1957 VW Beetle

Beetle Cabriolet by Karmann

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1957
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
    33810
  • Engine number 
    1648844
  • Lot number 
    1
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Horizon Blue
  • Interior colour 
    Blue
  • Interior type 
    Leather
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    4
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Blue
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Classic '57 Beetle Convertible

A stunning example of one of Volkswagen's marquee-year Type 1 Beetle Cabriolets. This beautiful Beetle features many rare and sought after factory options, including; Petri full circle horn ring, Dehne gas gauge, clear needle VDO trip speedometer, Perohaus grill clock and accessory center arm rest. It’s finished in period correct Horizon Blue with Blue leather interior and comes from the world-reknown VW and Microcar collection of Dr. Robert “Mac” Jones. A very rare car and rarer still to find at this level of restoration and quality of finish.

History of #1371400

Not a lot is known about the history of this cabriolet prior to approximately 20 years ago. At that time, Volkswagen Super-collector Dr. “Mac” Jones, was told about a beautifully rust free California 1957 Volkswagen Cabriolet that had been prepped for a restoration. He flew to California, inspected the car, purchased it and had it delivered to marquess specialist for a complete nut and bolt restoration. When the car was finished, it was delivered to Dr. Jones in Tennessee and added to his amazing collection. It was to remain on display in his collection and shown at various Volkswagen events until early 2015, when it was shipped to G And S Motors of Fletcher North Carolina. Along with several other wonderful VW examples from his collection, this Beetle Cabriolet was mechanically serviced and cosmetically massaged back to it's stunning post-restoration condition.

The Story of the VW Beatle by Karmann

In 1948 Wilhelm Karmann bought a VW Beetle sedan and converted it into a four-seated convertible. The Beetle Cabriolet began production in 1949 by Karmann in Osnabruck. The convertible was more than a Beetle with a folding top. To compensate for the strength lost in removing the roof, the sills were reinforced with welded U-channel rails, a transverse beam was fitted below the front edge of the rear seat cushion, and the side cowl-panels below the instrument panel were double-wall. Also, the lower corners of the door apertures had welded-in curved gussets, and the doors had secondary alignment wedges at the B-pillar.The top was cabriolet-style with a full inner headliner hiding the folding mechanism and crossbars. In between the two top layers was one inch of insulation. The rear window was tempered safety glass. In 1954, Volkswagen increased engine displacement from 1100cc to 1200cc, which increased power from 30hp to 36hp.

Restoration

Complete, bare metal, nut and bolt restoration by Bob Koch of Koch’s Restoration approximately 20 years ago. The car began the restoration as a solid, rust free, California car. Recent cosmetic and mechanical refurbishment by VW Specialist Tim Hayes and Master Mechanic Ned Gallaher at G And S Motors, Fletcher NC.

Market Trends

Classic Volkswagens have been steadily rising in value, but it's unlikely to see a convertible of this quality on the market or sold at public auction. The last car of equivalent finish and condition to sell publicly was a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet by Karmann, which sold for $82,500 at RM's Auction at Amelia Island in March 2014. The condition and finish of that car are well known to both this writer and Dr. Mac Jones, as that car was also from his collection and refreshed at G & S Motors.

Summary

This is a rare opportunity to obtain a Volkswagen of this era, finished to this standard and fitted with these options. To restore a car to this standard today would probably cost more than the $55,000 to $65,000 estimated value in parts, bodywork and paint alone.