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1956 VW 1200 Deluxe “Oval Window”

Sold Price


  • Mileage~83,850
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.2L
  • LocationKnighton


1956 VW 1200 Deluxe “Oval Window”

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Glyn Parry
Professional Consigner

This 1956 example can lay claim to being one of the earliest surviving UK imports.

The Volkswagen Beetle’s place in history can't be denied, thanks for its longevity and character but it so much more to so many people. A symbol for the counter culture, an advertising classic, an opportunity for global mobility and for millions, simply a cheap and reliable way to get from A to B. Among the first models to be exported were the 1200 Deluxe Export versions which offered more comfort and power than the basic versions. VW had already sold 500,000 across the world when the car first hit UK shores in 1953, however, import numbers during this period were low and the car was still a novelty to the unsuspecting British public, who were spoiled for choice by the home-grown brands.

This specific car is documented as a 1956 Deluxe version which was fitted with the 30BHP 1,192cc block, twin exhausts and vacuum ignition control. Early cars still used cable operate brakes with the Deluxe having hydraulic brakes like this one, and no synchromesh at all, a car for a proper VW purists. However, that is what makes this car so unique. The interior has been some renewal, and it received an engine change very early in its life, but the car has been kept as close to original as possible. Best viewed as a time warp-piece, successive owners have managed to keep the mileage down to a minimum (its only covered ~12,000 miles in the last 35 years) but as the car sits on a solid foundation, it would almost be a shame to strip the car for a restoration. The DVLA states that the car has only seen three keepers since 1986, and when that’s taken into account the originality of the car and the general observation on its condition almost become irrelevant.

However, this is up to the new owner to decide. Either way, this is a unique chance to obtain one of the earliest RHD UK imports of a highly collectable car. These opportunities don’t come up often, so it’s certainly worth further investigation.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting Adrian the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

A painful decision, but out of my 5 Volkswagens this has to be the one to go.

Adrian is full-blooded VW fan and this is one of 4 Beetle he owns. He still uses a VW Beetle as a daily driver, but due to lack of use of this one, he has decided to pass this car on.

He was in two minds when he purchased this "Oval Window" 1.5 years ago, whether to restore it or keep it as is. He went with the latter option, we think the right choice, and now it's time to find this bug a new home.

Vehicle Owner

Ask the Owner



The bodywork keeps its originality, including the correct period trim and detailing.

Wheels and Tyres

The front tyres are a pair of undated Firestone tyres, which suggests that they're been on the car for at least 25 years. They've got plenty of tread but the sidewalls show age and minor cracking. The rear tyres are Mabor Generals are likely to be of the same vintage and also show similar signs of wear.

The seller has included a pair of NOS tyres included with the sale. The steel wheels show signs of peeling paint revealing a blue colour - there could be a fascinating story about this, alas it's lost in time. They're straight and unbuckled and would come out good following a repaint, with the chrome hubcaps looking in good condition.


Overall the bodywork is in very good condition for an unrestored car, with no signs of structural decay or damage. The floor pan is visually solid and is said not to have been welded from our observations - there is a very detailed video in the mechanical section that is worth watching to back this up.

As you'd expect, there are blemishes on the bottom corners/ends of the car, with small rust spots evident on the bottom of the wings etc. There are also rust spots developing on the lower front valence, rear 'popes nose' deck lid and spots on the lower sections of the doors, but they're not unsightly and well within the realms of saving. There is also a slight dent on the near-side door.

The engine bay and front luggage space are solid, with the wheel well in good order. There is no documentation to suggest it has seen a restoration so it could be safe to assume that the car has retained much of its original metal; the car has worn its years rather well considering.


Finished in black, this "Bug" comes from an era when more muted colours were common. The paint coverage is good, with no signs of mismatched hues.

The bonnet has been subject to touch-ups when you look very closely in the crevices. There are age-related chips too, particularly evident on the front of the car and on door edges.

Glass and Trim

The glass is in good condition, with the expected volume of wear for a car of this age, but nothing that constitutes damage or unsightly scratches or chips.

The chrome plating has worn fairly well, just some of the trim items have seen a few knocks like the window trips. The hubs are good, the rest of the trim is period correct and are perfect for retaining and re-chroming. The running board trim on the driver's side will need replacing. The glass rubber trim is in good condition and said not to leak.

Items like the "popes nose" and "snowflake" rear light lenses are sought after and in place on this lovely example.


The interior has seen some renewal but retains its authenticity.

Seats and Carpets

The seats are in good condition, the covers had been renewed in the late '90s, along with matching door cards. There is a minor rip on the rear seat, and the driver seat shows the expected cushion wear but overall in good condition.

The bulkhead, sills and rear luggage compartment carpet are in good condition, with no obvious signs of wear having been replaced in 1994. The rubber mats and headlining are in good condition.


The ultrabasic dashboard is part of this car's charm, the metalwork is in good condition, with the trim and instruments with the typical age-related wear, but all said to be fully functional. All of the door cards are in good condition.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The original wear on the steering wheel is a delight, it is crack-free. The gear knob has weather the age slightly better and likely to be as original as the wheel.


Few cars inspire such fanatical devotion from their owners as the Beetle. This one is no exception.

Engine and Gearbox

The engine is said to be a replacement that was installed into the car early in its life. It has seen a minor rebuild since then, with a receipt dating from 2000.

As you might expect, the engine starts up with no drama, the cold temperature start hardly affecting the beat. There were no issues with the running of the engine, with no noises or knocks. The heat exchangers are said to be functional and do no leak fumes into the cabin. The engine presentation is purely functional and not going to win concourse prizes but for originality, it can't be faulted. The exhaust is in good condition.

Suspension and Brakes

The VW basic running gear is known for its durability, and there are no issues with the way you would expect a 1950's VW to drive. The owner has told us that there are no issues with knocking noises coming from the brakes or suspension.

The Drive

This early model is going to appeal to a specific type of collector, the 30BHP engine, 6 Volt electrics, non-synchromesh gearing and basic braking system really places it into a league where it's all about show rather than go.

However, as a RHD car, it should be of interest to the most fanatical of collectors. While later versions are far more suitable for the casual air-cooled fan, this one becomes something of a responsibility. You could take it as it and maintain rather than restore, or take advantage of the solid base and decent metal to bring up to scratch. Either way, you'll be the envy of the air-cooled community.

Electrics and Other

This is a very original 1956 VW, so therefore it still has the 6V battery and semaphore indicators. That said, it does everything that is asked of it and all the items are said to function correctly.

History and Paperwork

This VW has been treated with care throughout its life and has only covered ~12,000 miles in the last 35 years.

The chassis number corresponds with November 1956 build date, and the owner Adrian has a build certificate on order for the car. It was registered under a different plate, which was transferred in 1986 and there is DVLA confirmation of the original registration plate and replacement with an age-related item.

The current owner has had the car for around two years, having bought it off the previous owner who owned it for around 30 years. There are MOTs that date back to the ‘80s which confirms its limited use, having covered only 12,000 miles since 1986. The current owner has not needed to replace or renew anything on the car, with the only notable attention limited to a service. The previous owner has replaced the seat covers, headlining, carpets and it has seen a minor engine rebuild. As you might expect, the car has seen much of its life not exposed to the elements and driven in better conditions.

We've actioned checks on the following; Seller ID, V5, HPi clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
31-07-2010 MOT 82,560
21-03-2009 MOT 82,486
15-03-2008 MOT 82,330
10-03-2007 MOT 81,750
11-03-2006 MOT 81,440
19-03-2005 MOT 81,041
20-03-2004 MOT 80,907
22-03-2003 MOT 80,450
23-03-2002 MOT 79,840
03-03-2001 MOT 79,041
24-03-2000 MOT 77,980
01-05-1998 MOT 77,941
04-04-1997 MOT 77,481
21-04-1995 MOT 76,368
05-10-1992 MOT 75,370
17-10-1989 MOT 74,933
26-09-1988 MOT 74,108
22-09-1987 MOT 72,580
01-09-1986 MOT 70,624
Key Details
  • Model1200 Deluxe "Oval Window"
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date1956
  • CC1,192
  • Mileage~83,850
  • ColourBlack
  • Interior ColourRed/Cream
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #1382229
  • Engine #11656481
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • Former Keepers3
  • Tyre BrandFirestone/Mabor Generals
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned2 Years
  • Key FeatureOriginal specification

Vehicle Sold

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This vehicle has now been sold - click 'Register Similar' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Owner
Show Bids Only
£12,500 bid by Rossi81 22.02.2021 @ 19:31:44
£12,250 bid by GMH2020 22.02.2021 @ 19:30:39
£12,000 bid by Rossi81 22.02.2021 @ 19:16:09
£11,400 bid by pildees 22.02.2021 @ 19:00:03
£11,000 bid by Rossi81 20.02.2021 @ 21:32:37
£7,500 bid by garyse2424 20.02.2021 @ 14:15:44
£5,999 bid by Gooberschmitt 19.02.2021 @ 18:46:59
£5,500 bid by siam 19.02.2021 @ 18:36:26
£5,000 bid by richardtweedle 18.02.2021 @ 22:56:05
£3,200 bid by siam 18.02.2021 @ 00:49:17
£2,800 bid by steve2catz 17.02.2021 @ 18:53:58

Beautiful Oval beetle. Can I ask if you would provide the engine code as I’m keen to compare the number to the year of manufacture. Could you tell me if the engine is a 1200? Also, do you know who supplied the upholstery/ interior?
Many thanks
Thanks ?

£2,555 bid by Gooberschmitt 17.02.2021 @ 18:36:28

Does the oval require any welding or has any been done previously. What condition is the floor pan & inner wheel arches

steve bevan
steve bevan

Hi just wondering if you would have a fixed price for this beetle or will it just be an auction sale? Thanks steve


Vehicle Location

Knighton, Powys

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