Last Chance!!! Rare numbers-matching 1961 Classic VW Beetle

Price: US $12,500.00 Item location: Herndon, Virginia, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Beetle - Classic
  • Type: Sedan
  • Trim: Deluxe
  • Year: 1961
  • Mileage: 21,648
  • VIN: 5812753
  • Color: Black
  • Engine size: 34 DIN-PS, 1.2 Liter
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Gray
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1961 Volkswagen Beetle - Classic

Last chance before the car goes in long-term storage due to out-of-state move...

For additional photos, lick the following link or copy and paste it into your browser:


I found “Wally” – the name I’ve given this beautiful and historic 1961 Beetle - while I was living in Panama in 2011. I imported the car into the States in 2012. Per certification from the Siftung Volkswagen AutoMuseum in Germany (included with purchase), his particular car was built on 23 May 1961 and destined to Charleston, SA. I am not certain if Charleston was the final destination or if it was shipped via Charleston to Panama, ut it also had a stint in Costa Rica. A previous owner claims this was one of only three imported into Panama that year. Wally was owned by an American expat living in the Panama Canal Zone until a Panamanian car enthusiast found it in need of some TLC and fell in love with it just as I did. According to him, he car had been parked for such a long time that a snake had claimed residence and the car had a small tree going through the floor pan and straight out the roof! The car was initially taken completely apart and restored in 2001 and it’s incredible that most of the car’s original parts were intact.


To start, oth the chassis and body match, ith serial number 3899168. The engine also matches with serial number 5812753 (see certification), oth dating to an April 1961 production (Note that body and engine numbers were different during that time, ee This is extremely rare to see numbers-matching survivors from this era, s most of them rusted out or had major components swapped out. To be clear, he car is a beautiful driver and will look great for many years to come. It is not a museum car or a “Concours” show car. I drive it several times a week and it gets lots of love and stares on the road.


In 2012 I had the engine completely overhauled and have included photos of that process. The case was machined and I was able to get correct NOS heads. All other components, ncluding pistons, ylinders, ams, earings, eals, tc… were replaced by Panama’s top VW man Samuel Cigarruista. I also rebuilt the original 28 pic carb. I’ve put about 2,000 miles since and it’s been a total pleasure! Note that I did not reset the speedo when the engine was rebuilt. Because they originally restored this car in Panama, here it’s hot all year round, hey did not bother to put the heater components back on (heater box, oses, tc…) The car’s electrical system was also converted to 12v so it runs on an internally regulated alternator instead of a generator. The battery, lternator, oil, ap, otor, oints, ondenser, re all new. All the engine tin covers are chromed out. While I would have preferred to keep them original, t does look fantastic and it would not take much to bring back the stock look.


All body panels and glass are original except the floor pans, patch on the roof (remember that tree?), umpers, irrors, nd vent windows. Body work done was superb. The floor, eater channels, attery pan, oor bottoms, nd other rust prone areas are solid with only minor surface rust which is expected for a 14-year old restoration. I’ve tried to capture the the areas with paint blemishes and surface rust in the photos. The chassis is in very good shape. The fuel tank was also replaced and I recently added a period correct fuel gauge, hich was an available accessory for that year to avoid running out of fuel. The car was painted in Black Diamond Pearl which basically looks black at night; and a very shiny and sparkly deep bluish-black in the sun. Upon close inspection there are few imperfections, ut overall the paint still looks gorgeous and shiny throughout. The original color, er the certification, s L41 Black.


Most of the interior components, ncluding the speedo (reads in kilometers) and the knobs are original which gives the car a nice patina. It’s almost like stepping into a time machine! Everything is in working condition including turn signals, arning lights, ipers, ome light, tc., xcept the horn which has all the right parts but I haven’t figured out the notoriously over-engineered one-year only system. The washer pump works but is disconnected since they are known to leak and make a wet mess inside the car. The headliner is in excellent shape and professionally installed. Upholstery is in the original Silver Beige leatherette. I even have an original 1961 owner’s manual to go with the car.


Brakes are in tip top shape, nd the rear ones are spanking new (including hoses and lines). Spare tire and jack are in excellent shape and a new toolset is included. The tranny feels great and the car shifts smoothly all the way. No fluids are leaking. The suspension is also in top order. The tires are virtually new with less than 3,000 miles on them. They are slightly wider than the original 165’s for added driving stability.

I’ve tried to anticipate as many questions as possible and also included many photos (and a couple of videos) that include every angle, nterior, ngine, ndercarriage, inor paint blemishes, nd even photos of the car in Panama and the engine rebuild process. If you still have questions or want to see photos of anything else, lease ask via email. We can schedule a phone call as well.

Note that with the purchase I will include certification on serial numbers from the Volkswagen Museum in Germany, wner’s manual, mport documentation, bunch of extra parts (see photos) and a $230 custom car cover from MicroBead.

Index of Photos (

1-7 Certificates, erial numbers, anual.
8-24 Car Exterior
25-26 Engine
27-33 Interior
34-38 Spare tire, as tank, use panel, ools
39-45 Paint blemishes
46-54 Undercarriage, heel well (by heater channels), nderside of engine and rear swing axle
55-57 Steering and master cylinder under fuel tank, ashe fluid bottle, nder spare tire
58-59 Spare parts (including pertronix electronic ignition) and car cover
60-61 Car while in Panama. Taking engine apart in my balcony prior to taking it to the VW man
62-67 Old heads and New NOS heads (note the matching part numbers). NOS valves, ew pistons, nd assembled engine ready to go back to my house.
68-69 Videos of car with motor running and driving
70 VW ad from 1961. Look familiar?


Vehicle is sold “as is”. There is with no warranty expressed or implied by the seller.

PRESALE INSPECTION: I strongly encourage you to have an independent pre-sale inspection performed if you cannot come to see the car in person. Should you choose to have an independent pre-sale inspection please do not bid until the inspection is completed.