CC For Sale: 1956 Volkswagen Beetle–Hibernating 50 Years, Now Running!

Dateline Somerville, NJ:  A classic 1956 Beetle has emerged after a long slumber.  It is now running and available for purchase . . . for only $20,000!

When I think “Classic Beetle”, this is image that comes to mind:  the iconic Beetle shape, the double bumpers, the little oval grilles up front;  looking ratty but still serviceable.


Text from the Craigslist ad:

1956 VW Beetle Oval window. My Father purchased this car in 1966 and drove it until it had brake problems and parked in the garage in 1972. The car has sat stored in the garage for the last 50 years, since 1972. We have repaired the brake issue and have the car running and driving. Very solid car with no rot, unlike most cars having extensive rotting that are this old, especially on the east coast. The car does need restoration. Buyer responsible for delivery/ pickup. Cash only $20,000 or best offer. Serious buyers can inspect the car by appointment only. No low-ball offers needed.

Small window in back. From this angle, it looks very 1930s Streamline Moderne.


To me, this is what Curbside Classic is all about–I love the fact that this VW is so original and unrestored.  And running!  It’s as if someone just plucked an old Beetle out of 1972, put it in a time machine, and teleported it to 2022.  Even down to the windshield inspection sticker!

Steering wheel and dashboard reminds me of a school bus.


There are so many small details to study:

Original engine?


Gas tank (?) under the hood.


“Waffle” stampings in the floorpans.


There’s even a video:


“I’ve got a slightly used ’56 Beetle in the back row. $20,000 and it’s yours!”


The idea of a worn Bug like this being worth $20,000 is kind of amazing–used car dealers and customers in the ’50s and ’60s would never believe such a thing is possible.  But many decades have passed, the car crushers have done their work well, and the formerly ordinary is now exotic, patina and all!  Where else are you going to find that?


Also from Craigslist: 1954 Mercury pulled out of a garage in East Orange. (Parked since 1964)


Incidentally, New Jersey is a good place to find cars that have been hidden for decades.  True, Jersey is a small state, but it’s so densely populated.  Think of it–all those houses, garages, storage buildings–the odds of finding something like this become more likely.


Also from New Jersey, this Corvette recently emerged after being stored for 50 years, and was recently offered for sale.

Then there’s this 1929 Packard limousine which was converted into a tow truck [probably in the 1940s(?)] that turned up on Long Island Craigslist.  It also had been sitting 50 years, and was priced at that magic number:  $20,000.

And, by the way, when I bought my 1958 Ford on Craigslist in 2014, the car had probably been sitting for 18 years in storage, not moving.  The old tires had rotted away, but the engine ran–and today the Ford is still running and driving great!

I have a saying and it applies to CCs:  “You never know what the new day will bring.”  For those who think all the old cars have been found, trust me–they’re still out there, sealed up in dusty garages–lurking–hidden from public view.  Awaiting the day they will emerge from the dark and go into the light!

Related post on a similar Volkswagen.

More photos: