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1971 vw super beetle

Would anyone in their right mind buy a restored 1971 VW SUPER BEETLE? Bear in mind, I cannot garage it so it will be on the street and I live in rainy, rainy, rainy, Portland, Oregon.


Yes, but not necessarily as a daily driver, and not if they expected any working heater or air conditioner.

If I had one, it would be for pleasure only, and I would paint it like a football helmet of my favorite team.

Keep in mind you have to drive it routinely to keep the seals from drying up.

I’ve always wondered, what made a Super Beetle different that a normal Beetle?

From what I know, it had McPherson struts up front (big improvement) and a curved windshield. Probably a better car, but collectors like the older ones more. Go figure.

OP-why do you want one? Have you driven one much? How would you use it? It is slowwwwww, I’d hate for it to be my only car.

I’ve always wondered, what made a Super Beetle different that a normal Beetle?

Two main differences:
  • The front suspension was changed, a little larger trunk, and the usual very poor pollution systems were added.

    I had a 1970 and for my money I would go with a 1970 as more classic and far less problems with the pollution control stuff.

The McPherson struts were a good idea that was poorly executed.

Poor Initially. VW Improved And Replaced Everybody’s Center Track Arm Bushings Under Warranty And Then It Worked Great. Cruising At Speed Was Better Than The Double Trailing Arm Torsion Bar VW.

The dual (intake) port heads on the 1600 engine introduced in the 71s helped out in the power category.


Unless you have a garage, forget it. The car will deteriorate quickly if it spends all of its time outdoors, and it won’t look that good for long.

Rust protection was not exactly state-of-the-art in 1971, either. I know. I used to own a 1971 VW.

I would only consider a car like this as a hobby car, and ONLY if I had a dry garage to keep it in.

I wouldn’t get it if you couldn’t garage it. I had about 20 beetles in my life. The super came out in 71. the 71 and 72 had flat windshields 73 and up had the curved windshields. Once water gets in these cars they rot out from the inside out.

You consider a design that required every car to be updated worthy of praise? What happened to getting something so simple right the first time? Then we could be looking for hall of fame instead of hall of shame.

It wasn’t only the center bushings that caused problems its was shocks that were good for maybe 30K that were causing true white knuckle situations. Give me a twin torsion tube any day of the week. I am not speaking as a VW amature as I started in this business with VW and ate slept and played VW for 20 years. Several Baja 1000’s Parker 400’s Mint 400’s and numerous local So Cal. off road races.

You Seem To Have A Strong Opinion. That’s Alright.

I too was working for VW at the time the Super Beetle came out. I bought a Clementine Orange one new for $2300 OTD (w/ sunroof) and drove it for over 200,000 miles.

The bushings I’m talking about only cost a couple of bucks each and pressed into the track arms. This wasn’t as big a problem for VW as when all the cylinder heads
pulled loose on the “66” 1300 “bastard” engines. Most cars in this era needed more help following purchase than today’s computer designed marvels.

You can’t take these old cars out of context and compare them with modern vehicles. Doing that, I would say that VW I loved then would be a total piece of junk by today’s standards as would most any 1971 car.

I used to make 3,000 mile ski trips in this car. My friend is nearly 6’4" and of various different cars that made the trip, the Super Beetle was the most comfortable, even for my friend, in seating comfort (leg room, head room) and ride.

Those coil springs had a more controlled spring rate and more travel than the choppier traditional axle beam suspension VWs that others of my co-workers drove. I will admit that system was probably more rugged, but I’m talking ride at cruising speed.

How many cars on the road today are using trailing arms and leaf springs or torsion bars in place of coil springs and struts, excepting trucks?


Thanks all. Seeing it would be an everyday car, it does not sound practical. I grew up on beetles and so am living off the fumes of nostalgia.

Those Nostalgic Fumes Can Be Coming From Faulty Nostalgic Heat Exchangers, A Common Problem.

Drive with your vent wing backwards!


That’s a very slick car and whether it would be a viable purchase would depend on what they’re asking for it.

The 71 is a good year and the dual port motor is a strong one.

Yes the Mcpherson strut design (with improved multi link versions like BMW offers) is a excellent front suspension design, but the crude inital version offered by VW were just that, crude developemental version, a far cry from what is offered today, and shock lifespan was very low.

I am acquainted with someone who drives an Austin Healey 3000 every day when there is no ice (April - October). There is someone else around here who drives his Prosche 356 all year. Both are commuter cars, and both older than the Bug you like. Both are also parked outdoors at work.