Like 0
    • CaCarDude

      In 1965 I bought a Donut and cup of coffee for .05 cent each. Per our Cooper donuts back in the day.

      Like 0
  16. Double D

    Nice 57 12,500 if i didnt have my poker all the way in the fire right now on my restoration Super Beetle. I couldnt get my hand in my pocket fast enough.I would pay 12,500 all day long!

    Like 2
  17. Double D

    For 12,500 its a steal if it has a numbers matching engine 25,000 all day long

    Like 1
  18. Dougie

    Worth every penny of $12,500. That’s chump change for an oval. Plus the way things are going, it’ll be worth $20k in 5 years.

    Like 0

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