ENGINE 1285cc/flat-4/OHV POWER 50bhp@4600rpm TORQUE 69lb ft@2600rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 76mph 0-60MPH 25.4sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 23-31mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual MoT March 2018 ODOMETER 9194 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The engine is keen to spring into life an idles smoothly with a characteristic air-cooled VW ‘wuffle’. Beetle gear shifts can be slightly vague, and although this one isn’t exactly razor-sharp, it selects gears easily enough, thanks in part to the light clutch. On the move the car is quiet and smooth – apart from the inevitable engine clatter behind you. The 1966 Beetles may have enjoyed a useful jump in power over previous models, but it’s still more a relaxed cruiser than sprinter. It tackles bumps smoothly and quietly, and while the drum brakes take a shove to work effectively, they stop the car straight and even. Steering is light and surprisingly accurate.
This car – a barn-find a couple of years ago – has been repainted to a high standard in its original colour. There are no blemishes in it and the body is almost completely rust-free, bar one small blister coming through on the nearside rear wheel arch. The doors close with with an easy click and the door step sill rubber is excellent, as are the window rubbers. Most of the chrome is in good condition, but the rear bumper is a bit faded and pitted. The hubcaps are a bit of a hotch-potch – the fronts are very presentable flat types, but the rears – an older dome type – are quite pitted. Tyres all round are well-treaded Toyo 330 165/80R15s.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The light and airy interior appears original and only some light marking and a small split in the stitching on the side of the driver’s seat base let the cream vinyl seats down. There are original static seatbelts up front, but none for rear seat passengers. The carpets are in excellent condition with no wear to speak of. The painted metal dashboard is starting to micro-blister around the centre but is otherwise fine. A steering wheel cover has been fitted to aid grip.
UNDER THE BONNET
The flat-four boxer engine has been rebuilt and runs very smoothly; it’s as rev-happy as they come and sounds healthy, even at high revs. There is a little oil on the engine block but the bay is otherwise shows nothing more ominous than regular road dirt – there are no signs of accident damage or corrosion.
THE CCW VIEW
Driving this car is guaranteed to make you smile, not least because the 1285cc engine’s additional power and improved acceleration over the previous 1200 are so obvious. The overall impression this car gives is one of solid quality and this is enhanced by the standard of paint finish and engine rebuild, not to mention the long MoT. Very occasionally, a Chasing
Cars subject turns out to be so appealing that we want to take it home with us – this was definitely one of those cars. Matt Richardson