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Solid As Sears: 1957 Volkswagen Beetle

1957 Volkswagen Beetle

We all love a good oval window Beetle so when the owner’s wife contacted us about this one, I thought it might be worth a mention. The seller is very enthusiastic about the car’s condition and perhaps they have reason to be. It does look solid, but it’s still going to need a lot of work. It was supposedly parked for 40 years in anticipation of a restoration that never happened. There is proof that it had been thoroughly enjoyed at some point though, including a few aftermarket additions and a remanufactured engine from Sears. The seller mentions that this car could be worth a decent amount after a full restoration, but personally I would just clean it and get it running again. The current bid here on eBay is nearing current market value for a car in this condition, so that might be the best route to take anyway. So, anyone know what the heck a “Belin Beetle” is?


  1. John Shepherd

    I think they mean Berlin Beetle

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      That’s what I thought too, but it looks like that’s the spelling on the sticker.

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  2. Kenzo

    My guess is that Belin was the dealer so a dealer applied window decal with Belin Beetle in lieu of today,s trunk decal or licence plate frame.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Good thinking. That would make sense.

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  3. David C

    It refers to a VW dealership in El Paso, Texas that was owned by “George Belin”. He had been a manager in Houston and then moved and started or took over the dealership in El Paso.

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  4. Dinosaurdoctor

    I may never get used to three hundred dollar cars selling for three to five thousand. It’s been several colors, Doesn’t seem to have a straight panel on the thing, Hasn’t run in forty years, Will leak from every orifice that has oil left behind it, And someone is going to give an arm and a leg for it. Relax folks, It just me and my sour grapes for not buying these things and storing them away for crazies to buy when they were three hundred bucks and drive able from a dealer.

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  5. Tom S.

    “This is a numbers matching car….The engine is the correct 36 horse power motor, though it seems to have been from a ’58 model originally. It’s actually kind of neat because the shroud has a plate stating it was rebuilt by Sears…”

    I guess that in seller’s world, “numbers matching” means the engine can be from a different car.

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  6. Woodie Man

    This puppy is a mish mash of parts from different cars, seats from another bug, car might have been black or dark red , hard to tell. Sears engine. Nice artifact but why its worth three grand is beyond me.

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  7. MountainMan

    This VW is a great deal at three grand. I would take six at that price. I’m 41 and have bought countless air cooled VW’s for $25-$100 back in the day but times have changed and just about any oval window beetle is going to bring $5,000 in any reasonable and complete condition. I wouldn’t want to do a full restoration on this one as it does have some issues but let’s not get all uppity like this is that trailer site yall!
    I’ve been traveling for a few months in the RV and have made it to the west coast. It’s cool to see old cars and trucks that haven’t been gobbled up by the tin worm. Although I’m currently in Washington state and in the area east of Seattle that has an environment that covers anything stationary in lovely green moss. I’ve seen ads for cars covered by moss but to see them actually sitting there is pretty amazing / sad

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  8. Steve

    When I graduated from high school 1968 my folks gave me a 1960 bug, off white, similar in color to this. Ran it back and forth from Long Island NY to college in Hartford, Conn. A lot!!
    After a couple of years I gave it up for a ’67 Chevy II, 6 cyl. It was a good car but in retrospect (as usual) I could probably still be driving the bug! It is what it is. No kicks for a 20 year old but nostalgic as hell for a 64 year old!!

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  9. Rich

    Well I’ll agree with the seller, it looks solid and restorable although I suspect there’s some hidden filler under that awful paint, and a previous owner has had a good go at “restoring” the car using red oxide paint on the floors etc. Could well be a semaphore car, the aftermarket fuel gauge is also a nice thing to have.
    I was going to call bullshit on the 40 years of storage after seeing that voltage inverter, but then I realised 1974 is 41 years ago. I got old without realising!
    What has been bolted through the floorpan, mounts for the later seats?

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  10. Ron Daily

    Rich. the early beetles had no provision for seat belts. The bolts and large washers are for the added front belts.

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  11. toolbox

    Those fuel gauges sell for a decent price to the guys that need cool accessories.

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  12. jim s

    this is going to need a lot of work/money but if you want an oval, here it is. still has the reserve lever for the gas tank on the toe wall above the tunnel ( a lot of good funny stories there ) and a wheel for the gas pedal. great find

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  13. George Belin

    When I was Volkswagen dealer in El Paso, TX the corporate slogan was “I’m a Belin Beetle” and we installed the sticker in every Volkswagen sold.

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