From the collection of Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson
1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle Convertible
Coachwork by Karmann
Engine no. AJ 141332
1,585cc OHV Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
Bosch "Air Control" Fuel Injection
48bhp at 4,200rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Rare "Triple White" special edition from the final year of production
*Believed to be one of fewer than 2000 built
*Attractive "Baby Carriage" convertible
*Only 62,184 miles recorded
*One careful celebrity owner since new
The Volkswagen Super Beetle
Along with the "Triple Black" and "Champagne" special editions of the Super Beetle Convertible, the "Triple White" version as seen here represents one of Volkswagen's final marketing efforts for this much-loved automotive icon. Super Beetles, with their more modern McPherson strut/coil spring front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, larger trunk, and improved passenger amenities, had superseded the classic 'Bug' in 1971, but ever-more-stringent U.S. emissions regulations meant that the Super Beetle would be phased out of production after 1975 with the advent of new water-cooled designs that were able to maintain higher engine temperatures and thus create fewer exhaust emissions. Although the sedan models had been discontinued, the last Super Beetle Convertible would leave the Karmann factory in Osnabruck on January 10, 1980, and was sent immediately to Volkswagen's AutoMuzeum in Wolfsburg. A few were sold in America as 1980 models, but these last remainders were in actuality 1979s in all regards. Karmann was VW's go-to manufacturer for its convertible models, and its well-designed folding top framework and extremely well-built, heavily-padded top with glass rear window set standards for quality of materials and workmanship. VW experts estimate that almost 11,000 Super Beetle convertibles were sold in 1979, with an additional 4,500 sold in early 1980, but that there were no more than 2000 and possibly as few as 1000 "Triple White" convertibles. Dealers were reportedly allotted just one car apiece, making them highly collectable.
The Motorcar Offered
Rita Wilson, the consignor and original owner of this very attractive "Triple White" convertible, remembered her car fondly: "My VW was bought and owned by me in 1979, the last year they made them. It was never owned by anyone else and very lightly driven."
The car's brightly-trimmed interior features full carpeting and a wood-grained appliqué on the dashboard. Many of these final-year Super Beetle special editions were snapped up by collectors when new and put away as future collectibles, but this charming car has been driven more than 60,000 miles, attesting to its enjoyment factor. Representing the last of the breed, this Karmann-bodied Convertible makes friends wherever it goes it's a great choice for fair-weather motoring, and is sure to put a smile on your face.
- Please note that the chassis number for this vehicle is 1592032334.