In the late 1990s, as Volkswagen introduced it’s New Beetle, few outside of dyed in the wool VW enthusiasts were aware that production of the original, air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle was still going on in Mexico. A few of these late model Mexican built Beetles made their way back to Europe. By then, these cars were a novelty more than anything else, outclassed as a mode of basic transport even by other models in the Volkswagen product portfolio. Still, there is something neat about seeing modern VW trim pieces in an otherwise vintage interior, similar to the 1967 Beetle from my childhood. In need of some nostalgia mixed with modernism this week? Read further, then.
Click for details: 1997 Volkswagen Beetle on Classic Driver
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 435 mi
The last VW Beetle built was in 2003 in Mexico from the tape. Since its development in 1938, a total of 21.5 million cars were built in the various plants. The KBA registered in Germany for about 51,000 registered vehicles. Over the years, a fairly constant number.
This vehicle was imported in September 1997 coming from Mexico via Bremerhaven. Together with some very valuable classics it resided in a collection that was supervised by a specially hired master mechanic. This vehicle received an annual service, although it was otherwise not moving. The accompanying test drives have added 700 km to the total mileage. There isn’t another opportunity to purchase a like new VW Type 1 Beetle like this.
No matter how you slice it, $20,000 for basic transportation is a tough pill to swallow, even if this vehicle is practically new. However, we have seen some good examples of earlier Beetles sell for close to this mark, so maybe it’s not so far fetched of a figure after all. At any rate, this is a car that enthusiasts in the US will not be able to import for another six years. I haven’t seen too many Mexican Beetles from the late 1980s and early 1990s make their way to US shores, but I wouldn’t doubt there would be a market for an updated version of the People’s Car, such as this one we see here for sale in Germany. There still are some people, like myself, who can appreciate bare bones transportation with a modern twist.