Volkswagen Beetle (1957-1967)

“Durable Simplicity from the people’s car”
The Volkswagen Beetle was produced over seven decades from 1946 until 2004 no other car had been made for so long and remained so similar in looks than this German icon. Its purpose initially was to get Nazi Germany mobile, but after the war the British army took control to sell the car across the world as a practical and economical run around.

This basic car was constantly being improved and updated moving very nicely with the times but also sticking to its air cooled routes. Like its Porsche cousin it really was a case of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’.

Today a cult classic associated with sixties hippies and in fact anyone free spirited the beetle has a reputation of being an easy going custom car with a huge scene across the world. Values are always on the rise these days as the popularity of these little cars continues to increase constantly.

Modified or standard, the Volkswagen Beetle will continue to represent cool…always.

Years Produced1957 - 1967
Performance0 - 60mph 32.1sec / Top Speed - 72mph
Power & Torque40bhp / 64Ib ft
Engine1192cc / four cylinder 8 valves
Drive-trainRear engine RWD
TransmissionFour speed manual

Let’s start with the very heart of the Beetle, that air cooled engine. If well maintained they will last a life time so it is important to get a folder of history with the car you are buying. Plenty of TLC in its past is important with regular oil changes being the order of the day keeping everything running sweetly.

Overheating is the Beetles Achilles heel and so it is important there are no restrictions to the fan and make sure the engine isn’t running to lean caused by incorrectly adjusted carbs or leaks from the inlet manifold rubbers. A good indication of a worn engine can be by tugging the bottom pulley to see how much excess play is in it, too much could mean an engine rebuild or replacement. Cracked cylinder heads will lead to loss of compression and oil leaks can be identified by blue smoke on start up.

Corrosion can affect just about everywhere on the beetle. The worst areas are as follows, heater channels, spare wheel well, door bottoms, wing edges, boot and bonnet seams, rear quarter panels and the chassis is also susceptible especially in the front foot wells and  under where the battery sits.

Gear boxes are usually robust although precision is debatable with loss of synchromesh, interiors are sparse, but well finished seats can sag and split but can easily be replaced or repaired.

The Beetle makes a great everyday classic being cheap to run and still incredibly reliable. The best ones to buy remain unmolested or properly restored ones.

INSURING A Volkswagen Beetle (1957-1967)

As an executive classic, prices are very competitive. At Heritage Insurance with 50 years experience behind us, we offer a tailor made package for one or more cars. We include both our in-house agreed value service and salvage retention at no extra cost, should the worst happen. With limited mileage and club members discounts our annual fully Comprehensive policy proves excellent value for money. Here are some typical examples of how little your insurance could be.

  • This quotation is based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 60.

Annual premium – £85.23 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation is based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 45.

Annual premium – £85.23 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation is based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 30.

Annual premium – £86.45 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

*NB: All insurance quotes are based on the same criteria:

  • The vehicle is garaged overnight.
  • The insurer has no record of accidents, claims or convictions
  • The insurer drives a main car daily and doesn’t exceed a mileage of 3000 per annum

All quotations are based on an Agreed Value of £6,000. Prices may alter depending on individual criteria.


An 18-year old Hungarian technology student, Bela Barenyi submitted a chassis design for a “Volkswagen” in 1925 and is credited with having conceived the basic design for the VW Beetle.

Mark Wilkinson (Managing Partner of Heritage Classic Car Insurance) says

“The little Bug has lived a long and fruitful life from war torn Germany right to the heart of the world over there is no mistaking its popularity and it will just keep going on and on.”

INSURING A Volkswagen Beetle (1957-1967)


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