9 years ago

I think no matter what I type I'm still going to come across as the naive young chap who desperatley wants a classic beetle, nonetheless I'll ask away and hopefully gain some knowledge from these forums.

Just got a new job, one which I'll need a car to commute to the extremely remote location of the office (about 40 miles from my flat). I will have spare time and (hopefully) money to work on this car and I have a decent amount of experience working on cars for a 22 year old (but I've never worked in a garage or the like).

Firstly, I want to know how relaible a '73 beetle can be (I appreciate this will vary wildly depending on the specific car) and how cheap/easy repairs and parts are for such a vehicle?

Secondly, I'd like to know what it is I really need to look out for when buying this car 2nd (or 52nd) hand.

I've got my eye on a '73 beetle for £1800.

The desciption is as follows:

"1973 vw beetle,tax exempt,been used every day buy me for work for the last 3 years,very good little runner,things ive done are,new clutch,gearbox bearings,new voltage regulator,all welding done for last mot due sep 15,new fuel pump,new exhaust,new battery,new brake shoes,new brake cylinders,new brake pipes,
,just serviced,new plugs,dizzy,rotor arm,air filter,condenser,fuel filter,leads and points,could do with a tart up on the body work side,but is 40 years old,is registered as historic,insurance only cost me £88 a year fully comp,comes with lots of spare parts,ie,couple of carbs,doors ,window glass etc,too much to add,also comes with roof rack ,with various boxes and junk to go on top,any questions please ask,only selling as i want to get a campervan. "

The photos show the car in decent nick superficially at least.
Is there anything in that description I should be concerned about?

More importantly what should I ask and try and find out BEFORE I go down and see the car in person?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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  • AW
  • pre67vw Junkie
9 years ago
1st thing is to see how much the insurance will be for you if you are young.
( I was that once geeeeeeeeeeeeeee were has the time gone )

Andy W
9 years ago
Nice to see that there are young people out there who want a classic Beetle and have not been put off by the idiot Top Gear petrol heads who continually dismiss the car as 'cr*p' which of course it isn't! It maybe slow, but it was very reliable in its day (and can still be), (most other 60s-70s cars were infact the 'cr*p' and less reliable), and a big plus over today's boring buzz boxes - the old Beetle has individuality. Plus of course it has no ageing water-cooled plumbing to give you grief.

With all those things listed as done on the car you are considering (and let's assume that they are), it sounds like a car worth going after, and the car seems accurately priced in today's values. It has to go through the MOT still unlike pre 1960 cars, so this is a little bit of reassurance for you too.

I think that it would be worth going to see, though it is from the 1970s and very old so expect some rust bubbles and scabs on the body lower sections. Avoid the car if there is any significant rot above the waistline, especially the window pillars and roof gutter. Ask the owner about this first to save a wasted journey, and good luck!:wink:
Rattletrap – the Volkswagen Beetle that has covered an incredible mileage equivalent to over 35 times around the planet :omg:
Running nifty since 1950… the King of Volkswagens:beer: Why not make friends with this famous little VW – he's on facebook!
9 years ago
A seventies Beetle is still a very usable car and quite capable of keeping up with modern traffic. A good one kept up to (it will need more regular attention than a modern car) is more than up to the task as a daily driver, in fact like most old cars they run better the more they're used. Spares for these later Beetles are plentiful and fairly cheap too. You should really be conversant with mechanicals and working on cars because they need regular attention and constant fettling. I doubt you'll be able to get cheap agreed value insurance, I don't think they'll insure it as your only car daily driver.
What concerns me about the car in the ad is the reference to welding being done to get it through the MOT - it sounds like it's patched up regularly to keep it going. That brings up what will be your biggest problem in buying and keeping an old Beetle as a daily driver and that is body rot. Most of these seventies Beetles have patches all over the heater channels, chassis and inner wings. You'll need to inspect one really well before purchase, ideally with someone who knows Beetles really well.
Get a good one though and you'll find owning and driving it a far more rewarding experience than owning a generic bland Eurobox.
Good luck in finding a good one and well done for wanting join the world of classic cars!
1949 Belgian Standard
1955 UK RHD De Luxe
9 years ago
mrmagyar gives very good advice in his post.
If you don't find the right beetle immediately then it might be a good idea if you can visit the 'Volksfling' VW show at Biggar over the weekend of 23/24 May this year. There will be plenty of beetles there to look around and both mrmagyar and myself, plus other members of The Historic Volkswagen Club, will be there and we'll all be very happy to talk you through buying a beetle and show you the places to check.
Good luck.
Old Blue
9 years ago
Easier to deal with mechanical issues with 60's on Beetles - no matter how well one runs and drives I'd avoid those that have seen considerable welding in their life or soon will be needing it.
1956 VW Beetle, 1962 Morris Minor, 1968 VW Beetle (Old Blue), 1972 Morris Mini, 2005 MGTF

Blue, blue, Electric Blue, that's the colour of Old Blue!