One of the 20th Century's truly great automobiles, the Volkswagen 'Beetle' lived down its origin as Hitler's 'people's car' to become an all-time best-seller and cult classic. The Beetle was continuously up-dated from the time post-war production commenced in 1945, acquiring subtly altered coachwork, improved running gear and larger engines. Development proceeded slowly to begin with, the first major change to the original design being made in 1953 when a larger, 1,192cc engine was introduced on the '1200' model. Export models were built to a higher specification, incorporating hydraulic brakes and synchromesh gears, but even as late as 1962 the standard saloon was being built with cable brakes and a non-synchromesh gearbox! Greater window area and revised, ball-jointed front suspension were among the most significant developments for 1965, and in the following year the standard, 34bhp 1200 model was joined by the new 1300 equipped with the more powerful 50bhp engine. By the time European production ceased in 1974, a staggering 21,000,000-plus Beetles of all types had been made.
This Beetle 1300 was purchased at Bonhams & Brooks' sale at the RAF Museum, Hendon in April 2001 (Lot 470). At that time it was reported as totally original, having covered only 39,000 miles from new (the odometer reading when submitted for an MoT test in February 2015 was 39,052 miles). 'MPF 790L' formed part of the Haynes Motor Museum's collection for the ten-or-so years prior to 2001 and was described at that time as in immaculate condition throughout: never restored or repainted and finished in its original blue livery with dark blue interior. Sold strictly as viewed, the car is offered with a V5 registration document, MoT failure notice and bill. Items requiring attention include the lights, brakes and windscreen washer.