NO RESERVE! 1975 Volkswagen Beetle



∙Sympathetically restored 8 years ago
∙Very good condition throughout
∙Recently serviced

The Background

As with many popular classic cars, it can be difficult to define what makes the Beetle so popular, as they mean so many things to so many people. From a mechanical point of view, the traction and ability to deal with rough roads make it a no-brainer for a country with unmade roads. Some people may appreciate the build quality and robust nature of the car, others are simply won over by the social aspect and visuals of the design. Either way, it didn’t become a global success by mistake and its enduring character and reputation mean it will always have a following.
As a global car, it will come as no surprise to learn that the VW Beetle was manufactured in 5 countries, and assembled in at least another 15 more. This particular 1600 twin-port model was built in 1975 at the Uitenhage plant in South Africa. As to be expected they differed to European spec cars, adjusting to domestic users demands. Of the later post-1974 cars, the biggest giveaway is the unique ‘Elephant’s foot’ tail lights design, which has a bigger mount extrusion than the cars built in Europe. This 1975 car has retained its front bumper mounted indicators and Rostyle wheels but unlike the 70’s German versions, the SA built cars retained the 1960’s era single brake circuit, drum brakes and the engine had generators rather than alternators, this is counterbalanced by softer and thicker padded seats.

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The History

The seller was told that the previous owner had bought the car as a refurbished project, which also included a respray in the same colour. He bought the car in a place called Klerksdorp, which is at an altitude of around 1400m and as the owner lived at sea level he required the distributor timing and carb adjustment screws setting for the new altitude. Once tuned, the engine never gave him any trouble. He was fascinated by the values of RHD classic cars in the UK, so decided to ship his car over here, as he considered his domestic options. He told Car and Classic that he really enjoyed driving the Beetle around in South Africa, up and around the mountain passes, which would always put a huge smile on his face! People often stopped to chat about the car, asking whether it was for sale. He’s particularly excited about his next project, another VW, this time a SuperBeetle.

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The Paperwork

The car comes with some of its South African registration documents, which confirms it as a genuine South African built car, but there is very little documentation about its past. The car underwent a good quality restoration in 2012. The VW has already been cleared via UK car customs procedure and the V5 will be applied for in the buyer's name making them the first UK owner.

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The Interior

The seats were reupholstered in black vinyl very recently and therefore are in tip-top condition. The carpets and mats appear to be relatively recent items too and show limited wear and tear. The basic dashboard and controls are fine, with an aftermarket tape stereo system which includes rear-mounted speakers under the rear seats. The door cards look good and damp and ripple-free but the owner has pointed out that the driver's side window winder is a bit temperamental when attempting to raise the glass. The headlining is clean, with no rips or discolouration. The gear knob and handbrake do show a considerable amount of wear and are obviously the original items, but are fully functional. The steering wheel is correct for the year of the model and does show slight signs of age. The front luggage section is carpeted.

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The Exterior 

The new floor pan confirms that the car had been subject to restoration in the past, and as a result, the heater channels and areas under the back seat are also intact but have some corrosion on one side underneath the lip of the body. The A and B pillars are solid. The underside has not been coated with protective sealer, so it allows the observer to have a good look at the state of the components. Overall the car is impressive upon first sight with decent panel fit. The bodywork is ripple-free, with no dents. The main body and rear quarter panels are good, with no telltale signs of rot beside the side rear windows. The near-side rear wing does have paint cracks, which may be as a result of poor preparation rather than corrosion. The rest of the wings, doors and bonnet appear to be in good order.
The attractive burgundy paint suits the familiar lines well and has been cleanly applied throughout the car, the glossy finish catches the light to reveal an even lustre with no significant blemishes, other than stone chips on the lower portions of the forward-facing surfaces of the rear wings. 
The glass rubbers have all been renewed and as a result, are in good condition. The glass itself is scratch-free without any obstructive blemishes, cracks or evidence of damage. 
The bumpers appear to be quality items, and the finish of the chrome work look good. The other items of chrome appear to be in a similarly good condition, although the off-side chrome trim on the running board would benefit with a replacement. Additional embellishments, such as the rear deck vent trim, exhaust pipes and the aftermarket US imported roof racks are in good condition. The tyres are mixed brands and show signs of age, possibly pointing to them being at least 10 years old. They maintain a legal thread. The nicely prepared Rostyle wheels are in good condition and are free from kerb damage.

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The Mechanics 

The twin-port 1.6-litre engine is said to pull well with no problems in the way it performs and show all the signs of having been well maintained, having seen a recent oil and filter service. The air-cooled engine is said to be leak-free. The engine has retained much of its original spec, with signs that the hoses and rubber pipework has seen renewal. The VW was subject to new points, plugs, filters and fan belt prior to its arrival in the UK. The exhaust is standard and in good condition. The steering rack has been recently replaced with a reconditioned item and the brake travel bite has also been adjusted. 

The Appeal

It may not come as a surprise that South Africa continued to build the Beetles several years after the demise of the European version, as their ability to deal with the rough stuff, their accessibility of parts as well as economic running costs meant they still continue to provide thousands of people with a reliable classic car with an appeal that just can’t be worn away.
This example has literally spent its life in the sun, and its solid base and an eye-catching paint finish is just one of the reasons why this car could appeal to the seasoned VW fan. The combination of its 1.6-litre engine, RHD configuration and uniquely South African spec could be just the thing to help you stand out in a competitive but always active VW scene.

Please note: Photos provided by seller

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1975
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Beetle
  • Colour Red
  • Mileage 39,000 Kilometres
  • Engine size 1600
  • Seller Type Private
  • County Northamptonshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
67 Bids
  • gr•••• £6,500 24/02/21
  • Wh•••• £6,400 24/02/21
  • gr•••• £6,300 24/02/21
  • Wh•••• £6,200 24/02/21
  • gr•••• £6,100 24/02/21
  • Wh•••• £6,000 24/02/21
  • Wh•••• £5,900 24/02/21
  • gr•••• £5,800 24/02/21
  • Wh•••• £5,700 24/02/21
  • gr•••• £5,600 24/02/21

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