1955 Volkswagen Beetle Karmann Kabriolett, RARE EARLY VW CONVERTIBLE

Sale price: $200,00 make an offer

Technical specifications

Model:Beetle - Classic
Interior Color:Burgundy
Number of Cylinders:4
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Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2)
based on 7 votes


This 1955 Beetle convertible left the Karmann factory on May 11, 1955 and was imported into Competition Motors of Hollywood, California. It spent 58 years in California until I brought it East. The car has its original floor pans, although the common patch was made under the battery at some point in the cars life. 1955 was a year of many changes and this example has many of the early VW features including, ribbed doors, batwing steering wheel, 2 year only rare strap over air cleaner, single tail pipe muffler, roller gas pedal and many others.
The engine is not the original, however it is a correct 36 hp dated 1958. Brakes were upgraded to larger drums for confident and assured stopping. Tires are like new Coker classic wide whites on original rims with early nos trim rings. This car runs and drives beautifully. Transmission shifts perfectly, no slips or pop-outs. It is only driven to local car shows and on an occasional sunny weekend. Cars true mileage is unknown and it is still the original 6 volt. Birth certificate from Germany is included.
This solid California classic has been repainted at some point in its life, and the paint shines beautifully, although there are several small road chips from over the years. Interior was also restored at some point and the top is excellent black stayfast canvas. German square weave carpet is brand new in the correct color with correct 2 year only oval aluminum heater grommets. Floors and rear luggage area have been insulated before carpeting. Much time and money has been sourcing several of the rare, convertible only NOS parts you see on the car including foxcraft style steel fender skirts, locking trunk release, under dash interior 3 way dome switch (dome light still needed) rare NOS dash grab handle, re-chromed ribbed door and window handles, convertible only flip rear view mirror and dual smoked sun visors, a fully restored VDO in dash clock and grill, as well as the before stated strap over air cleaner, and a perfect reproduced trunk liner assembled as original.
Some specifics on the body of the carThe front apron is original and the car appears to have never been hit. Rocker panels are solid original on both sides. The rear apron has been replaced at some point. The W deck lid with rain channels is the original. Floor pans are original and have been cleaned and painted. Even though the front hood is not the original it looks fantastic, however a 4-tab hood is included with the sale. Many other parts are also included with the sale including correct windshield replacement rubber with chrome moulding, replacement side window rubber and chrome mouldings as well as other miscellaneous parts. Rear 1/4 window chrome is original and showing its age. Sale also includes a set of correct convertible only replacement steel support rails.
While not a perfect show car, this rare early Karmann Kabriolett is a very worthy specimen indeed. It draws a crowd wherever it's at. At a recent show I had more onlookers than a rare mint condition Plymouth Superbird displayed 2 cars away! The early beetle convertibles continue to rise in value as so few are still around. This early VW kabriolett is sold as is with no warranty and seller reserves the right to end this auction early as the car is listed for sale locally. Selling due to another VW purchase.
For clarity This early beetle is a very solid original. The only issue that should be addressed is to install the reinforcement rails which I am including with the sale. When I purchased the car they were missing. Previous owner was not a VW guy and did not realize the convertible only rails were missing. Car still runs and drives fine as is and all body lines and gaps are good. These cars began their production as a sedan and were sent to the Karmann Coach Works factory to be converted into convertibles. Karmann would remove the sedan roof, install reinforcement and the convertible top as well as other convertible only features and appointments before the car was shipped. A VW convertible is truly a custom automobile and a work of art, and the early ribbed door cars are prized vehicles. Please bid with confidence and email or call with any questions. 717-468-7638 Greg

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