1957 Volkswagen Beetle - today's tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

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A classic that's easy on the wallet.

1957 Volkswagen Beetle - today's tempter
VW Beetle is a motoring icon.

If you were going to recommend an iconic car as a first-time classic for someone, a Volkswagen Beetle would have to be somewhere on the list.

Despite the somewhat dubious association with Hitler's murderous WWII regime, the Beetle gained redemption to become one of the motoring icons of the sixties.

To a large extent that's because it was simple, would carry four people and was cheap to own. None of that has changed.

The downside is they're not the safest car on the planet. The handling at the outer edges of its ability can be ropey and front crash protection is questionable. Then again, few classics score well in this area.

Driven with a little sense, they're a thoroughly enjoyable car that somehow seems to get under the skin of owners. Two of our editorial staff own them.

This car is listed as a 1957 model, which means it should be running a 1200cc engine (air-cooled boxer four) with four-speed manual transmission. The body is sometimes referred to as a 'hybrid' becuse it's a version of the split rear window model and has the early small oval window. That on its own adds to the collectibility.

By this time Beetles had received a number of mechanical refinements and, if you had to have an early car, this model would be a good choice.

It has an aftermarket steering wheel and late-model radio, both of which you'd be tempted to change. There's also evidence of a little surface rust on the wheels and bumpers.

However a basic check-over should reveapl its true condition and, assuming it passes, it should be a very economical car to own and maintain. Plus, it should hold its value, being such an early example.

It's located in Queensland and priced at $15,990.

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