1978 Volkswagen Beetle Last Edition


  • A lovely example of the one of the 300 UK last edition Beetles with #50 plaque
  • Boasting low original mileage and a reportedly great mechanical condition
  • Has benefitted from a bare metal respray and interior retrim
  • Jaw dropping condition

The Appeal

By 1972 the ubiquitous had attained the title of best-selling car ever with a mighty 15M having been built at that stage. However, by the mid 1970’s the little bug’s lustre was starting to fade. It was feeling terribly dated when compared to younger competitors and sales were in a nose-dive. Despite VW releasing a slew of special editions, the nose-dive seemed terminal. As such VW planned to retire the car in 1978. As a last hoorah for the UK market 300 Last Edition Beetles (or LEBs) were released. All of the run were differentiated by their Diamond Silver Metallic paint and Marine Blue velour upholstery.

This fine example of the LEB is a six-owner car with a mere 78,000 miles behind her. The car presents very well and has enjoyed the benefit of a recent bare metal respray and an interior retrim which is sympathetic to the original specification. This car carries the Last Edition plaque bearing the number 50.

The History and Paperwork

  • Like all Last Edition Beetles this car left the Emden factory in early 1978
  • It was imported in the UK dealer network and first registered in January 1978
  • Between then and February 2022 the car passed through five owners
  • This represents an average tenure of nearly nine years
  • The car was acquired by the current owner in February 2022
  • The condition of the car was reported as excellent at that point
  • The paintwork had faded in places, however, so a bare metal respray was commissioned
  • The interior has also been retrimmed 
  • There is a good level of paperwork with the Beetle
  • This includes the current V5 registration document
  • The current MOT is also present in hard copy form
  • This is an advisory free MOT and valid until April 2024
  • This is present despite the Beetle being MOT and VED exempt in the UK
  • Numerous invoices, manuals and earlier MOTs are also present
  • The previous MOTs date back to around 1989 and are mostly all present

The Interior

  • All LEB interiors were finished in a marine blue self-patterned, striped fabric
  • This interior has been professionally retrimmed
  • As such it appears to be in a fine condition throughout
  • The front seats are, obviously, pristine with fabric facings and vinyl sides and backs
  • The rear bench is equally well presented in the same fabric
  • The door cards and side panels are finished in marine blue vinyl
  • The flooring is courtesy of hard wearing dark grey carpets
  • The light vinyl headlining is clean and tightly fitted
  • The simple dashboard is totally originally with the single VDO gauge
  • No cutting or adaptations for radio fitments have been made
  • The LED plaque is fitted to the glove box lid, exhibiting the number 50
  • The front luggage compartment is fitted with a textured vinyl protective mat
  • The vertically stowed spare wheel sits at the front of this compartment

The Exterior

  • Presented in freshly and professionally applied Diamond Silver Metallic paintwork
  • A bare metal respray has been undertaken in the current ownership
  • The results are very positive with the car exuding a lustrous shine throughout
  • All new window, bonnet and boot seals were fitted at this point, too
  • The chrome of the bumpers, body trim and light surrounds is clean and bright
  • The steel wheels are the correct 13-inch items and are painted in silver
  • They are in excellent condition and are fitted with domed and chromed VW hub caps
  • The cabin glass and window lenses look pristine and original
  • These include the signature “elephant’s foot” rear light lenses
  • A very minor light scratch is noted and pictured on the windscreen

The Mechanics

  • The LEBs were fitted with the four cylinder, four stroke air cooled engine
  • In this model they were all the 1,192cc engine good for around 34bhp
  • The owner reports that the Beetle has just had a service
  • This included a carburettor overhaul, new ignition parts and leads
  • The engine bay presents beautifully and is very clean and straight
  • The car is reported to start instantly and be in a fine mechanical condition
  • The mechanical specification has been kept entirely original


Whilst the Beetle was built in huge numbers, certain models and editions were purposely kept exclusive to warrant the “special” part of their special edition status. In the case of the UK market Last Edition Beetle a mere 300 left Emden in 1978. Needless to say, the ravages of time has reduced that number still further with around 100 known to the LEB Register. Low numbered Beetle numbers will always be sought after and valued, and that will only become more evident with the passing of time.

This example looks fantastic with its newly applied silver paintwork really popping and exuding a high shine. The interior looks equally as good with its retrimming and fettling. Piecing together the evidence from the advisory free MOT, the low original mileage and the fine look of the engine bay and it is clear that this is a mechanically well sorted car. It really leaves no box unticked for the Beetle enthusiast and will sure to prove popular so place your best bid to avoid disappointment. You never know when a LEB as good as this will next be available.

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 1978
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model 1978 Last Edition
  • Colour Diamond Silver Metallic
  • Odometer 78,050 Miles
  • Engine size 1192cc
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Cardiff
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
4 bids from 3 bidders
  • adrian-•••• £10,000 06/06/23
  • jonatha•••• £9,500 04/06/23
  • H5BDD £7,750 03/06/23
  • jonatha•••• £7,500 02/06/23

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