An extraordinarily rare 1959 Volkswagen Beutler 1.2, one of just 28 examples ever produced, is heading to auction in July and is expected to sell for between 80,000 and 120,000 Swiss Franc (~$81,000-$122,000).
On first impressions, you could be excused for thinking the Beutler was a sports car built from the ground up. However, it is actually based around the iconic Volkswagen Beetle and sports a completely bespoke exterior crafted from lightweight aluminum. It is also larger than the Beetle, growing from 4.07 meters to 4.35 meters in length. The Beutler is also 5 cm wider than a Beetle.
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The car was brought to life by brothers Fritz and Ernst Beutler and had a starting price of 14,950 CHF ($15,260). That’s a lot of money, particularly when you consider that a new Beetle could be purchased from 6,490 CHF ($6,624) at the time. The Beutler 1.2 was even more expensive than a Porsche 356 of the day. Most of the 28 examples retained the standard Beetle engine and transmission but six of them were equipped with the more powerful 1.3-liter of the 356.
This particular example was ordered new by the VW Garage Herzig in Vevey, Switzerland and is finished in light brown metallic with a contrasting black roof and a beige interior. The car changed hands in the late 1990s and was thoroughly restored in a process that saw the body removed.
The Beutler 1.2 was repainted in the original shade of light brown metallic during the restoration while the roof was refinished in dark brown. The two-tone interior was also retrimmed and the mechanicals were overhauled. The listing claims that the restoration took an extraordinary 11 years and that the car has only been used rarely since.