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Lot 239: Volkswagen Beetle Speedster

Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles, Bonhams (16 June 2012)

Unashamedly cashing in on the reputation of the outstandingly successful original, Volkswagen introduced the new 'Beetle' in 1998, beating the similarly 'retro' Mini into production by two years. The concept originated at VW's California design studio in 1994 and was taken up by the factory, which launched the much-changed production version four years later. Its rounded shape meant that there was a slight penalty in terms of available interior space but that did nothing to diminish the new Beetle's popularity, particularly among female buyers. The new Beetle was based on the contemporary Golf platform, being similarly well built and dependable, and over the years has been available with a wide choice of engines, both petrol and diesel. Driver and front-seat passenger airbags were standard right from the start of production, making the Beetle one of the safest cars in its class. Like the original, the new Beetle attracted the attention of customisers while the factory too has turned out a number of 'limited editions'. The Porsche Speedster-inspired example offered here was conceived in 2006 by independent specialists Oxford Edition using a cabriolet model as a base. Additionally, the car was treated to extensive mechanical improvements by renowned VW/Audi tuners, APS of Brackley, who replaced the original engine with that of an Audi S3 1.8T. Producing around 270bhp, the latter incorporates APS Stage 3 software and a catalyst-free, 3" diameter exhaust system that exits where the fog and reversing lights had been. Drive is transmitted via a SEAT Cupra R six-speed gearbox to a Quaife limited-slip differential. The suspension has been lowered and is controlled by KW coil-over dampers, while the colour-matched Techart five-spoke 19" alloy wheels are mounted on custom-made hubs. Porsche Cayenne callipers and ECS discs look after the braking. Apart from the windscreen, all glass has been removed together with the hood and its mechanism while the eye-catching, speedster-style bodywork has been smoothed and blended, and the wheel arches extended. The speedster look is completed by a bespoke panel, created by Shapecraft, that closes off the area behind the Recaro bucket seats. Re-trimmed in red leather, the reworked interior features an R32 leather steering wheel, Audi TT Quattro Sport gear lever knob and weighted quick-shift. The total cost of transforming this remarkable Beetle is reputed to be in the order of 60,000! A guaranteed head-turner in any company, this unique VW Beetle is offered with recently expired MoT (March 2012) and Swansea V5C registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Important Collectors' Motorcars & Motorcycles
Bonhams, Oxford, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number239
Estimate£9000-£12000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£5500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£6325
Year2004
Condition rating
Registration numberRG53 FYZ
Mileage-
Chassis numberWVWZZZ1YZ4M325601
Engine numberAZJ724129
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors