1977 Volkswagen Beetle 1303LS Karmann Cabriolet 2143cc


  • Restored to an incredibly high standard
  • Offered with genuine low mileage
  • Presented in fantastic condition, reflecting plenty of care
  • Equipped with an upgraded Dan Simpson Type 4 engine

The Appeal

Easily one of the most iconic vehicles ever to grace the roads, the Volkswagen Beetle remains incredibly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors across the globe. Although standard base models are of course deserving of their praise, the real flair and appeal remains with unique and special variants, including the work of legendary manufacturer Karmann. 

Although Karmann would see great success with an array of marques and models, some of their finest work can be experienced with the incredibly iconic Beetle cabriolet. These sleek 4-winged Cabriolets embrace all the charms of the standard Beetle, with the welcome addition of classy styling cues, mechanical upgrades, and of course; a folding convertible top. 

Whilst no slouch in its standard 1303LS form, this particular example has since been kitted out with a Type4 2143cc Dan Simpson engine, courtesy of the legendary builder himself. In addition to boasting such a characterful powerplant, the vehicle was also subject to an incredibly thorough restoration process, receiving the likes of new leather, disk brakes, uprated suspension, Porsche wheels, and of course a fresh coat of metallic silver paint. 

Although this sleek cabriolet shows off some excellent craftsmanship and new components, a great deal of attention was also paid to ensure the vehicle retained its originality wherever possible. Examples of such can be found with the original floor pan & chassis, the original fuel tank, and the vast majority of the bodywork. 

Now offered in truly fantastic condition, this presents an incredibly rare opportunity to obtain such a stylish, cherished example of the legendary Karmann Cabriolet. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Comprehensively restored by the previous keeper, retaining plenty of original components
  • Offered with just shy of 59k on the clock, with previous MOT certificates in support
  • Acquired by the current keeper in September 2020, and garage stored throughout their ownership
  • Includes a selection of paperwork and sundries, including;
    • Previous MOT certificates
    • Invoices detailing previous maintenance & upgrades
    • The current V5C document
    • Two instruction manuals
  • More than ready to be enjoyed by the next keeper

This gorgeous little Cabriolet spent the vast majority of its life in its standard form, being enjoyed by 8 former keepers prior to being acquired by the renowned Volkswagen specialist, Dan Simpson. As a master of his craft, Dan decided the vehicle was due for a thorough restoration, and got to work creating the gorgeous machine presented before you today. 

After its thorough restoration and mechanical upgrades, the vehicle would then be acquired by the current keeper in September 2020. Throughout their time with the car, the current keeper has ensured the vehicle receives plenty of care and attention, beautifully preserving the restoration work. 

Now offered for sale only due to lack of space, this superb Beetle is more than ready to be enjoyed by its next lucky keeper, where it will surely continue to instil tremendous pride and a wicked grin with each blip of the throttle. 

The Interior

  • Showcases refurbished perforated leather seats
  • Equipped with a Moto-Lita steering wheel, and Vintage Speed Black Mamba shifter
  • Presented in fantastic condition throughout

This Karmann Cabriolet offers a rather enjoyable space for all passengers, greatly benefitting from previous restoration work and some tasty new parts. Perhaps most noticeable of which, are the sleek leather seats, which were professionally refinished in new perforated leather. With very little usage under their belt, all four seats offer fantastic finishes, with perhaps only incredibly slight signs of wear to the driver’s seat.

Carpeting throughout the interior also seemingly reflects only light wear, and all four leather door/side cards present themselves brilliantly. The dashboard and accompanying controls follow suit, offering wear-free contact points, and fault-free functions. Rounding off this classy interior is a 3-spoke Moto-Lita steering wheel, and Vintage Speed Black Mamba shifter, both of which are very much in line with the fantastically tidy interior condition. 

The Exterior

  • Extensively restored, offering an excellent finish 
  • Equipped with 17” Porsche 5-spoke alloy wheels
  • Fitted with a Navy mohair hood, and upgraded running boards
  • Showcases original metalwork, with new moulded fibreglass wings

As previously mentioned, this gorgeous Cabriolet received a very thorough restoration at the hands of the previous keeper and now sports a superb coat of metallic silver. Having covered very few miles since its restoration, the paintwork still retains an incredible finish, with very little to fault. In fact, the paintwork seemingly shows only very minor blemishes, including slight bubbling to the lower front passenger’s door as pictured.  

Although the vehicle sports a fresh coat of paintwork, buyers will be pleased to learn that the bodywork underneath is believed to be original, with no known previous welding. The exceptions to this, are moulded fibreglass front and rear wings, which offer fantastic fitment, and incredibly high quality. 

Accompanying the fresh paintwork is a slick set of 17” Porsche 5-spoke alloy wheels, which suit the suspension drop brilliantly, filling the arches and offering classy retro styling. All five wheels show tidy black, and shiny polished finishes, with seemingly only slight blemishes and defects to show. The wheels come wrapped in pairs of Uniroyal and Yokohama tyres, with plenty of tread left to enjoy. 

As part of the restoration, the vehicle also received a new Navy hood. Believed to be Mohair, the folding roof offers a fault-free finish, and folds away without fault, offering top-down motoring fun. All additional trim components such as lighting, brightwork and the upgraded running boards all reflect a similarly impressive condition, with only the occasional sign of age to note. 

It also deserves to be mentioned that alongside fresh exterior paintwork, the vehicle also received a powder-coated underside. As the images reflect, this offers great durability and leaves the underside of this magnificent machine looking rather tidy indeed. 

The Mechanics

  • Fitted with a Type 4 2143cc Dan Simpson engine
  • Producing 121hp, with proof of rolling road tuning 
  • Features the original, repaired fuel tank
  • Tastefully upgraded with high-end parts, such as a Vintage Speed Black Mamba shifter and stainless exhaust
  • Drives and performs brilliantly, with no known faults

Petrolheads will be ecstatic to learn that this 1303LS Cabriolet now boasts a Type 4 2143cc Dan Simpson engine, capable of producing a much more respectable 121hp. The engine was fitted by the renowned specialist himself and pairs beautifully with an incredibly high-quality stainless exhaust to produce a truly magnificent soundtrack throughout the gears.  

In addition to showcasing a sublime exhaust system and mighty Type 4 Dan Simpson powerplant, the vehicle also features the likes of disc brakes, lowered suspension, and a 123 ignition coil. The end result is a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience, perfectly balanced with the cabriolet’s classy top-down nature. 

As previously mentioned, this Beetle comes with excellent maintenance history, with plenty of invoices detailing high-end parts, welcome maintenance, and even an invoice for the vehicle’s tuning work.

Now offered with fantastic mechanical health and no known faults, this classy Karmann is more than ready to be enjoyed out on the open road. 


With incredible restoration work under its belt and an impressive array of performance and cosmetic modifications, this cracking little Beetle is perhaps one of the most interesting and attention-grabbing vehicles on offer. It’s a fantastic showcase of Karmann’s styling, and meticulous craftsmanship, and will no doubt be the star of any collection.

Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1977
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Beetle
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 58,858 Miles
  • Engine size 2332
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Leeds
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • Leon Co•••• £16,750 31/05/23
  • Jal23? £16,500 31/05/23
  • montere•••• £16,000 31/05/23
  • Leon Co•••• £15,250 31/05/23
  • montere•••• £15,000 31/05/23
  • Jal23? £13,500 31/05/23
  • Leon Co•••• £13,250 31/05/23
  • neil-bl•••• £13,000 31/05/23
  • montere•••• £12,000 31/05/23
  • Leon Co•••• £11,000 30/05/23

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