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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm getting my first air cooled beetle this week. My mom is shipping it up for me to clean up, tune up, and see if I can sell it for her.











I don't really know much about air cooled but I am pretty mechanically inclined. I don't know much about the car either other than: it's a 74, re-upholstered interior, repainted, rebuilt engine within the last 2500 miles, and it has a little rust in a few places. Otherwise it seems like a clean car.

Do you guys think I could get $4000-$5000 for it? Or what do you think it's worth now and what would it take to get it there?

What are the best "little fixes" that would add the most value?

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't do anything.

The "little rust" includes rust behind the crescent vents. While this is not an uncommon problem, the paint-over where it is bubbling from the inside out did nothing to hide how far gone this is. It is not an easy fix. Paying someone to fix it would be costly.

Therefore, three types of people will buy it -- (1) someone looking for a dependable banger, (2) someone with welding skills, (3) someone who doesn't know it's a problem that keeps getting worse even if they don't see it.

Only #3 might pay $4,000-5,000 if everything else is in order.

Depending on how fast you want to sell it or how patient you can afford to be, I would ask $4,500. But be forewarned: Anyone from the first two groups will lowball you, except it is only lowballing relative to you asking $4,500.

Don't lie. Just emphasize its positive points.

Unless it's not firing on all cylinders or pulls to the one side when braking or anything else like that, don't spend any money on it because you won't get it all back. Even if something mechanically is amiss, lower your expectations rather than chase the pricey fix. At most, chase the simplest fixes like a routine tune-up, oil change, light bulb, or anything like that if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome info. Thanks.

Yeah I was only planning to do the most simple fixes.

The only "bigger" thing that bothers me is the lack of bumpers. Is it worth trying to find a set or do people not really care about bumpers on these cars (and therefore it won't really add any value)? I found a mint set locally for $100 but they're from a '67-'73 which uses a different bracket apparently compared to the '74 (shock style). Is there any way to retrofit the bracket style on a shock style car?

Just before you posted your response I listed it on craigslist for $4950. I'll probably list it on here, on the samba, my local club's site for $4500. I'm willing to take a lower offer but I'll probably sit on it at least a few weeks (and actually try to enjoy the car a bit) before I do.

It should be here this week. I'm stoked.
 

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The only "bigger" thing that bothers me is the lack of bumpers. Is it worth trying to find a set or do people not really care about bumpers on these cars (and therefore it won't really add any value)?
I prefer bumpers, too. However, some people don't and some people would prefer a non-stock bumper. It's better to drop your price by $100 than to spend $100 and narrow your field of potential buyers.

Just before you posted your response I listed it on craigslist for $4950.
Nothing wrong with starting high. It's always easier to lower your price than to raise it if you get second thoughts. A person offering $4000 and buying it for $4300 will feel better if the starting price was $4950 than if it was $4500. The key is not to start at a price that's so high you don't get the initial interest.
 

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I prefer bumpers, too. However, some people don't and some people would prefer a non-stock bumper. It's better to drop your price by $100 than to spend $100 and narrow your field of potential buyers.
I'll have to disagree with you there.

Leaving them off is what is going to narrow your field of potential buyers, not a hundred dollar price difference on a $4500 car. Those huge holes in the fenders are a very visual reminder that something is missing... and many people (the non-DIY types) will immediately think of the car as a project. It's not an issue of thought-out conclusions, it's an issue of first-impressions. And a solid first impression is what makes cars easy to sell. :beer:

As for anticipating what the buyer wants... Bumpers are something that most people just expect cars to have. If someone is interested in the car but would rather not have bumpers, they can always take them off. But it's much harder for someone who wants bumpers to find the parts for the right year, purchase, and install them on a car that doesn't have them. Plus, being a shock-mounted bumper, your options for aftermarket bumpers are much more limited. Things like T-bars, etc, are not available.


If you can find a set of the bumper shocks and bumpers for cheap, I say put 'em on. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I may try to source a set. The ones I found locally for cheap were not the shock style ones unfortunately.

The car came late last night. I've never driven an air cooled before but I noticed a couple things while pulling it into my driveway from the truck: the gear selector is very vague and loose, the window felt very tight while rolling it up/down, and the car wanted to die at idle but if I gave it a little throttle then it was fine. Are any of these things normal or could they be some easy fixes?
 

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My opinion, it's not worth anything near $4500. Matter of fact if you price it at that the car will sit. Then if you keep dropping the price in the ad the casual buyer will think something is severely wrong with it and not want to buy it based off of that. Do yourself a favor and when the car shows up take something pointy that won't scratch the paint up and start poking around the rust behind the vents and find out how much is there. IF you know what's there and can communicate it you'll be able to inform a potential buyer. I would say if the rust isn't bad it may be worth $3000-3500 and that is being generous.
 

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:D
Thanks. I may try to source a set. The ones I found locally for cheap were not the shock style ones unfortunately.

The car came late last night. I've never driven an air cooled before but I noticed a couple things while pulling it into my driveway from the truck: the gear selector is very vague and loose, the window felt very tight while rolling it up/down, and the car wanted to die at idle but if I gave it a little throttle then it was fine. Are any of these things normal or could they be some easy fixes?
Hi first :) ,
There's a couple of relatively easy fixes:cool: to the problems:( you're reporting but I'm flat outta time tonight:banghead::laugh: , I'll walk you through them over the rest of the weekend;) starting right after I get off work tomorrow night;) .

:beer::D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I figured out that I need to replace the shifter bushing to clear up the gear selection vagueness. it looks like its only a $5 dollar part but a bit of a fiddly install that could take me awhile.

I tried to mess with the idle by adjusting the screws on the carburetor, but I couldn't really get it to stay much better. I'll try again today, and then take it to a shop on Monday if I still can't get it.

as far as the price goes, I am right in between other cars that i see out there that are in better and worse condition. better condition ones are going for five to six thousand and up, the worse condition ones are going for two to three thousand. there's a woman who has already offered me 4000 for it and I will take it if she comes through today.
 

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:D
So I figured out that I need to replace the shifter bushing to clear up the gear selection vagueness. it looks like its only a $5 dollar part but a bit of a fiddly install that could take me awhile.

I tried to mess with the idle by adjusting the screws on the carburetor, but I couldn't really get it to stay much better. I'll try again today, and then take it to a shop on Monday if I still can't get it.

as far as the price goes, I am right in between other cars that i see out there that are in better and worse condition. better condition ones are going for five to six thousand and up, the worse condition ones are going for two to three thousand. there's a woman who has already offered me 4000 for it and I will take it if she comes through today.
Dayo first :) ,
Here's info on the shift rod bushing replacement which may come in handy http://chircoestore.com/catalog/smf/index.php?topic=4109.msg25509#msg25509 ;) .
You'll also want to take a look at your shift coupler http://chircoestore.com/catalog/smf/index.php?topic=4160.0 ;) .
On the windows http://chircoestore.com/catalog/smf/index.php?topic=4313.0 (click the links inside the link ;) ).
On the carb, the later ones are much more complex to tune correctly, as in, you probably changed a factory preset which wasn't meant to be touched namely the screw @ the top end of the throttle arm, please click on your carb type here http://www.vw-resource.com/carb_tuning.html for all the info you'll need to reset everything back up correctly;) .

:beer::D
 

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Thanks. I may try to source a set. The ones I found locally for cheap were not the shock style ones unfortunately.

The car came late last night. I've never driven an air cooled before but I noticed a couple things while pulling it into my driveway from the truck: the gear selector is very vague and loose, the window felt very tight while rolling it up/down, and the car wanted to die at idle but if I gave it a little throttle then it was fine. Are any of these things normal or could they be some easy fixes?
If your car has mechanical problems, bumpers aren't going to matter. Cutting corners on certain things are red flags, too. If I see cheap parts, I expect cheapness where I can't see as well.

If the mechanical problems are easy fixes, fine. But if it is going to run you money, you're better off lowering your price than spending a grand to get $500 more.

Look at the ads here and on theSamba (which focuses on air-cooled cars). The ones that exist for four months or more fall into three categories -- (1) simply overpriced, (2) heavily modded a certain way and they expect 80 cents on the dollar for what they spent "not counting their time" no doubt, or (3) they have a laundry list of what's new and claim what's needed are "simple fixes" or "common for the car" they're selling.

Throwing good money after bad isn't just a cliche.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
FV-QR

thanks oasis. the bumpers have basically fallen off my list for now. i'm going to concentrate on the cheap/easy mechanical fixes to at least have a good solid runner. if i don't get any interest in another week or so then i'll drop the price. i already have one person who's supposed to check it out this week.

thanks for the links buggy. i'll definitely check those out. ;)
 
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