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1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

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This 1979 Volkswagen Beetle convertible is Kimberly’s fourth Beetle. It runs well but needs a little love, and electrification would be the best way to get the bug the 21st-century cool vibe it lost with time. 

Neither Kimberly nor her husband Mike is interested in participating in the EV conversion process. They will ship the car to a converter in California or a neighboring state.


This 1979 Volkswagen Beetle convertible is Kimberly’s fourth Beetle. Her first car was a Beetle and she got this bug from her uncle, who has owned it for the last 20 years, but it has sat in the garage for the last 5 years. Now, she would like it to become her “fun” commuter. 

The 1585 cc engine is still in place, along with a four-speed manual gearbox. It runs well but needs a little love, and electrification would be the best way to get the bug the 21st-century cool vibe it lost with time. 

No recent restoration has been conducted. According to Kimberly and her husband, Mike, “the beetle is a 6.5/10. The exterior and interior need some work. It runs and drives just fine today, other than constantly leaking oil and such, which is part of the reason we'd like to go electric.” 

Kimberly’s expectations are realistic and respectful of the spirit of the VW bug. She wants the beetle to be as powerful as today, with a top speed of 60mph and 50 miles of range. After the conversion, she will use it for short hauls, around-town beach cars, top-downs, and grocery getters in San Clemente. “The car is never going to leave our neighborhood.” 

They have no preference for motors or batteries and would most likely keep the four-speed manual transaxle but would be open to direct drive.

The vehicle equipment is very basic, with heating but no power steering or AC. Kimberly would consider upgrading the convertible with power steering and AC as options. They would probably want the dashboard and gauges to remain analog with a basic BMS display embedded. 

Neither Kimberly nor Mike is interested in participating in the EV conversion process. They will ship the car to a converter in California or a neighboring state.

There are some nominal exterior issues, paint, small dents, all window gaskets need to be replaced due to deteriorating rubber. The brakes, suspension, wheels, and tires are fine. Kimberly is open to suggestions for restoration work along with the conversion, including replacing the top and upgrading the interior and paint. Restoration work could be done later after the conversion and Kimberly will consider all proposals, with or without exterior/interior upgrades. 

She will charge the beetle at home overnight – they already have a Level 2 charger for their 2019 Tesla Model 3 performance. 

No towing requirements.

    • SKU
      00100-1979-VW-Beetle-Convertible
  • Year
    1979
  • Make
    Volkswagen
  • Model
    Beetle
  • Location
    California
  • Run
    Yes
  • Street use
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    REAR-WHEEL DRIVE (RWD)
  • Transmission
    Manual 4-speed
  • Front brakes
    Drum
  • Rear brakes
    Drum
  • Upgrade brakes
    Maybe
  • Upgrade wheels/tires
    Maybe
  • Upgrade suspension
    Maybe
  • Upgrade interior
    Yes
  • Power steering
    No
  • AC
    No
  • Primary charging location
    Home
  • DIY
    I am not interested in doing anything at all (premium conversion services required)
  • EV conversion training needed
    No
  • Ship vehicle to shop
    Yes, same state and neighboring states
  • EV drive train
    Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
  • EV HP
    0-50 hp
  • EV torque
    -- I don't know
  • EV expectations
    As powerful as today
  • EV top speed
    60 mph
  • EV range
    30-50 miles
  • EV charging time
    Low (overnight)
  • Towing
    No
  • Use of used parts
    As much used EV parts as possible
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