Stored 45 Years: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

With more than 21 million Volkswagen “Bugs” built between 1938 and 2003, you’d think you’d see more of them around today. But they were simple, economical cars built to be used by the masses and then discarded. Fortunately, this example from 1963 didn’t end up being scrapped but instead found its way into a barn where hay was stored. It may have only recently emerged after being there since 1976. Located in St. Clairsville, Ohio, this Beetle is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $9,500.

The Volkswagen Beetle (as we know it in the U.S.) was officially the VW Type 1. As the “people’s car” (Volkswagen in German), it was the brainchild of none other than the leader of the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler. The concept was handed off to lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche and his team who finalized the design of the automobile in 1938. World War II prevented production from taking off until the late 1940s. It would become the world’s longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made.

Beetle production was eventually spread out to several countries and the 1963 model year would see 838,000 copies made, the car’s second-best year until that time. For whatever reason, this Bug was taken off the road after 44,000 miles and ended up in a barn. When it came out of hibernation, the seller replaced the brake hydraulics and the battery and got it running again. The tires are shot after all those years, so a new set of rubbers will be needed before taking this car out on the road. But it should start up with no fuss and idle like the last 45 years never happened. The owner’s manual reads “1200” on it which would equate to an 1192 cc engine.

For those who enjoy a faded, patina look in an old car, this one has it in spades. You could leave it just as it is or put a fresh coat of red paint on the Beetle, Rust doesn’t seem to be an issue except there is a small hole in the battery pan and the lower plate on the frame head could stand replacing. The interior looks passable although the driver’s bucket seat should get reupholstered (or matching duct tape applied). Everything about this VW speaks “original” from the drivetrain right down to the radio-delete plate on the dashboard. These once-cheap-to-buy wheels are no longer that as Hagerty puts $50,000 as top dollar for one now in Concours condition, with “Good” being worth close to $15,000.

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Comments

  1. Curt Lemay

    Adolph was a big admirer of Henry Ford. (for reasons I will not go into here, they are pretty nasty. Google if you just got to know) Unfortunately, it was a big farce from the start on the German people who plunked down huge down payments for future cars, few would ever be delivered. The money was really used for war production before 1939, and after the war, none of the money was left to repay the poor Deutschlanders. Porsche did come up with a pretty nifty little bug, though.

    Like 9
    • Racer-X

      To the victor goes the spoils of war and the pen with which to write its history. “Google” lol.

      Like 5
      • Rob

        uh, yeah. Adolf was indeed an admirer Ford and the feeling seemed to be mutual, like Curt stated. If the spoils of war were written with by pen of the victors, then I’m certainly glad the Allies did the writing. No need for Google, the right guys won –

        Like 11
    • Gerard Frederick

      Real good there Lemay. Right out of Sefton Delmers propaganda broadcasts. History is written by the winners who, in your case take great liberties with historical facts. There is absolutely nothing as easy as to besmirch Hitler or Ford, or how about Voltaire or Carell, or any number of giants of civilization like Wagner or Saint Thomas Aquinas, you know, all those ¨nasties¨ who shared the same opinions over centuries about the same ¨subjects¨.Let´s stick to cars, it´s a marvelous subject and everyone can agree in prinicipal on everything relative to those marvelous machines 4 or 3 wheels.

      Like 10
  2. Ralph

    My understanding was the feeling between Hitler and Ford was somewhat mutual. When it came to tolerance of race or religious background they were like Beavis and Butthead. I was not around then, but my Grandfather knew Ford well his entire life and retired from the FOMOCO. Said as he aged Ford became even more disagreeable.
    Oh yeah, grew up riding in these bad boys, nice cool car!

    Like 6
    • Skorzeny

      You are correct. Ford was a known anti-Semite and though I don’t know how much of an admirer of Hitler he was, there is that rumor. And the Beetle was a very close copy of the Tatra 97, but it was marketed way better by
      the Germans

      Like 7
      • Mariposansy

        I believe the beetle was copied after the Renault 4cv, Porsche had seen the prototype during the occupation of the French factory

        Like 1
    • 370zpp

      I hate to see Beavis and Butthead maligned like that.

      Like 7
      • Dave

        Couch fishing with Adolf and Hank?

        Like 2
  3. Charles Sawka

    How much ? SMH

  4. Charles Sawka

    Do you know what old motor oil does to the cases when these things sit for years ? It’s not usually a pretty sight

    Like 3
  5. Murdo John MacLeod

    I bought a new 1963 VW in Anchorage, Alaska and drove it across the Alcan Highway(all gravel at that time) to Naples ,Florida. I drove a 1957 VW from Biloxi, MS to Anchorage in 1962 with no problems. Had a total of 6 VW’s, with the last one being a 1973 convertible sporting a gas heater and air conditioning.

    Like 1
  6. Big Papi

    WAY OVER PRICED!
    Maybe, and I mean maybe a $1000 car at best, especially considering the frame head issues and pan issue.

    Like 4
    • Kurt

      BP- you are right on. I learned the hard way that the rag top Beetles are worth the money, not the hard tops

      Like 2
  7. Dan Joyce

    The beetle (type 1) was developed of course by Porsche from a few ideas he borrowed from a vehicle known as the Standard Superior. Air-cooled,rear engined 2-stroke. Sounded like a popcorn popper when it ran!

  8. Gerard Frederick

    Ya right. Porsche ¨copied¨ and then there was Tatra, designed by Ledwinka who was a college buddy of Porsche´s and now we have Standard??. Sure enough – the greatest designer of all time copied away like mad. And then of course the pop corn popper 2-strokes. Frankly I miss them, especially the DKW 3=6 variety – what a gas they were to drive around. Surely DKW copied those from some genius. Couldn´t possibly be originators, sort of like Porsche and his 16 cylinder Auto Union racing cars, or his tank, The Mouse, or his electric land-train of 1915, or rear-engined Mercedes Benz 150H.

    Like 1
  9. Garry

    I owned a 1300 Beetle, took it many places that I shouldn’t have; a 4WD would have been more appropriate. However, its legendary reliability gave me confidence to travel places that I wouldn’t have.
    But they weren’t as reliable as the legend says, plus I cracked the chassis on mine a couple of times in much the same manner that Redex Reliability Trial VW Beetles did. Further, they do catch fire very easily in a front ender!
    As the saying goes, Hitler made three bombs, the V1, the V2, and the VW!
    However, spares should be more readily available for the last one than the first two!

    Like 4
  10. Onree Member

    Just because a design is influenced by something that went before does not necessarily make it a “copy.”

    Like 1
  11. MitchRoss Member

    I always loved how Barn Finds attracted all sorts, just didn’t expect Nazis.

    • Quidditas

      They were really insulted …

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