Karmann Kit: 1977 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible – Sold?

by | Oct 2021 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

October 14, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

By 1977, the U.S. Government’s threat to implement roll-over crash standards artificially forced all American car manufacturers to stop offering factory-built convertibles.  While a number of two-seat drop-top offerings remained, for the 1977 model year, a U.S. new car buyer had but only two four-seat convertibles to choose from:  a Rolls Royce Corniche for $97,175 ($438,678 in today’s dollars) or the $4,799 ($21,644 in today’s dollars) Volkswagen Super Beetle Cabriolet. 1977 proved to be the final year you could buy a Beetle Cabriolet as a non-special edition and this yellow over black Super Beetle originally listed in September 2021 on Craigslist in Ocala, Florida is reported to be a restored example.

Currently offered at $25,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Super Beetle priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $13,100 and #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $32,500.  Interestingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a much different assessment as in this case the asking price is $8,500 dollars above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $17,000.

In 1975, to comply with tightening emission standards, VW’s 1600 cc air-cooled engine in Japanese and North American markets received Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection. The injected engine received a new muffler and in California a catalytic converter. This necessitated a bulge in the rear apron under the rear bumper and replaced the distinctive twin “pea shooter” tailpipes with a single offset pipe, making injected models identifiable at a glance. 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumper-equipped North American models retained fender-top front indicators. 1977 models received new front seats with separate head restraints.

Aging rapidly against a growing number of Japanese imports, 1977 turned out to be the final year for the Beetle Sedan in the U.S., though it would be built in Mexico until 2003. Once a top seller, U.S. Beetle sales for 1977  slumped to 19,245 units, however, 7,155 of those were Cabriolets as it was now one of the few convertibles left to buy new.  U.S. Prices jumped again, to $3,699 for the 1977 Beetle Sedan and $4,799 for the Super Beetle Cabriolet.

On their YouTube Channel, Hagerty Insurance provides this Buyer’s Guide on what to look for when buying a vintage air-cooled Beetle:

As a former owner and air-cooled Beetle enthusiast, seeing the words “replaced floorboards” automatically means I want to inspect the car, especially a convertible version, on a lift. This is imperative to confirm the quality of the repair but also determines whether they also took the time to replace the heater channels properly. Also worth noting in this example is the fact the front seats were reupholstered without the head restraints.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1977 Convertible VW (RESTORED)
Rebuilt Engine
New:
Convertible top
Floor panels
Windshield
Radio/CD
Door Panels
Interior
Battery
Tires
One of a Kind
Excellent condition

Show or go: what would you do with this restored VW Super Beetle?  Comment below and let us know!

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