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1976 Volkswagen 1600S Super Beetle

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  • Mileage140,173 kms (88,000 miles)
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.6L
  • LocationNorthampton


1976 Volkswagen 1600S Super Beetle

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Andrew Taylor
Professional Consignor

Whilst Germany were spending big to give the Beetle a last hooray before the Golf arrived, VW South Africa had to think laterally... The result; The Super Beetle!

By the early 1970's VW Beetle sales were flagging. This was a thirty year old model after all and competitors were taking chunks out of the Beetle's market share. To bridge the gap until the all new Golf arrived, VW Germany resolved to undertake the biggest re-engineering of the Beetle in its life time. This radical plan aimed to bring the Beetle's offering up to the standards of the contemporary competition. It was both a bold and costly plan requiring significant re-tooling to give the world a bigger, more refined and better handling Beetle. The result was the acclaimed 1303 and 1303S Beetles.

Over in South Africa, however, VWSA were considerably more financially constrained than their German colleagues. Given the huge popularity of the Beetle in South Africa, however, something had to be done. A team from the Uitenhage factory took a good look at the 1303 Beetle the rest of the world were getting and decided to adopt a range of features that could be incorporated into local manufacture but at minimal cost and disruption. The key, and most obvious, changes was the 6% bigger curved windscreen, larger rear window, deeper front bonnet and additional cooling vents behind the rear windows and on the engine cover. The interior was also significantly better appointed than earlier offerings.

This Metallic Bronze beauty is one of those 1600S Super Beetles, and as such, a rare beast. Only ~5,043 of these cars left the Uitenhage factory which, in Beetle terms, qualifies this car as somewhat of a unicorn. A body off restoration by RAD Beetles of South Africa in 2021, and freshly imported since, this is an excellent example of a cult classic.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Andrew after meeting Paul 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

Growing up in South Africa I remember the Super Bug or Super Beetle always being the most sought after one to have. They still are.

Paul, the owner, grew up in South Africa and remembers how much the nation took the humble Beetle to its heart. He was particularly enamored of the Super Bug or Super Beetle of the mid 1970's. Those big Rostyle wheels and the very trendy corduroy interior really sticking in his memory.

When he got a chance to buy a well preserved example in South Africa and have it restored by renowned Beetle specialists, RAD Beetle, he knew he had to jump at the chance.

"These cars are a pretty rare sight in South Africa and almost unknown here" Paul attests. "Given I now live in the UK I was very excited about bringing a 1600S Super Beetle over to the UK given the thriving VW scene here. I am very happy with how the restoration has turned out too. It will be hard to part with this lovely example!". Paul will be happy to answer any questions on the car in the comments section below.

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A body off restoration at the end of 2021 has paid dividends, the exterior of this Beetle absolutely charms and turns heads in equal measure.

Wheels and Tyres

Another key feature of the South African Super Beetle are the very attractive 15 inch Rostyle type steel wheels. These original fitment wheels were restored with the rest of the car so present in excellent order with no areas of denting or scuffing noted. These wheels really help to give this Beetle a full-sized "Hot Wheels" persona standing the car apart from lesser-shod European examples.

The tyres appear to be new with very few miles behind them. 215/65 R15 Continental Vancos adorn the wheels both front and rear. View the photo gallery to see the detail.


The 2021 restoration by South African Beetle specialists RAD Beetles of Johannesburg included a full body off restoration and respray in the original metallic bronze colourway.

As a result the bodywork appears to be faultless with no areas of concern being noted when we documented the car for auction. View the video review to see the bodywork in detail.


The respray appears to have been very expertly applied by RAD Beetles and the paintwork appears deep with a good lustre. The metallic bronze colour is unusual and appealing and one of just four colour options available on the 1600S Super Beetle.

View the extensive photo gallery to see the paint from all angles.

Glass and Trim

The glass appears original judging by the markings, and original to the car. There are no obvious areas of delamination, fogging or any chips or cracks.

The restoration included a new set of glass and door rubbers and, consequently, these all appear in a factory-fresh condition.


A key attribute of the Super Beetle is a significantly more luxurious interior than older models, this special bug doesn't disappoint.

Seats and Carpets

The sales literature of the time boasts of "imported corduroy" upholstery which was presumably more prestigious than the local corduroy! In any event this is the most comfortable and best appointed original Beetle interior you are likely to find.

That premium beige corduroy and accompanying vinyl not only adorns the seats but also the headrests and gear lever and handbrake gaiters. Having been replaced as part of the restoration it is consequently in a great unmarked condition throughout.

The black carpets are a new set too and as such are unmarked and in as-new condition.


Possibly hard to believe by today's standards but the dashboard of the 1600S was significantly improved and updated over previous models. The binnacle and dash top is padded and the various switches and controls sited ahead of the driver. The wood inserts on the dashboard are a 1600S refinement.

Elements of the dashboard appear to be original but all are in very good condition as you can see from our comprehensive photographic documentation.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel appears to be an original item complete with VW Wolfsburg Castle logo with accompanying wolves. The design of the wheel was an innovation at the time with the padded and curved construction providing added safety during accidents. It is in great condition with no obvious areas of significant wear.

The gear stick features an endearing, period gaiter and is topped by a wooden knob with Wolfsburg crested insert.


With a 1.6L air cooled engine in the back, this was reconditioned as part of the comprehensive restoration on this Beetle.

Engine and Gearbox

The 1600cc engine was fully reconditioned as part of the restoration process in October 2021. As such the car starts readily and ticks over evenly without smoking as can be seen from our cold start video.

The gearbox was seen to change easily and smoothly during our short journey. The owner attests to all mechanical systems working as you would expect for a low mileage and restored VW Beetle.

Suspension and Brakes

As you will see from the RAD Beetles invoice, the drum brakes were reconditioned during the restoration. Given what is a light car the drum brakes prove very effective with the car stopping strongly and in a straight line.

During our short drive the suspension crested a number of speed bumps in a compliant manner and without any knocks, bangs or shudders.

The Drive

For those familiar with aircooled Beetles this surely has to be the sweet-spot of the various versions in terms of refinement, comfort and driving experience. The interior is comfortable and seemingly well insulated given how quiet it is. The 1600cc engine is rated at about 60BHP which is more than sufficient in a light car to provide decent performance.

Electrics and Other

Given this is a 1976 car electrical systems are basic in the Beetle, even this top model. The lights, with new lenses front and back, and indicators all work as expected.

Being a South African car, it doesn't have a heater fitted. Paul mentioned that a heater could be fitted having read online that the heat exchangers and pipes are available.

History and Paperwork

Something of a rarity, this Super Bug has been recently imported in to the UK, following a full restoration in its native South Africa.

The car has recently been imported from Johannesburg in South Africa whose warm, arid climate can be thanked for the great condition of this car prior to restoration. Currently the paperwork comprises a full set of South African import / export paperwork. There is also an invoice from VW specialists RAD Beetles of Johannesburg detailing the restoration work undertaken by them and dated October 2021.

The owner, Paul, has applied for the DVLA Nova which is due back imminently, and any associated duties will be paid for before a new owner purchases. This will allow the new owner to register the Beetle under a UK V5. Given the age of the car we understand it to be tax and MOT exempt.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the VIN of the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Key Details
  • ModelVW Beetle 1600S Super Beetle
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date1976
  • CC1600
  • Mileage~140,000 kms (88,000 miles)
  • HistoryNo
  • ColourMetalic Bronze
  • Interior ColourBeige
  • Interior TrimVinyl and corduroy
  • Chassis #1162107636
  • Engine #SFAS447910
  • Matching #sYes
  • Last ServiceEngine restoration in 2021
  • RestoredYes
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOTN/A
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former KeepersUnknown
  • Tyre TreadVery good
  • Tyre BrandContinental
  • Tyre AgeNew
  • Security SysN/A
  • Master KeyN/A
  • # of Keys2
  • Brake LifeVery Good
  • BrakesDrums
  • CO2 (g/km)Unknown
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypeTrade
  • Owned1 year
  • Key FeatureBody off restoration

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 Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Hi, Re the Beetle can you please answer the following Qs: 1]The Trade Classics information site auction mentions no car history details. I assume you have no previous purchase /service records/invoices/mot equivalent docs, etc@ previous owner[s] ? 2] Re Heating mention is made of possibility of retro fitting heat exchangers, etc. Does the vehicle have heating channels, being an SA warm climate vehicle, all be it currently unused as I cannot see in the set of interior photos any sign of the usual floor heater outlet grills? 3] I assume the areas under the rear bench seat is perfect as… Read more »


Hi Paul,

Just to confirm as the body of the ad mentions drum brakes. It should have discs up front and an AT code gearbox, is this the case ? Regards.



does this have the older swing arm suspension?


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