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18 Years Owned 1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle 4-Speed Manual Convertible by Karmann
This 1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle 4-Speed Manual Convertible is being made available by the 18-year owners. While newer versions are available for import, this Beetle is of the last model year available new in the United States and Canada. It is the final year of convertible availability worldwide, making this quite a noteworthy offering. Despite its pre-war origins– at one time, the Beetle was the best-selling car of all time; now #2, the Toyota Corolla holds the distinction of #1 – this “final release” Beetle boasts some significant upgrades from previous years. Some examples include a wider chassis to contribute to handling and interior space, McPherson struts with coil springs in the front and fuel injection. The car is being represented by the owner’s long-time mechanical shop, some of whose work orders appear in the gallery.
CCC Vital Info 18 Years Owned 1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle 4-Speed Manual Convertible by Karmann
Lot – 114
Seller – j-man (Private)
Seller location – Toronto, On M1N
VIN – 1592028336
Odometer – 93,000 km shown
Engine Info – 1.6 litre air-cooled flat-4
Transmission Info – 4-speed Manual
Exterior Colour – Lemon yellow (LA1D)
Interior Colour – Black
Other features – Last year of US/Can Beetle, Last year worldwide of Beetle convertible, Well kept, runs well, no corrosion
Category – German
Hagerty.Ca Valuation – (#3 – #2) $28,800 – $81,800
Carfax – N/A for pre-1981 vehicle
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This Super Beetle is finished in Lemon Yellow (VW code LA1D). Paint has been treated to some touch-ups over the years and the entire car was treated to a repaint in 1984 in its original colour. Original chrome brightwork retains a great shine, it is accented by aftermarket chromed double exhaust tips. Contrasting black top is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition – it is operated manually and goes up and down easily, clipped with straightforward hook-and-eye systems in both positions. Karmann badges are prominently displayed on the fenders, recognizing the original designer of the Beetle Convertibles among many other German cars. Wheels are an upgrade to Volkswagen OEM 15”, painted grey and skinned in 3 Good Year tires with a 1 Kelly tire mounted in the front right. Seller’s shop has advised that this Cabriolet passes the way it is for an Ontario Safety Standards Certificate, though it advises that tires should be replaced before this Beetle is driven any great mileage. Glass is clear and free of any defect, as are light lenses – windshield is by Pilkington while other glass shows the familiar VW and Audi logos. Rear window is glass, folding neatly into the roof when down, and is equipped with a defroster. Equipment also includes exterior mirrors on both driver and passenger sides.
The original interior has also been well kept and remains intact, save for an aftermarket MEi head unit with CD player and 6 presets for both AM and FM. Two Pioneer speakers are mounted low, fore of the doors and provide good sound. Instrumentation is simple: there is a 160 km/h speedometer with fuel gauge, odometer indicating 93,000 km and trip odometer mounted within. It is fronted by a four-spoke steering wheel showing the Wolfsburg logo with stalks for indicators and windshield wipers, the latter with an intermittent setting. Switch gear and warning lights are mounted on the decorative woodgrain, analog clock does not function, fuse box is centrally mounted below the dash. This car is equipped with its original gas heater – an effective way to generate heat for the cabin of an air-cooled car. Black seats are covered in a durable vinyl with perforations to aid in cooling, matching door cards feature crank main windows, vent windows, manual locks and map pockets. Door sills on the insides of the running boards are clean and integrated into the rockers, thus matching exterior paint. While original style vinyl floor mats show wear, pulling them up shows an uncorroded floor, consistent with the underside photos in the gallery. Shift knob is topped with a VW badge and is integrated into a console featuring storage and two cup holders. Front trunk is clean, containing windshield washer reservoir and a spare tire whose air supplies pressure to spray the washer fluid on to the windshield.
Engine starts easily and is a Bosch fuel-injected 1600 cc four-cylinder “flattie” – cylinders are mounted in a Boxer pattern. A visual inspection yields a view of a clean engine bay with all components functional. Drive wheels are in the rear, the 48 horsepower (4200 RPM) is delivered by a 4-speed manual transmission that shifts smoothly and surely. Driving videos show the smooth ride, though it is more fuel miser (30 MPG) than speed burner. Original top speed was 82 MPH, this from torque of 82 ft.-lb. (2800 RPM). Quality ride is augmented by the McPhersons up front and semi-trailing arms with torsion bars in the rear. Odometer indicates 93,000 km – believed to be original mileage and plausible considering the current owner’s careful and light use over the 18-year ownership period. Brakes remain the original four drum set-up. In 2021, the windshield wiper switch was replaced. Other items addressed in the recent past by the long-time owner in sparing use include outer tie rod ends, alignment and ground repair for the fuel injection system. Despite typical minor oil seepage from this VW air-cooled engine, its compartment and underneath are very presentable – matching the body very little corrosion is in place, of the surface variety at that.
This 1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle 4-Speed Manual Convertible by Karmann is available from the 18-plus year owner with two sets of keys, original owner’s manual, some service records and various repair books in Toronto, Ontario.