If there is one item on a classic VW Beetle that is likely to need replacing at some point it’s one or both of the VW Beetle bumpers. However, if they’ve done their job and protected the bodywork, it’s a small price to pay. If you are unsure exactly what type of bumper is on your Beetle, or what type of classic Beetle bumper you need, read the explanations at the bottom of this page.
Knowing people have different requirements of their Volkswagens, and different budgets, we here at VW Heritage have put together a wide range of replacement Beetle bumpers and VW Beetle bumper accessories, for both early and late model Volkswagens. We have everything from painted steel Beetle bumpers, through different grades of Beetle chrome bumpers to stainless steel classic Beetle bumpers, as well as both steel and stainless steel Beetle bumper irons and the bolts and rubber grommets you need to fit them, or refurbish what you already have. For more details on the various qualities of chrome products we stock, click here.
As well as the Beetle bumpers themselves, we also have a range of classic Beetle bumper parts and Beetle bumper accessories, including VW Beetle t-bars, overriders and overrider protectors, nudge bars and ‘cages’ for Baja Bugs and buggies. We even stock a comprehensive range of high quality Volkswagen Beetle bumper conversion irons, which enable you to bolt early-style Beetle blade bumpers in place of the chunky Europa Beetle bumpers without any other modifications whatsoever.
The most basic Beetle bumper of them all was that fitted to standard Beetles and European market Beetles from 1953 up to the end of ‘early model’ production in 1967, and right through until the end of ‘1200’ Beetle production in 1973. Though the Volkswagen Beetles they were bolted to changed significantly through those years, the simple, rounded-profile bumper remained the same. It is known simply as the ‘blade bumper’, and is interchangeable on all these models.
The US-spec Beetle bumper was more intricate, with a narrow, round bar running above and parallel to the main bumper, connected by two upright ‘overriders’, and with two supporting stays that run through the car’s bodywork. This version is often also referred to as the ‘Beetle towel rail bumper’. These can be retro-fitted to any blade bumper car, though to do the job properly extra holes will need to be drilled to accommodate the support pieces.
From 1968 onward, the much heavier, squarer profile ‘Beetle Europa bumper’ was fitted. This is wider, taller and more angular in profile, with a horizontal indent through the middle. This strip (usually black) is either a vinyl sticker or a thick rubber trim.
In 1974, the front indicators were removed from the wing tops and placed in the front bumper. These late Europa bumpers are distinguishable by having a rectangular hole at each end with small brackets to mount the indicators from behind.
Late US-spec Europa bumpers are different again, having large plastic end caps and mounting on shock absorbers to withstand a 5mph impact. These require a much larger, triangular grommet through the wings.
Contrary to popular belief, front and rear bumpers are not the same, the rears have a more pronounced curve to follow the shape of the body. The changes in VW Beetle rear bumpers followed those of the fronts, changing over time (and model) from European-spec ‘blade bumpers’ to the more chunky Europa bumpers. The US-spec Beetle rear blade bumper has two separate ‘towel rails’ – one at each end of the main blade, again with supporting rods that pass through the rear wings. The rear Beetle Europa bumper came on stream in 1968 and changed little from then until the end of production. However, slight differences in rear wing and valance treatments mean a different bumper is required for 1974 onwards models, though they look visually very similar to the ’68-’74 version. Again, US-spec models from 1974 onwards used impact bumpers mounted on telescopic shock absorbers, and using the larger, triangular wing grommets.
If you have a query, or if you can’t find the part you require, just click on the ‘live chat’ button or call our sales team on 01273 444 000 at any time during UK business hours.