On the whole, I try to be very open-minded with custom work done on cars, especially air-cooled VW Type 1 and Type 2 vehicles.
But sometimes I come across for sale posts where the custom choices made are literally what is probably holding the car from sale, or the choices are definitely going to contribute to the vehicle selling way below market value for a like stock car, regardless of the quality of the restoration or the amount of money spent.
And today I found a 78 Beetle Convertible on eBay that may have some of the biggest custom sins made that destroy the resale value. Of course, a car owner should have every right to do whatever they want to their car. But there are some things… some decorative choices in life… that are quite frankly abominations.
And I think I may have found one that really triggered me enough to actually comment since I feel so sorry for the vehicle itself, and the resale value of it.
I think I kind of know what they were going for, but a 74 1303 model Beetle convertible is just so not the car for this.
I’ll start with the good.
The rear view
The rear looks fantastic. The paint job looks quite nice and the chrome is in remarkably great shape or has been redone.
The lenses are very crisp, and the bumper mounts and rubber look great.
The top cover boot looks nice, having been done in a dark grey canvas that works so well against the bright white.
The aftermarket chrome tail pipe works well since the chrome bumpers are in excellent shape and shine.
The front view
Once again, solid with a great paint job, nice looking rubber, and a practically perfect bumper.
The chrome looks great and the lenses from this distance look clean.
The front bonnet space
Damn! While we can’t see the metal or paint job, that looks fantastic with great carpeting and it looks like the original tools and jack.
And yeah. from this closer view you can see the rubber on the turn signals is good and the chrome/lenses look great.
The engine bay
For a 42 year old US import Beetle, I’m extermely happy to see the stock Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection still in use with the engine looking very well kept and clean for the most part.
Sure it needs some hose replacements, but even the firewall tarboard looks great, even better than Murbella’s.
And then it all goes downhill:
Exterior paint decoration
I’m just left speechless.
Doing a two-tone paint job with matching accent wheels and even white walls too boot loks so completely wrong for a 1303 convertible.
It is hard to get this to work with the lighter pastel colors of the 50’s and 60’s that many people have successfully two-toned those eras of Beetles, but I just can’t get over what looks like a Saturn Yellow perhaps with the bright white.
The paint job looks excellent. I don’t see much in the way of orange peel surfaces,
The chrome trim is all top notching and polished. Quite beautiful.
But the choice of two-tones… for a 1303… convertible… just…. oh my god my eyes.
And to match it in the wheels and tires… oh my god….
The carpeting looks fantastic in the charcoal gray. The interior white paint looks great!
The rubber is so solid and black!
The running board rubber looks great!
The dash, while blemished some what on the vents, looks solid and I don’t think it is a cap.
Oh my god!!!
And then to bring that bright color into custom seat cover inserts and door cards while leaving the faux wood finish on the dash.
I just don’t think I’ve ever seen a more inappropriate series of color design choices for the exterior, and then to bring them into the interior as well!!!
I mean, the thing is, this 78 would look fantastic as a 100% white vehicle with a 100% black or even gray interior. It would be so pristine. (Hell, I don’t like white interiors and I think that would work!)
This car would look fantastic with that yellow being 100% the exterior, with 100% black interior or possibly even white interior I guess.
But the mix of the two in this fashion just is so heavy.
I’ve tried to look at yellows that might have worked here but I don’t even think
Yukon Yellow (from 69/70) might work. Just barely.
Texas Yellow (from 72) as well. Just barely.
Lemon Yellow (from 71) might work. Just barely.
But Rallye Yellow, Saturn Yellow, and Sun Yellow would never in a million years possibly work like this.
And what’s so sad is the gray canvas cover and then the gray canvas car top itself cost some money to put on!!!
Now it is not being sold as an auction, as it is Buy It Now at $10,499.00 but I just can’t see someone dropping $10K on this simply due to the color choices both outside and in.
If this was solid white or solid yellow exterior, with basic black interior, and the paint jobs appear to be the same quality as in the pics and there’s no rust, I’m thinking this would be a solid $15K car based on my experience with 1303 stockish convertibles.
But the custom choices here are going to kill any kind of maximum return of value here.
I mean… am I wrong here? Is it only me?