Paris

8 February 2017

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Lot 103

1952 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

  • Chassis no. 1-0331718
  • Engine no. 1-0400875

Sold for €58.240

Documents: Italian Libretto


25 hp, 1,131 cc horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front suspension with transverse torsion bars and damper units, rear suspension with transverse torsion bars and damper units, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,387 mm

  • Rare split rear windscreen example
  • One owner from 1952 until 2014
  • Completely original, unrestored, and showing only 77,000 kilometres from new
  • Retains its original engine


Cultural icon, political statement, mass transport exercise, and even film star—there can be few cars which have crossed as many boundaries as the Volkswagen Beetle, nor engendered quite such affection along the way. With over 21.5 million manufactured between 1938 and 2003, it truly was the people’s car.

One of the last ‘split rear screen’ cars produced, factory records confirm that this example was completed on 4 March 1952 and was dispatched to the Swedish Volkswagen agent Scania Vabis – forerunner of the present day automotive and industrial giant. The first owner was Mr Anton Jannson of Soderby-Karl, near Stockholm, who retained it until 2014, when it was acquired by the vendor.

The term ‘barn find’ is used all too commonly nowadays, but having last been taxed in 1963 and then stored until 2014, there can surely be no more appropriate use of the term than here. Remarkably, after 50 years in hibernation, the car was started up with the minimum of routine maintenance; the vendor reporting that it drove ‘as new’ and that items including the speedometer, clock, lights, and indicators were all found to still be working.

Having covered only 77,000 kilometres, it retains its original bodywork, paintwork, trim, engine, gearbox, tools, and luggage – not to mention the original roof rack, ski holders, and even the original owner’s c. 1950s wooden skis. Furthermore, it is important to note that this beetle is offered with an Italian libretto and has been properly registered for use on the road, rare for such a highly original and unmolested car.

There are perhaps more pristine examples available—undoubtedly some faster or of a superior specification—but surely there can be none more correct, original, or with better provenance that are ready to be driven on the road.





Moteur quatre-cylindres à plat, refroidissement par air, 1 131 cm3, 25 ch, transmission manuelle quatre rapports ; suspension avant indépendante avec barres de torsion et amortisseurs ; suspension arrière avec barres de torsion transversales et amortisseurs ; freins à tambours à commande hydraulique sur les quatre roues. Empattement 2 387 mm.

• Rare exemplaire " split-window " ("Bretzelfenster")
• Un seul propriétaire de 1952 à 2014
• Complètement d'origine, non restaurée, 77 000 km d'origine
• Moteur d'origine

Icône culturelle, affirmation politique, transport de masse et même star de cinéma, rares sont les voitures qui ont traversé autant de frontières que la VW Coccinelle, et qui se sont attiré autant d'affection tout au long de leur existence. Avec plus de 21,5 millions d'exemplaires produits entre 1938 et 2003, c'était vraiment la "voiture du peuple".

Cet exemplaire, dont l'usine a confirmé qu'il avait été fabriqué le 4 mars 1952, fait partie des dernières versions à lunette arrière en deux partie. La voiture a été livrée à l'agent Volkswagen en Suède Scania Vabis (qui est devenu le géant industriel que l'on sait). Le premier propriétaire était M. Anton Jannson, de Soderby-Karl, près de Stockholm. Il l'a gardée jusqu'en 2014, année à laquelle elle a été cédée à son actuel propriétaire.

L'expression "sortie de grange" est utilisée trop communément aujourd'hui, mais cette voiture ayant payé sa vignette en 1963 pour la dernière fois, avant d'être entreposée jusqu'en 2014, il ne saurait y avoir de terme plus approprié pour la désigner. Remarquablement, après 50 ans d'hibernation, la voiture a pu être mise en route à la suite d'une simple révision de routine ; le vendeur a indiqué qu'elle se comportait "comme neuve" et que tout ses accessoires comme le compteur de vitesses, la montre, les feux et les clignotants fonctionnaient normalement.

N'ayant couvert que 77 000 km depuis l'origine, cette voiture est équipée de sa carrosserie d'origine, de même que sa peinture, ses garnitures, son moteur, sa boîte de vitesses, ses outils et ses bagages, sans oublier la galerie de toit, les supports de ski et même les skis en bois datant des années 1950 du premier propriétaire. Par ailleurs, il est important de noter que cette Coccinelle est accompagnée d'un "libretto" italien et qu'elle a été correctement immatriculée pour un usage routier, ce qui est rare dans le cas d'une voiture dans un tel état d'origine.

Il existe sans doute des exemplaires en meilleur état (et même des versions plus rapides et plus sophistiquées), mais certainement aucun qui soit aussi correct d'origine, ni qui présente une meilleure provenance tout en étant prêts à prendre la route.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
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

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more