1957-1978 BEETLE 1200
WHY WE LOVE IT It’s basic, but still immense fun to drive There’s something very appealing about a Beetle in basic trim, with an 1192cc flat-four engine barking away at the back. True, it won’t get you anywhere fast but a well set-up one will give you endless driving enjoyment and attract warm smiles from drivers who appreciate the Beetle’s historic charm. You can find earlier Beetles about at a price or later versions with 1300, 1500 and 1600 engines, but to stick to the true pioneering spirit, a 1200 does just fine. You can even find 21st-century Beetles for sale – not VW’s more recent restyled effort on a Golf floorpan – as production continued in Mexico until 2003.
ENGINE 1192cc/flat-4/OHV POWER 40bhp@3900rpm TORQUE 65lb ft@2400rpm TOP SPEED 70mph 0-60MPH 29sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 25-28mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed manual
Bodywork and chassis are prone to rot with the running boards attracting damp and grime due to their proximity to the road.
Engines are basic and require regular maintenance to keep them running well. Access is great and parts availability is good.
With strong club and trade support, finding someone to give you an informed opinion on a Beetle is not difficult and can save you future grief.