1968 VW BEE­TLE 1500

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - CLASSIC CARS FOR SALE - Nick Larkin


It is only to be ex­pected that a 1493cc Bee­tle would of­fer im­proved per­for­mance than its lower-pow­ered sib­lings and this ex­am­ple feels ea­ger and will­ing, though a long mo­tor­way jour­ney would prove tir­ing. The Bee­tle han­dles well and should cause no prob­lems to any­one not used to driv­ing a rearengined car. The ride is pretty good, given that the sus­pen­sion has been low­ered a frac­tion, the gearchange is typ­i­cally rather vague, while the brakes are sur­pris­ingly com­pe­tent.


Body­work spe­cial­ist De­mon Body Styling fit­ted new wings and, we gather, sills and in­ner arch pan­els back in 2006 be­fore re­spray­ing it in Rover Ama­ranth Pearl (metal­lic pur­ple to the unini­ti­ated), a colour that we feel re­ally suits the sa­loon’s sub­tle lines. The work was ob­vi­ously done to a very high stan­dard be­cause it has held up well over more than ten years’ use; the few sig­nif­i­cant scratches look like they could be dealt with eas­ily. We could find no rust any­where on the car and it looks just as good un­der­neath. Stick­lers for orig­i­nal­ity will not like the fact that the Volk­swa­gen script on the en­gine cover has been re­placed by one read­ing sim­ply ‘Bug’ and there are a cou­ple of holes where we imag­ine the ‘VW’ ini­tials should be. All the chrome is in good order and the af­ter­mar­ket Empi Ea­gles wheels are in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion.


It’s pretty groovy in here, with a pur­ple-painted metal dash­board and match­ing door frames plus pur­ple-edged black car­pets and over­mats. Seats have been re­uphol­stered and are sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able and sup­port­ive, but the three­spoke Mount­ney steer­ing wheel is, Pi­o­neer stereo and drilled win­dow winders are not orig­i­nal. Door trims and the head­lin­ing are in good con­di­tion.


The car starts in­stantly and ticks over with a smooth, vo­cal ‘wuf­fle’, sug­gest­ing a Bee­tle in rude health. The en­gine bay is ex­tremely clean and well pre­sented. The coil, dis­trib­u­tor cap and plug leads look like re­cent re­place­ments and ev­ery­thing looks stock. The trans­mis­sion ap­pears to be fine and there are no omi­nous noises or ob­vi­ous leaks.


This car’s cheeky charm could win just about any­one over. The colour re­ally suits it and all of the body restora­tion work has clearly been done to a high stan­dard since it has lasted ex­tremely well. The fact that it’s al­most like a Hot Wheels model come to life is in­trin­sic to its over­all ap­peal. The car has a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice his­tory file, which in­cludes MoT cer­tifi­cates dat­ing back 20 years. It all seems to be in fine fet­tle me­chan­i­cally and we reckon it’s good value for money, too.

The en­gine looks orig­i­nal, the leads and coil look new. Tra­di­tion­al­ists may pre­fer an orig­i­nal-spec wheel.

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