1978 VW Beetle Convertible

Highlights


  • Comprehensive restoration
  • Rare EZ Bug Roadster conversion
  • Humongous history file packed full with invoices
  • 1600 GT engine with some very tasteful upgrades throughout
  • SSP Porsche 914-type 15” alloys

The Appeal


Who doesn’t love a beetle? The oldest nameplate in automotive history that still gets used to the present day, known and adored by pretty much anyone. Officially known as the Volkswagen Type 1, and designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1938, these road-going history books all have a tremendous and deep story to tell.

This particular example has had an extensive makeover in the form of an EZBug Conversion, the style much better known as a “Wizard Roadster” with its elongated tail, hot-rod looking soft top and its wider stance. Not something you get to see all too often, especially to this degree of professionalism!

Sporting a larger 1600 GT engine with some very tasteful upgrades throughout, this little Bug is sure to put a smile on your face as well as everyone else around you.


The History and Paperwork


  • First registered on the 7th of January 1978
  • Originally a 1200 Beetle
  • Before the restoration process the car is believed to have travelled around 80,000 miles, this would  then be set back to 0 upon the restoration and new engine and gearbox installation 
  • In 2006 the car underwent a huge restoration and transformation including the gorgeous EZ Bug Roadster conversion
  • 1600 GT engine fitted along with many upgrades
  • Over £10,000 in invoices
  • Restoration and conversion complete circa 2007
  • Used sparingly throughout the years
  • Current owner purchased in 2019
  • Kept in storage as part of a collection and regularly maintained

The Interior


  • VW Original black textured vinyl interior
  • Newton Commercial carpets in fantastic shape
  • Moto-Lita steering wheel
  • EMPI Ghia trigger shifter gear stick
  • Sony VW tape deck
  • OEM VW pedals
  • Custom chrome window handles
  • Tinted sun visors

Classic and simple, what more could you want from an old school roadster? Finished in black textured vinyl which appears to be in fantastic condition both on the front seats and in the rear. There is the odd mark here and there as to be expected, but overall is in great shape! The driver seat does appear to have a slight bit of damage on the right side lower bolster, but this is all we can find.

The door cards are made of a similar material and seem to be in good order, the passenger side appears to have some discolouration however. Both door cards have storage pockets as well as custom chrome window handles which suit the roadster vibe to a tee. The driver side door card appears a little misshapen, and the owner tells us that the passenger side door hinge could do with being replaced as it had a repair done to it - but does not affect any functionality.

Sitting in the driver seat you’re greeted with a lovely 3-spoke Moto Lita steering wheel wrapped in leather with a VW centre hub, and directly behind the car sports an original speedometer as well as an oil temperature gauge and pressure gauge. Just off to the side of the steering column under the dash panel there is a battery cut-off switch, a seriously useful bit of kit to have if the car is going to sit unused for any period of time.

Fitted with superior quality Newton Commercial carpets and are presented in fantastic condition along with the rubber floor mats. Located here is also the homeland of the EMPI Ghia inspired trigger gear shifter which is a nice subtle touch.

Moving to the retractable roadster roof, both the roof itself and the accompanying frame is in fantastic condition with no rips or tears and is mechanically perfect. The roof clips into place perfectly above the windshield - right beside the tinted sun visors.

The interior of this Bug really is a lovely place to be, dark and refined with just the right amount of originality.  

The Exterior 


  • Fully restored with EZ Bug Roadster conversion through 2006-2007 
  • EZ Bug Roadster front and rear wide wings
  • EZ Bug hood frame and Mohair hood
  • Bespoke stainless steel boot rack
  • Wide heavy duty running boards
  • SSP chrome bumpers
  • SSP Porsche 914-type 15” alloys
  • Very solid chassis
  • Lovely brightwork
  • New rubber seals throughout
  • Well kept paintwork with no signs of rust
  • Some slight microblistering on the bonnet

Wacky, right? Absolutely. This Bug has underwent an impressive roadster conversion supplied from EZ Bug which took place in 2006, the style is more widely known as a “Wizard Beetle”, with the rear end being lengthened and the stance being made a little wider, these ‘Wizards’ really do turn quite a lot of heads. Especially when done right like this one.

Starting at the front of the car, the brightwork we’re greeted with remains in fantastic condition on the bumpers, headlight surrounds, bonnet handle and fog lamps. The bonnet itself is straight with no signs of damage however there are micro blisters in the paint appearing due to the car being kept in storage for so long. The wings however appear to be unphased and remain in great shape.

To the side of the vehicle, the Roadster shape becomes much more prominent with the extended rear section and the low-slung soft-top. Porsche 914-style wheels have been fitted and compliment the car very nicely, all wheels appear in good condition with no curb marks, just a gentle sign of water ingress on the diamond cut faces which is somewhat unavoidable. Panel work along the side of the car is nicely presented with more well cared for brightwork on the handles and the thin chrome strip running under the windows.

Around to the rear, the Roadster rear end comes into full view straddled with a bespoke stainless steel boot rack. Bodywork back here appears to be in good condition with only some very minor paint defects showing around the engine cover vents - but you have to be up close to see any of it! Original tail lights are in good condition showing no signs of cracks and the brightwork on the bumper and engine cover hinges is in great shape!

Quite easy to believe that this little Roadster turns so many heads in its stunning form, it gets the praise it rightfully deserves thanks to the years of hard work and countless man-hours put into the conversion and restoration.

The Mechanics 


  • ADO 1.6L GT engine 
  • CB Performance cylinder heads
  • Twin weber carburetor kit supplied by EMPI
  • EMPI ignition kit SSP
  • Dual port T1 SQP ceramic exhaust combo with large Thunderbird flanges
  • Full EMPI competition brake disc conversion with calipers and hubs
  • T1 deep oil sump
  • GT Stainless steel exhaust
  • T1 Killer B race fan and oil cooler
  • Heat exchanger delux kit 63
  • SCAT aluminium pulley
  • EMPI oil system breather assembly
  • SSP oil pressure and temperature gauges
  • Santana suspension upgrade SACHS heavy duty competition shocks
  • Camber compensator swing axle assembly
  • Race anti-roll bar kit
  • Dropped spindles kit
  • Heavy duty bonnet struts
  • New battery
  • Power isolator switch
  • Brakes recently stripped and cleaned 
  • New spark plugs

Need a breather after that list? It’s okay, we do too. This Roadster is an extremely well sorted bit of kit, featuring a 1600 ADO engine from Volks Spares, with a plethora of performance and handling upgrades to accompany it. The owner tells us that it drives somewhat similar to a Porsche 911 of the same year! The engine is believed to produce a healthy amount of power and torque, with the owner stating “it feels like double” of the original 50bhp output.

Reported to have no unwelcome knocks or bangs while driving and firing up healthily at the turn of a key, emitting a lovely growl from the stainless exhaust, it remains to be a fantastic and reliable car throughout its ownership and would serve any new custodian well. 

Thousands upon thousands have been spent getting this Beetle to the point it is today, not just on bodywork but heavily into mechanical work too as can be seen by the list of parts above!


Summary


A well sorted Beetle ‘Wizard’ is a hard find. In fact, scratch that. ANY Beetle Wizard is a hard find.

This wondrously cared for example would make for a fantastic summer cruiser to kick around in and show off, or include in classic rallies or shows. It truly is like a rolling piece of automotive jewellery and has an outstanding in-person presence about it.

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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 seller's discretion.














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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1978
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Beetle 1200
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 21,883 Miles
  • Engine size 1584
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Scotland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
11 bids from 6 bidders
  • matthew•••• £8,888 24/06/22
  • Mjohns £7,000 24/06/22
  • matthew•••• £6,666 23/06/22
  • mohamme•••• £5,700 23/06/22
  • matthew•••• £5,500 21/06/22
  • paynej7•••• £3,500 20/06/22
  • mRbIGfI•••• £2,000 20/06/22
  • paynej7•••• £1,000 20/06/22
  • king-mi•••• £600 20/06/22
  • mohamme•••• £500 20/06/22

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