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1978 VW Beetle - View All




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Vehicle History

Overall condition: Good
Restored?: Partially
History: No prior history other than as known for the film
MOT: December 2022 (Exempt)

Originally introduced as the Volkswagen Type 1 in 1938, the VW Beetle is the most produced vehicle of a single design platform of all time. These quirky air-cooled economy cars offered early motorists a superbly affordable balance of practicality, dependability, and driving pleasure.

Over the years, the Beetle has gained an enormous following across the globe, with an endless amount of clubs, aftermarket providers, and support available within arms reach. In fact, these VWs remain as popular as ever, with enthusiasts constantly on the search for unique examples to add to their collections.

This particular example truly is one of a kind and holds a tremendous amount of history. The car previously spent its life in South Africa and is featured in the film “Sulphur and White”, which tells the moving story of David Tait. In the film, the vehicle is driven by Anna Friel, who plays the character of Joanne Tait.

The filming work certainly took its toll on the car, leaving the little Beetle looking rather tired and sorry for itself. The car then made its way to renowned classic car restoration experts; Carrosserie, to have the paintwork freshened up, a new hood, and some mechanical TLC. Now, the car presents itself as an excellent collection piece, packed with character and forever immortalized in “Sulphur and White”, directed by Julian Jarrold.


  • Restored paintwork
  • 15” chrome wheels
  • Custom vinyl hood

The VW Beetle is easily one of the most recognizable vehicles of all time, showing off a classic design that has aged like fine wine. The platform offers endless styling capability too, presenting a near blank canvas to style however desired. Many examples prefer the clean California aesthetic, but it’s not uncommon to see rat-rod styling or subtle custom modifications.

This particular example shows relatively standard styling, with the exception of its custom roof of course. Although the exact origin and date of the conversion are left to the imagination, the handiwork is rather respectable, utilizing B pillars and a custom arch. The new custom vinyl hood fits expertly atop and secures along the front and sides for a tight fit.

During the filming process, the Beetle was of course subject to camera mounts and recording equipment, which left the paintwork looking rather tired. The car was then sent to renowned specialist Carrosserie to have the paintwork tidied up where required. As a result, the red paintwork presents itself beautifully, with only a few minor marks noticeable upon incredibly close inspection.

This VW sits on a set of 15” chrome wheels with matching hub caps, which offer a welcome amount of contrast against the red paintwork. The wheels are in great condition for their age, showing only incredibly minor signs of age to the chrome finish, and minor dents to the lips. The wheels are wrapped in a matching set of Barum tyres, with plenty of tread for the lucky new owner to enjoy.

Although most brightwork and trim pieces around the vehicle present themselves rather faultlessly, the chrome bumpers are beginning to show signs of age as pictured. Fortunately, the accessibility of modern re-finishing services makes this quite a minor defect, at least one that can be rectified rather easily if desired. Otherwise, lights, glass, and badging show only minor marks and minimal signs of age.


  • Air-cooled flat-four
  • Manual transmission
  • Runs and drives well
  • MOT until December 2022

Although not the most powerful by modern standards, VW Beetles offer a very engaging and characterful driving experience, packed with all the charm of an air-cooled flat-four. These engines are also known for being rather dependable, and also rather simple to maintain, despite their age.

In addition to its fair share of cosmetic work, this Beetle has also received a dash of mechanical TLC, courtesy once again of Carrosserie. As a result, buyers will be pleased to know that this little VW now performs brilliantly, without a single known mechanical fault.

Although now exempt, the vehicle also has a valid MOT certificate until December 2022, only requiring a headlight adjustment in order to pass. A glance through the MOT history will also reveal a rather healthy mechanical condition, with only easily rectifiable fails and advisories to note.


  • Sony head unit
  • Partly retrimmed interior
  • Great condition
  • Spare wheel & jack included

Although little is known about the vehicle’s past in South Africa, it appears this VW’s interior shows off a balance of original components, and re-trimmed upholstery. Regardless of originality, the vehicle’s interior is in a rather fair condition for its age, presenting a very comfortable cabin for passengers.

Rather stylishly adorned with red piping, the grey seats appear to have been preserved quite well over the years but do show minor signs of wear. Although mostly refined to the driver’s seat, you’ll notice minor tears, discolouration, and bolster wear to the front seats. The rear seats, on the other hand, appear to have seen far less use and look excellent.

Carpeting throughout the vehicle would benefit from a dash of TLC, seemingly still showing its fair share of the South African filming locations. This extends to the carpeting within the frunk, which may require a more professional touch. In the frunk, you’ll also find the washer
fluid bag, spare wheel, warning triangle, and spare wheel.

Although not exactly packed with luxury technology and modern comforts, buyers will be pleased to know that all electrical components throughout the interior are believed to be in full working order. In addition to being fully operational, controls show only minimal wear to the contact points and look great for their age.

Why bid?

The VW Beetle is easily one of the most collectible and iconic vehicles of all time; a true classic that will never lose its charm. This particular example is one-of-a-kind, and is packed with history, as highlighted in the film “Sulphur and White”.

The vehicle now presents itself brilliantly, both inside and out, with excellent mechanical health. If you’re looking for a unique collection piece, or a well-performing weekend toy, very few cars come close to this fantastic little Volkswagen Beetle 1600.

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Notice to bidders

Please note whilst Bidding Classics offer the most descriptive auction listings and in-depth photos and videos, we cannot claim they are totally accurate reflections of the condition of each vehicle listed for sale. Therefore, we encourage all bidders to do their own due diligence and arrange a viewing of each vehicle for sale. Viewings can be arranged by posting in the comments section below, this will trigger an email to the seller, who will get in contact to arrange a time of mutual convenience.

Also, it is likely that many of the classic cars sold through our platform will have had repair work in the past that we cannot verify. As such we do not warrant (and no warranty shall be implied) that the repairs have been carried out to a high standard or that any replacement parts are genuine.

Please do ask any questions by filling in the ‘Ask a question’ form and one of our team will be in touch, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions section if you have questions about the buying process. If you require any additional photos or videos let the seller know, and we’ll ensure they are captured and sent over as soon as possible.

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