Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My daughter is about to turn 14 and I've been tossing around the idea of buying a project car this summer, fixing it up with her over the next couple years and giving it to her when shes 16. I found a 60s or 70s Beetle thats going up for auction near me and thought that it would be a pretty cool project. Its fairly rusty but the frame seems solid. The engine looks fairly worn out and there is a huge build up of dirt and droppings all over the engine compartment, so I'm assuming that its been sitting for a LONG time. The interior looks dirty but in decent shape.

-Are these cars easy to work on and a good 1st project car? My mechanical skills are so-so but I love working on things and I'd have 2 years to figure it out. A quick search showed me that parts are pretty readily available, too.


There was also a 50s Chrysler New Yorker that interested me even more but I'd be worried about finding parts.
 

·
Shaper Of All Things Metal
Joined
·
2,802 Posts
Can't help you with which might be best, but make sure your daughter will be on board. I spent a couple of years fixing up a '55 Chevy for my step son... with his help. When he got old enough to drive it, he didn't want it. Wanted something more contemporary.
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Can't help you with which might be best, but make sure your daughter will be on board. I spent a couple of years fixing up a '55 Chevy for my step son... with his help. When he got old enough to drive it, he didn't want it. Wanted something more contemporary.
Good call. She's way into old cars and trucks. Preferably 60s or 70s. She actually prefers V8s like the late 60s T-birds but finds the Beetle cute.
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The other thing that appeals to me is that the engine is tiny. I have a very soft beach sand driveway and do not think that I could pull a large V8 engine if I had to. That engine looks small enough that I should be able to get it out without much problem.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
They are very easy to work on Sigma. We used to build dune buggies out of them. We always went thru the motor. Randy and I can lift the motor. If you get it let me know of any problems and Randy & I can try to help you.
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
They are very easy to work on Sigma. We used to build dune buggies out of them. We always went thru the motor. Randy and I can lift the motor. If you get it let me know of any problems and Randy & I can try to help you.
Thanks Moni! The auction isn't for a week or so. But I'll let you know!
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
They require regular valve adjustments. Easy if you don't mind lying on your back to do 'em.

The fuel injected SuperBeetles were amazing, used to roar around Northern Arizona in one with the accelerator floored all day long.
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
There MUST be "Beetles" Forum on the web. You might get more hits there, but anyway......

The old 60's Beetles are GREAT in the snow, and it was hard to kill em!! The motor wasn't complex, but it's not as easy to work on THEM, as it is to work on a front end motor with lots of room to maneuver around.

the VW Bus was TERRIBLE on "heat" in the Winter. Lots of after market heating kits were sold to help that problem.

There WAS some justification for the rumor that a VW Bug would float, in case your kid drove it into a lake, but that was no reason to buy one.

You mentioned a Fort T-Bird.......I owned a 65. Had a 390 4-Barrel in it. Lots of power, lousy on gas, heavy car (not as heavy as a 60's Cadillac of course) and was the first car to come out with "Cathedral" back seats, and "Tilt Wheel."

-Soupy
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
Are parts still available for these? That would be my biggest concern.

The engines are very simple and known for durability. Being air cooled, they aren't ideal for winter, since the heating systems are poor.
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,873 Posts
I had several of them when I was younger because that's all I could afford at the time. I had to keep them running so they're also really why i first started to learn how to work on engines. They're as simple of a design as you could hope for, and easy to work on. Like Moni said, it's very easy to pull the whole engine. Four bolts and you lift the car off the engine.

Parts used to be readily available, and I think they still are, with tons of aftermarket options. You can even hop up the engine if you want. (As I recall, about 1776cc was as big as you could go without machine work.) There was just a bug show here a few weeks ago, and there were some amazing beetles and vans. I'd love to have one again, but I don't have the space or time to get all my motorcycle projects done, so that's not going to happen for awhile.
 

·
Charlie Tango Xray
Joined
·
759 Posts
My buddy had several Beetles while we were in high school. Living in Chicago, heat (or lack of it) inside the car was always a huge issue during the winter. Whoever sat shotgun was also responsible for keeping the frost scraped off the inside of the windshield. I remember once on the way to school, we hit a patch of ice in one of his Beetles, slid into a snowbank and tipped over. We just crawled out, tipped it back over, and continued on to school. With very little damage to the car. :biggrin:
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Are parts still available for these? That would be my biggest concern.

The engines are very simple and known for durability. Being air cooled, they aren't ideal for winter, since the heating systems are poor.
I had several of them when I was younger because that's all I could afford at the time. I had to keep them running so they're also really why i first started to learn how to work on engines. They're as simple of a design as you could hope for, and easy to work on. Like Moni said, it's very easy to pull the whole engine. Four bolts and you lift the car off the engine.

Parts used to be readily available, and I think they still are, with tons of aftermarket options. You can even hop up the engine if you want. (As I recall, about 1776cc was as big as you could go without machine work.) There was just a bug show here a few weeks ago, and there were some amazing beetles and vans. I'd love to have one again, but I don't have the space or time to get all my motorcycle projects done, so that's not going to happen for awhile.
I had a '64 and a '69. They were cheap, reliable and good on gas.
My buddy had several Beetles while we were in high school. Living in Chicago, heat (or lack of it) inside the car was always a huge issue during the winter. Whoever sat shotgun was also responsible for keeping the frost scraped off the inside of the windshield. I remember once on the way to school, we hit a patch of ice in one of his Beetles, slid into a snowbank and tipped over. We just crawled out, tipped it back over, and continued on to school. With very little damage to the car. :biggrin:
This is all very good info. Thanks! I'm going to go bid on it and see what happens. I've never gone to an auction so it should be fun either way.
 

·
Shaper Of All Things Metal
Joined
·
2,802 Posts
I've never gone to an auction so it should be fun either way.
Auctions can be a lot of fun but be aware that some people lose all sense when they start bidding. It becomes a competition to see who can bid the most.

Make sure you have the top price YOU are willing to pay in mind before you even start bidding. And be sure the auctioneer or ring men WILL be goading/encouraging you to bid. Just keep your cool.

Good luck. Sometimes you'll end up getting something for far less than expected. :icon_cool:
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Auctions can be a lot of fun but be aware that some people lose all sense when they start bidding. It becomes a competition to see who can bid the most.

Make sure you have the top price YOU are willing to pay in mind before you even start bidding. And be sure the auctioneer or ring men WILL be goading/encouraging you to bid. Just keep your cool.

Good luck. Sometimes you'll end up getting something for far less than expected. :icon_cool:
Lol, thanks. I can imagine some people spend far MORE than expected sometimes, too. I'm not too worried, I'm not all that competitive. I'm going to have a set price in my head and I'm not going above it. I'm not sure if I'm being realistic but I think any more that $800 or $900 and I'd rather shop on Craigslist. This car really isn't in all that good of shape so I think that's a fair value for an auction. I don't know how much of a market there is for rusty non-running 40-50 year old Beetles. I might not even go to $800.

EDIT- I'm finding RESTORED Beetles or at least ones with rebuilt engines and transmissions for $2000-$5000, so I think my $800 for a somewhat crappy one is a realistic maximum. IF it has a title, that is. No title and I'm walking away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
Get the service manual. Yes the engines are very simple, but there are things that must be.

The gas tank will most likely need to be repaired or replaced, it has a water sump and it will most likely be rusted out, if its not too bad puddy will work.
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
My understanding is that Brazil had bought all the molds (some years ago now, I'm sure) and was continuing to build "new" Bugs (and perhaps other models as well). So I'm sure that parts may be available.

-Soupy
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well I won it! Got it for $300 plus buyers fees. PLUS, when I got in the car I found copies of both the Haynes and Chilton service manuals! My daughter is ridiculously excited. Now comes the long hard road of bringing it back...
 

Attachments

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,623 Posts
Looks like you got something good to work with. Have fun now. That's the important part.:thumbsup:
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top