1956 Volkswagen Beetle Oval Ragtop

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Highlights 

  • Highly sought after oval window example 
  • Extensively restored in 2022 to its correct original condition
  • “Pleasure to drive in any weather” 
  • Type 117 Ragtop with original canvas roof
  • Featuring loads of rare original options

The Appeal 

Between 1953 and 1957, the VW Beetle featured an iconic yet rare oval rear window. Today, this is the version of the car that everyone aspires to own and someone will get the chance to do just that with this 1956 car. 

Having been imported from the US in recent years, it went through something of a restoration project in 2022. This job included mechanical and aesthetic work, meaning the car now presents in a fantastic condition.  

Visually stunning, it is finished in a wonderfully bright specification. Mechanically, the owner describes the car as being a pleasure to drive, no doubt thanks to the adorable 1200cc air-cooled engine sat over the rear axle. The car carries a lots of specific original options.
EMPI COACH steering wheel, LEHMAN exhaust tip, glovebox tabs, VDO clock, single flower vase, windscreen washer tank in glass, California registration plate support,  "shiftlock" antitheft on gear-lever, Porsche 356 wheel covers,  cigarette-lighter,  rearwindow screen, COCO mat floors,

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History and Paperwork 

  • Produced for the US market in 1956 
  • First delivered to San Fransisco in 1956 
  • Partially restored in the US during its time there 
  • Imported to Europe a few years ago 
  • Fully registered in France 
  • Lots of aesthetic and mechanical work done in 2022 
  • Government technical inspection (contrôle technique) valid until October 2024 
  • Recent service history present 
  • Wolfsburg VW birth certificate with the car 



The Interior 

  • Fully retrimmed interior 
  • Delightful patina in places 
  • Adorable specification 
Much like the exterior, the interior cabin of this 1956 VW Beetle is a bright, airy place to be, in no small part thanks to its specification. In fact, the ragtop roof in its open position lets light bounce throughout the light colour upholstery.  

Cream leather adorns the seats and door cards whilst the equally light body paint colour features on the dashboard. These shades pair well with the wood rim steering wheel, light brown carpets and wicker shelf compartment. Thanks to a full interior retrim completed in 2022, the cabin presents in a wonderful condition, especially the seats which look to have been rarely used since. 

Throughout the cabin, one will spot chrome fixtures such as the door handles, window winders, instrument surrounds and steering wheel structure. These all shine well all whilst showing some light patina in places giving the car a sense of experience and maturity. This is most noticeable around the rev counter. 

Under the front bonnet sits the boot which is also upholstered with the cabin’s light brown carpet. A full-size spare wheel and fuel tank also display plenty of patina. 

The Exterior 

  • Oval rear window is rare and sought after  
  • Great chrome fixtures throughout 
  • Cream paint looks in fantastic condition 
Being a 1956 model, this VW Beetle features the sought after oval rear window rather than the more common rectangular design. In fact, this shape was only available in the early days of Beetle production from 1953 to 1957. 

The car is finished in a cream paint colour that fits the Beetle’s overall adorable shape well. This is complemented by lots of chrome throughout the body from the chunky bumpers to the classy accents and light surrounds. Having been through the aforementioned aesthetic work in 2022, the car presents in great condition with a fantastic paint job, good chrome trim and a seemingly solid body. 

There are however some spots of surface corrosion. The beside the rear bumper and under the bonnet are the most noticeable areas. But the owner informs us that it does not go deeper.  

The Porsche-badged hub caps look to be in great condition as well whilst a recent set of white-wall tyres complete the old-school look.

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The Mechanics 

  • 1.2-litre flat-four engine, 30hp 
  • “A pleasure to drive in any weather for any distance” 
  • Mechanical work done in 2022 
  • The 1st gear pops out, probably needs gearbox nose needs attention
Chirping away behind the cabin of this early VW Beetle sits its 1.2-litre air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine. This wonderful unit sends all of its 30hp to the rear wheels via its four-speed manual split case gearbox. First gear pops out sometimes and needs a gearbox nose fix, however car can still be driven any other gear no problem.

Thanks to recent work done to maintaining the model, the car should still provide all of its power with very few ponies expected to have escaped. Furthermore, whilst the car does not feature much history from its time in the US, it has been regularly serviced since arriving in Europe. As a result, the owner describes the car as being “a pleasure to drive” adding that it can run in any weather and as far as needs be.

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Summary 

In very good condition following lots of work done last year, this sought after oval window VW Beetle from 1956 is certainly ready to be enjoyed by its next owner. With some patina, it is showing just the right amount of life experience whilst being in brilliant mechanical health.

BEFORE YOU BUY 
This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
The seller is registered as a private seller which means consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not come into effect. However, you are still covered by Car & Classic’s own Terms and Conditions.. 
We request that a non-refundable fee  be paid if you are the lucky winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted Please refer to our helpful FAQs and T&Cs for specific rates. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
We want a smooth transaction just as much as you do and as such we run all UK-registered cars and motorbikes for sale on Car & Classic through an online HPI check to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing, allowing you to bid with confidence. 
✓ We also check whether vehicles are recorded as being written off as part of an insurance total loss claim at the time an advert is placed on Car & Classic and we helpfully provide write-off category labels (Cat C/D/S/N) for your assistance. However, the presence or absence of a label does not guarantee the vehicle’s status and it is always worthwhile carrying out your own  full vehicle history check before making an offer on a vehicle. 
✓Buyers are responsible for vehicle collection 
or delivery. Importing vehicles may result in additional customs duties and import taxes so it’s worth checking beforehand.. If requested, we may refer you to a third-party shipping company who can help. For more details and to speak to the team, email [email protected] 

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Auction FAQs
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1956
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Beetle
  • Colour Beige
  • Odometer 83,000 Kilometres
  • Engine size 1200
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Ardèche
  • Country France
Bidding history
11 bids from 5 bidders
  • lolo-ri•••• €21,000 19/06/24
  • ca6371c•••• €20,000 19/06/24
  • lolo-ri•••• €19,000 19/06/24
  • ca6371c•••• €16,500 19/06/24
  • lolo-ri•••• €14,000 18/06/24
  • ca6371c•••• €12,500 18/06/24
  • lolo-ri•••• €10,000 18/06/24
  • allen.e•••• €8,500 18/06/24
  • rob.was•••• €6,100 16/06/24
  • Lastedi•••• €5,200 16/06/24
Message C&C Auction Team

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