According to auction house Bonhams, it is both. This 1955 Volkswagen Karmann cabriolet looks like a barnfind, but Bonhams says it drives smoothly.
The car originates from Italy and was acquired by the Porsche-dealer in Bologna in 1981. He put the car in storage and kept it there for years. It was early this year that the car was taken out of storage.
The current owner made sure that the car was mechanically in good order, so the brakes were overhauled and things like the battery and starter motor were replaced.
All in all, he spent around EUR 5,000 on the car, and the result is that it starts and runs well and drives smoothly.
According to Bonhams’ description, the interior of the car is in original condition. But looking at the wonderful leather-like seats that is hard to believe. The soft top of the car is present but in bad condition, so that will need to be replaced.
This Beetle is a cabriolet built by Karmann, and it’s a very early one. This car is from 1955, in those days the Beetle saloon car still had a small oval rear window. The taillights clearly are from those days, as are the indicators.
The car is apparently in a very original condition and even has original stickers from the fifties on the windscreen. However, the history prior to 1981 is unknown, so you never can tell what it has lived through.
All in all, this car is a driveable barnfind and that is how Bonhams presents it. But will people really enjoy driving around this scruffy old banger? Will someone really invest EUR 35,000 to 55,000 as the auction house estimates? Even when it may take a similar sum of money to restore it properly?
Will someone really invest EUR 35,000 to 55,000 as the auction house estimates? (What a wide estimate, by the way) Even when it may take a similar sum of money to restore it properly?
We will find out on Friday 6 October, when this car is on the stand during Bonhams’ Zoute Sale in Belgium.