2007 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction
1968 Volkswagen 'Karmann' Cabriolet
|Engine||Flat 4-cylinder, 1493cc|
This lot is no longer available
Designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, the Beetle first entered production in 1939 and went on to break just about every sales record in the book, going on to sell in excess of 20 million units. Although recognisably the same car, the Beetle underwent continuous development over the years, with bigger, more powerful engines and the switch to fully synchromesh gearboxes improving performance and driveability. Volkswagen broadened the appeal of the Beetle by adding a stylish sports model - the Karmann Ghia - and an open-topped Cabriolet, also developed by Wilhelm Karmann's coachbuilding concern in Osnabruck. Introduced in 1949, the Type 15 Beetle Cabriolet was both stylish and practical, with a well-designed and beautifully finished folding top. The hood was of sandwich construction and, on the early cars, came with a glass rear screen initially, making it completely watertight. Virtually hand-made, the Cabriolet had additional bracing with reinforcement rails compensating for the lack of a roof. The Cabriolet was considerably more expensive than its closed cousin and was based on the Deluxe model, utilising the most powerful engine available. The Beetle Cabriolet remained in production until 1979, with just over 330,000 made (representing a tiny fraction of overall Beetle numbers) and original examples are highly collectable today as a result. The Cabriolet was only officially sold in Australia in 1961 and, taking into account private imports, estimates place the total population here in the 150-200.