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Think Summer: 1966 VW Bug Convertible

There’s nothing like a classic VW Beetle convertible to get your mind thinking of summer days and car shows. Right now, the temperature in New England is dipping down into the 20s at night and it’s downright unpleasant to be outside. That’s why I flagged this Beetle drop-top here on craigslist, to think warm thoughts and how I’d restore this $4K project. 

The pictures certainly aren’t the greatest, but what I can see shows me all I want to know: this is an early-model Bug with the attractive chrome bumpers, slim taillights and recessed head lamps. The seller says there is “0 rust,” which I can only infer means there is no rot present. That’s good news, as Beetles of this generation often need an entire floor pan transplant if they’ve been neglected.

I wonder if that no rust claim also means original paint? It looks like it could be, and I believe a sort of primrose yellow was an available color on Beetles of this generation. The seller says he simply has too many projects to take on and needs to let this one go, only getting as far as new tires and new brakes before letting it descend into the “ran when parked” category. Thankfully, it appears to have been stored indoors.

The Beetle retains its 6V configuration, but not much else is said about the vehicle’s mechanical status. I did notice in this photo that the underside of the engine lid is a different cover, but given the car is the same color on every panel, I’m guessing this was a replacement engine lid that was quickly repainted to match. Overall, the price seems fair and this Bug soft-top seems like a great buy for the price – what do you think?


  1. Todd Zuercher

    Ditch those high back buckets first!

  2. OhU8one2

    Seats are out of a 68 and newer bug. Car appears to be in outstanding shape. Rear engine cover is the correct one. It has the air slots across the top of deck lid. The 66 model was first year for 1300cc engine,hazard warning light switch. And final year with 6volt electrics. Looking at the engine picture,and if car runs as good as she looks, then this old bug is in my honest opinion,a good value. But I must warn you,convertible VW’s,especially bugs,rust in all kinds of places. So please check the car out very well before making an offer.

  3. Rick

    Inside of the deck lid should be the same color as the outside. My bet is more bondo than metal in this car…

    • Puhnto

      Yeah, but maybe not. From personal experience, there’s always some idiot in a Jeep Cherokee with his big stupid bumpers who doesn’t manage to stop until he’s dented your engine lid all out of shape and you have to replace it with whatever is available! (Leaving the rest of the car without a scratch. No Bondo necessary.)

  4. Somer

    That would be an early 66. Mid year they went to 12 Volts.

  5. Cody King

    Owned a 57 rag for 30 years and sold it. Good luck finding quality parts, just Mex and Braz junk. The engine thermo isn’t available anywhere anymore, for ex. Etc. etc. etc. Nice to have one sitting or for doodling but keeping one on the road scouring the planet for real German parts, nein danke.

    • Chuck

      I have a ’65. Cip1 has German parts. Also, Wolfsberg West sells pretty good stuff.

    • Lisa Doran

      If you l live on the south shore (Massachusetts) Murphy brothers have been working on VWDUBs since 58″ they brought my 69″ one owner barn find vert back!! He only uses German parts!!!

  6. PMcC

    The color name, if originally yellow, would have been Yukon Yellow.

  7. jaymes

    nice top, rust hides really well in the rockers on these

  8. MGSteve

    I believe the colors used on these ‘verts were different than used on the same year bugs/sedans. At least they were in the mid-50’s, and I believe the practice was carried forward as long as the ‘verts were made in the Karmann factory. I learned this the hard way, while restoring a 57 ‘vert. Ultimately, I determined my color to be “Bamboo” (bambus in German). This car looks similar, but without seeing it up close and clean, I wouldn’t want to bet on it. Just don’t assume with these ‘vert that ” . . . . it’s just like a Bug”. Not so much.

  9. Chuck

    If I had more room…

    (Already have one Bug and two TR6s to work on. Shops a bit crowded. And, two of the DDs need attention.)

  10. Gary Hamilton

    Add is down, sold?

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