Volkswagen Beetle | Buyer’s Guide

Volkswagen Beetle | Buyer’s Guide

(uplifting music) – I’m Stefan Lombard with Hagerty. Today I’m at the Petrol
Lounge in Austin, Texas with this 1956 Volkswagen Beetle. We’re going to talk today about what you should look for
when you’re buying one. So, you found a car you
think you want to buy. The first thing you want to
do is take a look at the car. Check out the exterior,
look over the paint, look at the panels, look at the body gaps. Just get a sense for the
overall condition of the car. The glass, the rubber,
does it look like it’s been parked outside for 50 years? Or does it look like
it’s been taken care of? Washed regularly, waxed. We always recommend a pre-purchase inspection by a Mark expert. At the very least, get the car on a lift. If you’re going to pay
good money for a car, you want to know what you’re getting. Like many cars, Volkswagens
tend to rust in the rocker panels, so you want to get down, you want to look underneath. It’s never a bad idea to
have a flashlight with you. You can use the flashlight
on your phone and just feel under there, check the
integrity of the metal. Another rust spot on these
cars is where the fenders are bolted to the body. So you want to check these spots here, the integrity of these seems. Check the front fender for signs of rust where it meets the body. This particular car is
optioned with a roll-back roof. Make sure that this is in good
condition, particularly if you live in a place
that gets a lot of rain. You want to remove the spare
tire and check the spare tire well because water can get
in there and just pool. And if water sits in there, it’ll rust. Your fuse box is behind this panel. In some cars it’s exposed. But you want to check the fuses
and check the wiring there. Old wiring gets brittle and
if you need to replace it, it’s not necessarily expensive,
but it’s time intensive. It has to be something
you’re prepared to do. Another place to check
is your door hinges. So you want to inspect the outside, but then open up the door. While you have the door open,
you have access to the sills, and beneath the sills are
the heater channels and those are notorious rust points in these cars. If you can pull up the carpet
and push on that metal, do it. You don’t want to find
any surprises in there. The battery in these cars
is beneath the rear seat, so you want to lift up the
rear seat, check the battery tray, look at the floor
there for any corrosion. And then behind that,
is the package shelf. You want to pull up the carpet
in that, push on that metal and check the integrity of that metal. Hopefully, your hand won’t go through it. The engines in these Volkswagens
are very simple, it’s a 1,200 cc flat, four-cylinder
engine, located in the rear. Now, assuming you haven’t
found any rust on the car, mechanically, these are very simple cars. Air-cooled, no radiators, no water pumps. So, if the engine has some issues, you can drop it quickly, replace it. While you’re back here, check
the condition of the oil. Pull the dipstick. Is the oil black, is it sludge or does it look like it’s
been changed recently? If the owner has records
of maintenance done, by all means, ask to inspect those. Online sources like,
VWVortex, The Volkswagen Club of America, are excellent
sources for locating parts and the knowledge base
to do the work yourself. The insides of these cars
are even more basic than the outsides, if that’s even possible. You’ve got one dial, speedometer
with an odometer in it. Here’s your hood release
over here, turn signals. This is your headlight control. Got a lighter because people
still smoked back then. For your ashtray, which is here. These are your wipers. And the very small glove box. Now, in these cars, these old cars, this valve here is your heat control. Unscrewing it, releases the
hounds and they run from the back of the engine, forward
in your heat channels and out these vents here. You’re never going to keep
warm in the Volkswagen Beetle in the winter but it’s
a concession they made. Later Volkswagens had levers
mounted on the transmission tunnel that controlled your heat. And then up here on this
car, there’s a lever for a reserve fuel tank. You get about 3/4 of a gallon. Because there’s no fuel
gauge, maybe they just assumed you’d never run out of gas. But if you do, you can switch
that over, get yourself to a gas station and get going again. The base of the windshield is also a place where water can get trapped. Get into this cowl and… Water that you don’t see,
is rust that you don’t see, and that can be even worse. So you want to inspect not only
the inside of the windshield but the outside as well,
look for rust bubbles. Rust is the killer here
and any rusty car is the one you want to walk away from. But any mechanical bits, body
panels, interior components, all of that stuff is available online. So, you’ve done all your inspections. You didn’t find any rust, the
engine’s still in the back where it’s supposed to be. The last thing to do is
take it for a test drive. (car door closes) It’s a good sound, it’s
a well-engineered car. (car engine starts) These cars, because of
the way they’re designed, their shape, you’ve got a
good green house, there’s good clearance for tall
drivers, which I appreciate. Visibility is excellent, front, side. No power brakes means that you
have to, you have to be aware of when you need to stop. And so, you are an
active participant in the driving experience in
the Volkswagen Beetle. What these cars lack in
creature comforts and power, they make up for in versatility. They are surprisingly really
good drivers in the snow. They’re rear-drive cars and
with the weight of the engine over the real axle and the skinny tires, they cut through snow very well. When you’re out driving one
of these, test driving one before you buy it, you want
to make sure that it’s making good power and good
power is a relative term. But that it’s not bogging and
that if you have to downshift on your hills, that you can
actually climb those hills. And this car is having no problem with the hills around here. All and all, the Volkswagen Beetle is a pretty safe investment. You buy one for a few thousand
dollars, drive it for a week, or a month, or a year, or
ten years, sell it for a few thousand dollars or more if
you’ve taken good care of it. You’re not going to lose money on it. In the meantime, you’ve
got a fun car to drive, something that turns heads,
draws smiles and waves, and gets you into local shows. There’s really no reason not
to own a Volkswagen Beetle, at least once in your life. (uplifting music)

100 thoughts on “Volkswagen Beetle | Buyer’s Guide

  1. Here in the Philippines we call it Bao (turtle). Kids and teens salute when a beatle passes by. If one fails to salute, they donk on that kids head. It's a fun car.

  2. all this talk.. and they didn't even get it on a lift.. or get the camera to show the underside.. where the frame and all the important stuff is.. but hey.. the orange is nice… right?

  3. My first car is a red 73 super convertible, and I'm very excited to restore it, its in great condition and almost all original. The driver's side hood hinge is broken, and I can't find them anywhere. Can anyone help me with this? The only ones I see available are 72' s, or ones over 50 bucks

  4. Beautiful bug! I own a 67 1500 single port! And I agree there is absolutely no reason not to own a vw bug. The smiles and conversations these cars stir up going down the road is worth way more then the 3k I paid for it! Can't help but be happy while driving one! I'm 28 years old and appreciate the hell out of the humble, simplistic, all around tuff easy to work on car that doesn't break the bank to restore 🙂

  5. Okay, I hope this doesn't sound too smart-ass but I have to put this out there. Any of you who have these continued doubts about the VW Beetle heating system, please feel free to get into whatever other vehicle you have that keeps you so toasty warm and drive down to Knoxville, TN sometime around January or February and look me up. I will be more than happy to take you for a spin around town in Wanda, my 1972 Super Beetle, and show you just how good a properly maintained air-cooled VW heating system and and should work.

  6. your never going to keep warm in the winter in a VW? you have clearly never actually driven one. a Volkswagen heater will literally melt plastic on the floor. they get really hot.

  7. So many Beetles today are AMALGAMS of Many years components ~ Good for Practicality , not good for Concourse value 🐞

  8. New Beetle Interior is O.K. What  we Käfer's Lovers can't  stand is the exteror. VW could have done better to leave the exterior unchanged or at least done little, minimal,  necesarry modifications. People have always loved the Käfer (Beetle) priciplally for its exterior.

  9. Thank you~ I have a new 2016 Beetle which I adore~ trying to learn how to take care of it to make it last a lifetime~ Hey one question: did those old Beetles have air conditioning?

  10. Ive been restauring my 61 for the past 3 years and now have it back for 2 months. Took photos of the entire progress and i will upload a slideshow asap. For those who can't wait ….

  11. One thing that wasn't pointed out that has ALWAYS been part of my pre-purchase inspection is to check crankshaft play on the engine. Too much wear and you'll get to see exactly what goes into an aircooled engine. Grab the crankshaft pulley (bottom one) with your hands at the 3 and 9 o'clock position. Now, pull the pulley towards you and then push it away from you. You should have a very small, if almost indistinguishable amount of movement. Any more than that and you have wear. There is a small amount of play that, while is greater than perfect, is still deemed acceptable and not too much to worry about. A lot of play and you'll get to start tearing the engine down to replace parts.

  12. I’m ten, I’m in love with this car and i wan’t one when i’m old enough to drive a car, but i’m a little scared because i feel like it will be harder to find one and they will cost a lot more😢

  13. We own a '68 Type 1. She's got good bones, but needs restoration. Currently in use daily as my commuter to work and back, about 60 miles a day. Thank you for making this video. They're fun to drive, reliable and get good mileage.

  14. I absolutely love the Bettle. It's too bad I didn't know how to drive a stick-shift when I was younger. The semi-automatic VW Bug had higher than average repair problems.

  15. There is something about these cars that I can't help but smile every time I see one, I mean seriously, they ain't exactly a fancy sports car or something like that, but something… SOMETHING in them makes me happy.

  16. Hello,
    I live in Hurst and was wondering if anyone in my area wasn't selling a 1965 beetle for cheap ? I don't need anything really nice looking like the one I just saw, just something for me to get back and forth for work. I do know a little bit about general repairs on cars so if there's one that looks "sick"it's ok. But it must run. Please let me know, I'm anxiously to buy one. Thanks for your time.

  17. you tack care of it so much💘🖒it's butifull🚕
    but about hiting dact's is vary active as what Diane Brandon say's 💘GOOD LUKE🤗

  18. Diane there is a big difference between your 65s heater and that on a 56. On yours when the engine is cold more air is forced through the heater boxes (fresh air system). The 56 has a stale air system which takes air that was used to cool the motor. When your engine is cold the thermostat restricts the cooling air which also allows less warm air to enter the car.

  19. my first car was a '67 bug which was bought new by my grandparents. my advice to anyone thinking about buying an old bug is – DON'T!

  20. "If the engine has some issues you can drop it quckly……" Dropping $3000.00 for the rebuild for hurts a little more buddy.

  21. I’m not exactly buying one, rather a 72 that was my grandfather’s and has been in a garage for the past 30 years and a labor of love between my Grandad and Father restoring it in the last decade before they both passed away was given to me for my birthday a couple weeks ago by my aunt who didn’t want to mess with it. I only have to finish the restoration that’s about 80% there.

  22. You forgot to test the crankshaft (bottom main pulley) "play" (push or pull amount). Too much end play and the engine is junk unless you catch it early!

  23. The best reason to buy a Bug was they were cheap and they float. The best reason not to buy a Bug is the REQUIRE regular maintenance. Save yourself a ton of grief and get an electronic ignition. An electronic distributor, one without points, is a life saver. Have your local Bug guy put one in and never look back.

  24. I would really would love to own one of these for myself, preferably a super beetle though. I love driving manual transmission, and these cars are iconic, so I would really enjoy one of these. Thanks for all the tips of what to look out for when buying one.

  25. Okay I'm at time index 7 minutes and 51 seconds all right there is very few Beatles and Volkswagens of this type out there without any rust they are great cars that they're taken care of right Russ is something that you going to do with and you can replace it every fix in almost any part of it just got to realize it's going to cost you there's an auto part on a also we are cold design that cannot be replaced the word impossible does not apply to a Volkswagen

  26. yeah the VW in 70's took away the rounded top and flattened it to make the beetle longer, the Super Beetle, and the head room was lower.

  27. Anything more than $40,000 is too much for this vehicle. You should never pay more than $35,000 if possible, and concourse quality.
    NADA is $33,900

  28. Right. Nothing wrong with that one then!! Should really start with a driver quality car and point out the common issues as they would appear to a layman considering a real one to purchase, not a museum quality resto that's unattainable by 99.9% of those who are looking to purchase one of these.

  29. There is one thing that is constantly underrated in veteran vehicles…..everything rubber….on windows…on doors….a perfect renovation for me ALWAYS has all rubber parts replaced….

  30. Others have cemented a put pulley end play. Others have commented about rust. Others have commented about semi automatic. Most of the rusting parts can be bought and replaced. Brand new they were usually less than 2 thousand bucks. Heat would work as long as you cracked the vent window. This 56 has bullet turn signals and not semapbpres.

  31. In my 67 the heater will cook you.when people say you wont get warm in them they are dead wrong.however all engine seals must be in place.defroster however is a different matter

  32. The engine is not a 40 hp but a later dual port engine is around 55 to 60hp. It may not sound like a lot more but believe me, it makes a big difference. The engine's also showing a alternator so it's most likely converted to 12 volts, another big difference.

  33. Owned several beetles through the 1970s and 1980s. The last one was a 1961 rag top I sold in 1990. What many fail to mention is the maintenance these require if you are going to use one as a daily driver. Every 3,000 miles you have to pull off the valve covers and adjust the valves. While you are at it adjust the points in the distributor and check the timing. If the belt is loose, tighten it. These are not fuel injected and that carburetor needs to be adjusted and dialed in. How is the clutch? Too much travel in the pedal? There is a cable that you can wrench on to tighten it up. When the brake pads wear down jack up the car and pull off the wheel. There is a little star you can turn with a flat head screw driver that brings the shoes closer to the drum. It is not a huge deal, but all this stuff needs to be done routinely for as long as you drive the car. Keep this in mind if you are thinking of buying your first one.

  34. I got my bug for me, to make it mine. I’ll replace what needs replacing. Don’t want a show car, as far as looking like it just came of the show room floor. There are thousands of those. I want one that can be picked out in a crowd, and has a crowd around it smiling…

  35. I grew up with FOUR of these starting in 1956. We would drive to Florida from Pittsburgh every Christmas. We FROZE to death the first 30 minutes before the heater would finally catch up. First two had no fuel gauge and my dad kept meticulous records but still remember once he had to twist a lever to drop the last gallon in when it started too sputter.

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