To say that prices for the vintage Volkswagen Type 14 Karmann Ghia is an understatement at best. People seem to ask anywhere from $5k to $25k for a basic running/driving example, and I can’t tell if it the cheap ones are total junk or the expensive ones are overpriced junk. Hagerty lists a surreal jump from $10k for a #4 fair example to $71k for a #1 concours perfect example. This is not the typical spread for a classic car, and it indicates some interesting market dynamics, particularly for a car produced in prodigious numbers like the Type 14. Anyway, today’s next example could probably be turned into a basic running driver by a few weekends of labor and is offered for a cheap price. Find this 1963 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia offered for $7000 in Novato, CA via craigslist.
The world is filled with yawn inducing boring stuff. Just look at your nearest Toyondaordmotorstallanis dealer. The stuff you see in the showrooms is an insult to the 7 year old version of yourself who dared to dream about driving someday. It is boring, safe, comfortable, and gives you this false sense of security about arriving at your destination without stopping to diagnose a strange noise or soldering a coil pack harness on Christmas eve (true story from this past Xmas). These safe and sensible cars are fine for the zombified masses who wear name brands like RFID ear tags and read the fine print before signing mortgage docs — but readers of this rag know better. We know the feeling of success and relief when reaching your destination. And we understand that swapping a modern 1.8T Audi/VW engine into a vintage Caddy is a thing of beauty. Find this 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Sportruck offered for $7000 in Machester, VT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car comes as a tip from David who writes: Look, run it, don’t run I’m aces either way. But just tell me that’s not actually the air cleaner mounted on what should be the top of the quarter panel. As the proud owner of a ’90 C4 Corvette I’m tempted to get this just to confuse everyone. Yes David, that is a rare optional headrest/aircleaner attached to a single piece Vettish fiberglass body sitting on a Beetle chassis. Wow, that was harder to write than I expected. Find this 1973 Volkswagen Beetle Custom Corvette offered for $1234 in Apopka, FL via fiberbook glassplace.
The Audi A3 was released into the US market in 2005 with the sporty Sportback 5-door model. They were hot, hot, hot when new — I had a friend who purchased one sight unseen from the dealer because he was so obsessed with the shape. He later returned the car to the dealer for a large restocking fee plus a new A4 because he hated the seats — he says they were as comfortable as a concrete park bench…I sat in the car, they felt like seats to me. The rest of the car was on-par with any of the best German cars from the era, and you hardly notices the front wheel drive platform. Anyway, even though it was just a Golf in Horch fur, the A3 was the hot hatch to get in the late 2000s, but they are cheap today. Find this 2009 Audi A3 Sportback offered for $6,500 in Mountain View, CA via craigslist.
In all my years to automotive meandering, I’ve never owned a Beetle. But if I did, it would look something like this next thing. I don’t mind the drop spindle look, the roof rack is ready for a Christmas tree, and the 10-foot paint doesn’t scare me in the least. But I’d probably end up installing a 2500 cc stroker motor, hacking off the fenders, and turning it into a Baja Bug before crashing it in the desert…so it’s probably best that I’ve never owned a Beetle. Find this 1966 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $5800 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist.
I first got a tip on this jet powered Volkswagen Beetle a few days ago and dismissed it because it was so stinkin’ expensive (I could almost buy half a SoCal starter home for that much cash…) but then it kept appearing in the tips box from various tippers (Matt V, Carter, Matt C, probably a few more), so…as they say; when in Rome, burn down your neighbor’s house with a jet engine. Anyway, this is one way to get a Volkswagen New Beetle to be remotely desirable, but I still think the turboshaft powered 928 was the best jet powered car, closely followed by the deathwish Turbolden Jetodore. Find this 2000 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $550,000 in Sunnyvale, CA via craigslist.
I have been watching some youtube videos recently showcasing Ken Block’s Hoonicorn racing against random cars in a drag setting. The Hoonicorn is a 1965 Ford Mustang converted to all-wheel-drive and sporting a twin-turbo 1400 horsepower V8. It is far from street legal, but it is not a drag car (it is purpose built for hooning) and to watch it stomp all over million dollar supercars is something special. Nobody (other than Ken Block) can afford the luxury of building his own Hoonicorn, but you can buy this next thing and get somewhere close for a fraction of the cost…maybe. It does have a boosted engine and sticky 315 tires all the way around, it’s only missing all-wheel-drive, a sequential gearbox, and 1000 additional horsepower. Find this 1971 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $5,900 in Antioch, CA via craigslist.
I’m not sure exactly what it would cost to build a vehicle that would be competitive at a official SCORE (So Cal Off Road Enthusiasts) Class 5/1600 race event…but I have to assume it’d be a lot more than the asking price on this next vehicle. But that is the way the chip crumbles in used racing vehicles, and the builder’s loss is the buyer’s gain. This Baja Bug is only an awesome racing paint job (flames? numbers? stickers? — yes, yes, yes) away from getting you evicted from your condo association. Find this 1969 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $10,000 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The seller of this next vehicle calls it a “Roaster” several times in the advertisement …which I at first thought must be a typo (Roadster?) but after seeing the car…I think it might be correct. It looks crazy. On the plus side, when you do get roasted by this thing, you won’t take your wife/kids with you to the great junkyard in the sky because it only has one seat. Find this 1968 Volkswagen Custom Roadster offered for $7,500 in Coulterville, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I’ve never had much more than a passing desire to own a Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle that wasn’t transmogrified into some kind of dune buggy or monster truck. I guess I’d prefer an earlier version because they have a more classic look, but the newer ones have more amenities and performance (today’s Beetle even has functioning factory stock A/C). This next one looks like a 1970s Super Beetle, but it is actually a Mexican import built in a factory in 1993. Amazing when you consider the type 1 design was first released in 1938. Find this 1994 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle offered for $7,900 in Delary Beach, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!