Because the Germans didn't like to make styling changes for their own sake, we now have another Teutonic machine for which I cannot provide an exact year of manufacture. The door handles indicate that it's pre-1960 (unless, of course, someone has swapped early doors on a later Beetle), and the size of the rear window means it's post-1957. Any VW expert who can tell the difference between a '58 and '59 from these photos, please enlighten us; until that point I'm going to take a 50/50 shot at accuracy and say it's a 1959.

VW didn't put a lot of decoration on these cars, but the Wolfsburg emblem below the trunk release is a real beauty.

You got a 36-horse 1200 in your Beetle for '58 or '59, which was power enough for highway cruising. That doesn't necessarily mean that's what this Beetle has in the back; even if the owner hasn't swapped in some kind of Weber-ized Type 4, after nearly 50 years it's likely that at least a 1600 has found its way into this car.


I've always liked this style of antenna mounting; sure, it looks funny, but busted-off antennas are easy to replace.


The blue tarp in the back indicates that this Beetle isn't exactly watertight during the rainy California winters. Let's hope the floorpan isn't rusty!

First 100 DOTS Cars