Three Beetles, a Split Screen Camper and a late ‘60s Karmann Ghia from the Gilder Group are set to go under the hammer in Duxford at the end of the month – and auction fever is already gripping nation’s classic VW collectors…
The Gilder Group was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, VW/VAG dealership in the UK. It acquired the small collection of air-cooled gems for promotional purposes and used to rotate them between its 19 showrooms as a discussion point and also to generate extra footfall. When JCT600 bought the Gilder Group’s VAG dealerships the cars were transferred to the private ownership of the Gilder Group’s chairman, who’s now decided to enter them for sale.
So if you’re free on 29 March, and fancy making a bid, these are the cars which are likely to get everyone’s pulses racing at the H&H Classics sale.
First up is a gleaming 1978 Last Edition Beetle (above). It’s number 65 of the 300 made in right-hand drive for the UK according to the special limited edition plaque on the dashboard. The car has covered just 26,000 miles from new but it’s been re-sprayed because its original paintwork had deteriorated. Otherwise, it’s all totally original. There’s even the old style blue and white V5 logbook in the name of the Listerdale Motor Company of Bawtry Rd, Wickersley, Rotherham S66 0JL – it’s never been re-registered, so there’s just one registered keeper from new. The blue fabric seats in this era Beetle never lasted well but these ones look relatively free from sagging. The limited edition model also featured a padded dash, with the glovebox, if we remember correctly, being painted matt black.
There were 640 Emden built Beetles exported to the UK for the 1978 model year, however only the 300 Diamond Silver cars were intended to have the special numbered plaques – hence why they are recognised as being the true ‘Last Edition’ cars. The estimate for this one? £8,000-£10,000.
The second Beetle in the sale is a 1972 example in Brilliant Orange and has 67,000 miles on the clock. It’s a multiple concours winner, apparently, and the various rosettes awarded to its first owner, Raymond Clarke, are included in the sale. Raymond originally purchased the Beetle from the Gilder Group and on his death, they bought it back again.
There are relatively few really good Beetle survivors from this era which explains why it is going into the sale with an estimate of £12,000-£16,000.
The metallic green (Cliff Green, possibly) 1303 has covered just 17,700 miles and had three former keepers before joining the Gilder Group Collection in 2002. It’s a late model (1975), hence the bumper mounting of the indicators instead of them being perched on top of the wings.
Again, it all looks very original and features a beige/tan corduroy interior, the latter of which looks to be in good nick considering this fabric never looked all that smart for very long. From the pictures, the engine itself looks relatively untouched, too – and it’s refreshing to see a car from this period with the factory air cleaner and all the necessary pipework still connected. The estimate on this one is £8,000-£10,000.
The Split Bus in the sale dates from 1967 and was imported from the US in 2003. It’s appeared in VolksWorld magazine previously and boasts a custom camper interior. The catalogue description describes the chassis and bodywork as being excellent and absolutely straight and the pictures seem to back this up. There is a plaque affixed to the body which suggests that it was originally converted in period by the EZ Camper Co of America based in Little Rock, California.
Upgrades include a lowered uprated suspension, twin carbs, ‘gas burner’ alloys, and a 1303 Beetle gearbox. It is fully refitted in back with black and white checked flooring, table and white leather trim. Fitted out with a cooker, fridge and all the necessary electrics – it’s ready to roll. It’s going into the sale with a hefty estimate of £25,000-£30,000.
Last but not least is this gleaming right-hand drive 1968 Karmann Ghia convertible which is black with a cream interior. It’s undergone a bare metal restoration and comes complete with a VW ‘birth certificate’ which proves that all the numbers match. There’s also a comprehensive history file to show what’s been done over the years, futher adding to its provenence.
The pre-sale estimate on this one is a possibly slightly optimistic £40,000-£50,000 – but who knows?
Keep a look out for them at a VW show later in the year!
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage