2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction

1954 Volkswagen Beetle 'Oval Window' Sedan





Engine 1200cc flat four-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Body Work Sedan
Colour Blue over cream
Interior Tan
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel wheels with hubcaps
Brakes Drum/drum


This lot is no longer available

The story of the original Volkswagen Beetle is well known - from the original design brief to create cheap, reliable transport for the German masses, it evolved through a myriad of production changes and variations to stay in production for more than five decades. And that does not include the later Golf-based ‘retro’ Beetle. The original Beetle "People's Car" created by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his team became the most successful automobile of all time, with no less than 20 million units produced. Although the basic concept remained unchanged over the years - all Beetles retained the air-cooled flat four-cylinder motor located behind the rear axle - the model underwent constant refining and each year saw various small improvements take place. The big change for 1954 was the increase in displacement of the flat four engine, from 1131cc to 1192cc and this, with the compression ratio similarly lifted to 6.1:1, resulted in the relatively large gain of 5 horsepower. The top speed on the Beetle jumped to around 100 km/h and acceleration also improved. The ’54 interior came in for some revisions as well, with better quality materials and a strap to hold the rear seat in place, while the original starter button was replaced by a key-operated switch. Another small but useful change saw the brake fluid reservoir relocated to a more accessible position in the front boot. Today, these ‘oval window’ Beetles from the 1950s are seriously desirable as examples of the purest form of the design of this iconic car and thus command a substantial premium over later models. Any Beetle is an ideal classic car for the modern era - cheap to run and maintain, fun to drive and with a universal popularity few other automobiles can lay claim to. 

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