The Volkswagen Beetle holds the record for the longest continuous production of a single design, and the model has stolen the hearts of countless people worldwide. One of the best-remembered is “Herbie,” the Love Bug, star of six films and a television series. Through the ensuing episodes, Herbie, bearing racing number 53, experiences motor sports, romance, intrigue, and a dip in the ocean. Eventually, he takes part in demolition derbies and NASCAR races, and ends up falling in love with a Volkswagen New Beetle.
Herbie has delighted many a moviegoer and Volkswagen enthusiast, to the point where white VeeDubs bearing number 53 have become quite common. Others, like the prior owner of this car, have made theirs distinctive in more personal ways.
Named “Betsy,” this nifty Volkswagen convertible has special Pearl Yellow paint and fully-chromed VW wheels. The car has been the subject of a personalized restoration, with a new, powder-coated engine, fender skirts, and a custom air conditioning installation. The interior is upholstered in a unique, heavy-duty, tan tweed, matching the hue of the tan canvas top. A modern stereo system provides high fidelity listening. A southwest U.S. car, Betsy is as clean as a whistle underneath and took second place at Bug-O-Rama number 28 in Phoenix.
In the 1960s, one could buy a giant plastic wind-up key with a suction cup on the end. Owners would stick these to the back window of their Beetle sedans to simulate a toy car on the highway. Betsy takes it one step further: a polished aluminum key fits into a hidden socket in the engine lid. When desired, an electric motor slowly rotates the key, just as in a real wind-up toy. Betsy is built for fun. Her new owner will enjoy plenty of it.
60 bhp, 1,585 cc OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, torsion bar independent front and rear suspension, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in. Part of the RM Auctions John Staluppi event in 2012.