Rare barn-find Bee­tle

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

A 42-YEAR-OLD Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle, that has cov­ered just 90 km, has been dis­cov­ered in time warp con­di­tion and will be sold at Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions’ Clas­sic Race Aarhus Auc­tion in Den­mark at month end.

Unique is a word of­ten used in­cor­rectly, but in the case of this 1974 Bee­tle, it is not in­ac­cu­rate. With just one owner from new and only 90 kilo­me­tres on the clock, this lit­tle car must be one of the low­est-mileage ex­am­ples in ex­is­tence still in its orig­i­nal con­di­tion.

Sup­plied new by G. Ter­ragni Volk­swa­gen, Genoa, Italy, on Jan­uary 23, 1974, its first and only proud owner was an el­derly man by the name of Ar­mando Sgroi. He had never owned a mo­tor car be­fore and did not par­tic­u­larly want this one. How­ever, he was a deeply re­li­gious man and walked ev­ery Sun­day from his house in the hills to his lo­cal church. This was only a short dis­tance, but it had be­come a strug­gle as he be­came more and more frail with age.

The car was used less and less as his church-go­ing be­came more in­fre­quent, up un­til the last out­ing in 1978, when the car was re­tired to a barn where it has re­mained for al­most four decades. This lit­tle Bee­tle has re­cently been re­dis­cov­ered, has been lightly recom­mis­sioned and will now be of­fered at auc­tion. For sale for only the sec­ond time in its life, it will head to auc­tion with an es­ti­mated value of €35 000 (about R620 590).

Nick Whale, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions, com­mented: “The VW Bee­tle is one of the most suc­cess­ful and loved cars world­wide, and we’re no strangers to them at Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions, but this one is a very spe­cial ex­am­ple and some­thing we rarely see. With such an in­cred­i­bly low mileage, it is in vir­tu­ally new con­di­tion, 42 years af­ter it was first bought.”

The barn-find Bee­tle still has its orig­i­nal oil in the en­gine and is shod with its first set of tyres. The orig­i­nal books and in­voice, along with its un­wrapped tool kit, are also sup­plied with the car.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

A mint-con­di­tion 1974 VW Bee­tle, dis­cov­ered with only 90 km on the clock, is ex­pected to fetch well over R600 000 at auc­tion.

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