1959 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. 2227415
Engine No. 2719760
Metallic blue with grey vinyl interior with blue trim and white piping and blue soft top
Engine: four cylinder, overhead valve, 1,192cc, 36bhp at 3,700rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Brakes: four wheel drum; Suspension: torsion bars front and rear. Left hand drive.
The development of the Volkswagen is closely linked with the name of Ferdinand Porsche. After World War I he tried to realize one of his favorite schemes: a small, economical car for a wide public. In 1934 he was directed by the government to do just this, and he produced three prototypes. In 1938 the final version, the VW38 was introduced. This was available with either a 704 or 948cc air-cooled engine. After World War II, a larger 1,131cc engine was introduced. By 1949 the Volkswagen was back under German administration and in 1954 the larger 1,192cc engine was introduced. The aerodynamic body and bug-like appearance caused the car to be named Kafer-the German word for Beetle. It became one of post-war Germany's most successful exports.
There are few more iconic cars in the world the VW Beetle (or Bug). Universally known from the early days as mentioned above to its immediate use and acceptance among the free spirited of the 1960s, the Beetle is certainly a car with many lives. Installed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and recently reincarnated with only slight design changes one can say these cars have multiple lives.
The example offered here today is a frame off restoration by West Coast Classics in Fullerton, CA fitted with the Judson Supercharger. Complete with virtually every conceivable factory option the restoration of this Beetle speaks for itself. Factory correspondence confirms that the Beetle was built on January 6, 1959 and departed the factory on January 13 for delivery to San Francisco. Ordered in US spec it was finished in "alabaster" or white. The early history is unknown however at some point the car was subject to a careful, thoughtful and complete restoration. Having been restored to 'as new' condition the Beetle now features such rare options as German weave carpets, radio, Hapich headlight shades, custom made five instrument gauge cluster with German VDO gauges, Albert mirrors, Dehne gas gauge, 100,000km badge, 4 pipe exhaust, fender shields and running board step plate, rear fender shields, and Waso locking gear shift. Also included are many documents, receipts and manuals rounding out the impressive offering. There is never a shortage of Beetles on the collector car market, however rarely is one of this quality available. Christie's is pleased to present this stunning example.