When looking for a car under $ 1,000, there are always plenty of classics available that are great to build, restore, and drive.
One of the most common great classic cars you can buy cheaply and drive is still the Volkswagen Beetle. The VW bug has always been a symbol of cheap and reliable transportation, and while many are becoming more valuable, you can still find many for less than $ 1,000. It’s getting harder to find a clean example that can be driven for less than $ 1000, but you can always find a start to a great car project.
What I like the most about these VWs (aside from the fact that it was my first car in ’72) is that you can do so many different things with them, from perfect restorations, custom restorations, custom drag cars, road racers, off-road toys , car kits, the list goes on. Depending on what you have in mind for yours, this can affect how you want to make your purchase.
Most cars this age and VW’s are no different, they have a fair amount of rust that needs to be checked and fixed. Floor trays and heating channels tend to be problem areas, especially where the battery is located. Floor trays are not a difficult solution, but heating channels, if deteriorated, may require reinforcements from the car and a lot of labor. So if you plan to make a lowering mistake, for example rust on the fenders, etc. It may not be a cause for concern, but structural areas will affect your ability to withstand abuse on the trails.
Quick stats in case you didn’t know if the car comes with one of two dual-port and single-port engine types, two types of swing axle and IRS rear suspension types, and two standard and super trim models. Super Beetles have Macphearson struts in the front and a shorter, stubby front nose. Supers seem to have less overall value as collectibles, so they tend to be cheaper. The combination of pieces you get will simply depend on the year; VW always made changes but kept the same overall design.
The reason these cars are All-Stars is that not only are they very simple and easy to work with (they start the engine in 30 minutes), but they are reliable, they can usually handle all types of weather and the parts are quite cheap still. These classics can allow you to experience a classic car with a more modern standard of reliability. So if you can find a cheap one, buy it and have fun!