At $15,900, Is this 74 VW Super Beetle Sun Bug a Super Bargain?


Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Volkswagen Super Beetle is claimed to be one of about 300 ‘Sun Bug’ special editions. Let’s decide if its price gives us a sunny disposition.

Even if, like Ice-T and Jay-Z, we all had 99 problems, at least yesterday’s 2005 MG ZT 190 test car isn’t one of them. According to the ad, the ZT 190 was a test car left behind in the States after MG ran out of checks in its checkbook. At $21,900, it had 96 problems, that being the percentage of the votes that gave it a No Dice loss.

Hey, do you remember the Banana Splits? Nah, nah, nah… nah, na-nah, nah… Yeah, those guys. I don’t quite know why, but when I look at today’s 1974 Super Beetle and think about its Sun Bug special appearance package, I get that Banana Splits song stuck in my head. Maybe I have suffered a cranial injury.

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The Sun Bug (which, it is required to note, is different from the standard Beetle “Slug Bug”) was a paint and tape package offered on both the OG and Super Beetle for the 1973 and ‘74 model years.

Nobody knows how many were actually sold. However, according to prevailing opinions, about 300 were shoved through dealers’ doors over the brief time the model was offered. Fully decked out, the package consisted of a gold metallic paint job, black side graphics, and a badge on the engine cover. The interior received specific upholstery, a special shift knob, and rosewood trim on the dash.

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The trim package was offered on both the sedan and the convertible, with the latter better earning the Sun Bug badge. This one also looks to have had a respray at some point in its lifetime, as evidenced by the overspray on the passenger-side sill plate. That has evidently resulted in the elimination of the special edition side graphics and the removal of the badging on the back. The interior does feature the wood on the dash, but the shift knob may have been changed at some point. Now, admittedly, the badge, side stripes, and shift knob were dealer-installed extras on the Sun Bug, so this one may have never had them.

On the plus side, the car wears some very cool, period-correct Formula V Turtleback wheels. These are not specific to the Sun Bug package but are nice aftermarket add-ons.

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The ad describes the interior as “upgraded” and “unique.” The leatherette trim seems to be in excellent shape even if some of the welting is a bit wonky in places. An aftermarket tachometer and cupholder add a bit of interest to the dash, but everything else seems as spartan as you’d expect. Above all that, there’s a sunroof giving this Sun Bug a bit of actual sun.

Overall, the car looks to be clean and carries a rebuilt single-carb 1600 engine. The title is clean and the mileage is an appreciably low 38,060. Of course, that could be 138,060 since the odometer only has five barrels.

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The asking price for this Super Beetle is $15,900 and in case you haven’t been following old Beetle prices, these have been getting some notice as of late. This one is claimed to be a special edition, but lacks a number of identifying features of that special edition. If that could be verified in the car’s paperwork, it would go a long way toward supporting its value assessment. If not, then it’s just an old Beetle that looks to be a turn-key classic.

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What’s your take on this “Sun Bug” and that $15,900 price? Does that seem like a deal to get into a Beetle? Or, does that price tag make this a dark deal?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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