Lot 207

1971 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

  • Chassis no. 1512435410

Sold for $26,400

Nicknamed Betsy: A VW with personality

Model 1511. 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.

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.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Sotheby's in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Histo... read more

Alex Classick


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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver


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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby's in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born ... read more

Annette Abaci


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With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Barney Ruprecht


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California, United States

Barney Ruprecht graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Administration. In ... read more

Dan Warrener


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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

David Swig


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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a car specialist in May 2015. He is a lifelong automobile enthusiast and g... read more

Don Rose


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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould


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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Sotheby's in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and re... read more

Ian Kelleher


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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom


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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Sotheby's in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in ... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski


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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a restoration shop as a teenag... read more

Max Girardo


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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn


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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... read more

Pete Fisher


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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his ho... read more

Peter Wallman


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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers


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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a car specialist. A... read more