1974 Volkswagen Beetle

Sun Bug Convertible
Sale Price
1 July 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 1542445813. Harvest Gold Metallic with black side graphics and brown cloth top over brown vinyl. 1600 with dual carbs, 4-speed, BFG Silvertown tires, wood shift knob, aftermarket radio, rear defrost.

Evaluation: Not to be confused with “slug bug,” this is a very rare “Sun Bug” built in 1973-74. Sources vary on production numbers, but the highest number is 300. Very good paint and chrome. Clean wheels. New weather stripping. Excellent interior. Light scuffs on the inside of the top and the top frame is fairly oxidized. A nifty, somewhat obscure and well-restored late Beetle.

Bottom Line: The Beetle had life left in it in the mid-1970s, but it was nevertheless an old design and it was facing new competition from efficient, practical, well-built and cheap Japanese economy cars. Like Detroit, mid-’70s VW put out several appearance packages to at least make things look fresh.

One of them was the Sun Bug, which dressed up the standard Beetle or Super Beetle with special gold paint, a special badge on the rear, black body side graphics, unique shift knob, and even a rosewood dash. The brochure reads “let a little sunshine into your life.” Even by classic VW standards, it’s a real charmer.

Sun Bugs don’t often pop up for sale, but this one sold for $9250 at Mecum Anaheim 2016, back when Beetles were still cheap entry-level classics. That was oh such a long time ago, though, and this result is in line with what other Beetle cabriolets are going for these days, with a notable but ultimately mild premium thrown in for the Sun Bug cachet.

by Andrew Newton
7 July 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.