1963 Volkswagen Beetle from North America


Any notion of this car not being good for long ventures is wrong. I drove mine with two bikes on back to Lake Tahoe from OK and back, down the coast highway in CA, and back through the deserts to OK. About 60 mph was the max with the 40 HP; however, it was very dependable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th January, 2013

30th May 2014, 23:23

I agree. I drove my '72 Beetle from NJ to Canada and back. My parents took my mom's '65 Bug on their honeymoon from NJ to New England to Montreal and back.

It was funny, too, my Beetle seemed to love the long drive -- it ran so great after I finally learned to drive it closer to flat out than conservative, which meant trying to maintain speed, especially with going up hills. I'd try to keep it at 70, let it go down to 65 or 60, and then it would go back up to 70. The thing ran like a top ever since.

Then I read that Beetles were designed to run at top speed as cruising speed. For 40hp, its top speed was 72mph. I had a 60hp, so was more like 81mph. 70 seemed to be its sweet spot, so 60-65 seems like that would be reasonable for a 40hp. Then again, back in the 60's the speed limits were higher than in later years, 70 mph in many places. So some people must have been going flat out at around 70.

Such great cars. Simple, and slower than today's cars. But great fun.

1963 Volkswagen Beetle Deluxe 1.6 flat 4 from North America


Classic air cooled cruiser


Brakes and tires needed replacement.

Replaced muffler.

Tuned up motor, replaced spark plugs.

General Comments:

This is a classic iteration of the Beetle. Mine had the little "hoops" on the bumpers, the big moon hubcaps, the 6 volt battery, and a Sears AM radio. What a cool little jitney.

When I bought this Beetle, it was already heavily used, but it was a one owner, and had been well maintained. The heater setup leaves a bit to be desired (running over a puddle meant a blast of fog onto the windshield), but unless you had leaky exhaust pipes, it was reasonably safe. The later model heat exchangers could probably be retrofit and made to work.

The 1200 motor had been replaced by a 1600 motor, but it was still a single port head and a tiny little Solex one barrel carb. Still, the car was plenty fast and could pull any hill at highway speed, and got great gas mileage. Rust was everywhere on the body pan; had I kept it, would have gone for a full restoration.

It was a fabulous, good looking car; every time I see one go by (and it's amazing how many early 60's Beetles are still out there!) I feel pangs of regret at selling mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2006

1963 Volkswagen Beetle 2 dr 1.2 from North America


Glad to see it go


Brake shoes replaced.

Clutch replaced.

Oil filter never replaced because the '63 doesn't use an oil filter.

Tires replaced.

Spark plugs and wires replaced.

Front seats replaced.

Front end suspension, tie rod ends/ball joints all in need of replacement.

General Comments:

Extremely low technology in this early model of Beetle. Brakes were really skinny shoes that did not provide the bite needed to stop safely. To drive at 55+ mph was to drive on pins and needles; very unstable. Rebuilt engine would heat up badly in the summer. This car would was not suitable for long distance driving. 65 mph was top speed. Carburetor required pumping and priming to start. Heater manifold used radiant heat directly off the engine to function. This was extremely dangerous as the manifold was of thin, rusted metal. I could smell engine compartment fumes blowing into the car thru this system. I wonder if anyone ever died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting or sleeping in one of these VWs. Parts for these cars were cheaper than they were for the later liquid cooled VWs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th October, 2002

6th Nov 2005, 01:06

The 63 Beetle had a 40 hp 1200 cc engine which gave it a top speed of 72 mph at 3600 rpm. Incidentally, this was also its cruising speed. In 1966 my father and I drove his 62 Beetle from Toronto to Edmonton virtually non-stop in just under 48 hours. A few years later I repeated the trip solo in my 66 Beetle, so don't tell me that long distances can't be done in relative comfort.

As far as being on "pins and needles" you probably don't know how to really drive a rear engined car which takes a bit of getting used to. After being really hot stuff with VWs for years, I drove a front engined Celica for a couple of years then bought another Beetle while in Europe. It took me about 10 days to get the feel back and relearn how to drive it quickly and competently again. Remember the original Beetle is just a higher and slower Porsche 356.

26th Jan 2006, 09:00

I have a 65 bug, love this car. drives as fast as any new car. People that have problems with this car are often lazy about car care. Who cares if you have to adjust the valves every 3 months. A bug motor only gets hot if you don't take care of it. They worked fine in Africa in ww2. It was the first car to reach the south pole. junk eh? try that with any water cooled car.

Have fun. don't hate something that you could not handle.