mclamorewp
I'm new to this forum and the air cooled vw's. Used to have a fox but thats another story. I'm looking to buy a beetle and was wondering what to look for. I'm hoping to not spend more than 4k USD if I can help it. Also is it feasable to use a beetle as a daily driver. My pickup just sucks too much fuel. Appreciate any help I recieve
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bschwarz77
I'm no expert, but here's stuff I was told and my spin on this:

If you're spending 4k, make sure you really get under there and check CLOSELY for rust.  For that much money there should be minimal rust anywhere on the underside, if any.

I'd stay away from anything older than say '67 or so.  During the late 60's and early 70's they started into the 1500 and 1600cc engines and parts are maybe a little more common and interchangeable.  I've got a '69 with the 1500cc engine and have very little problem finding parts, but I think the 70's models (like the Super Beetle) parts are a little more common.  At least as far as buying new condition parts.

The blue book puts what I'd consider a pretty low value on even a decent beetle.  I think most of us who own one would likely take a wizz on that kind of an offer, even if the old buggie isn't so pretty.  So don't be surprised if you see some... "interesting" prices on some not-so-pretty beetles.  A faded paint job, cracked window, a few dents and shabby interior might be offset in value by minimal rust on the underside, a properly maintained engine, good brakes and good suspension.

The Volkswagen Beetle is a very worth while vehicle if you are the right type of person and a responsible driver.  Considering the good gas mileage, relative low cost of upkeep (if you do your own work) and the KILLER feeling you get when you drive one, it's a pretty solid daily driver.  However, if you aren't interested in getting your hands dirty, your average imports garage is really going to hit your pocketbook even for some of the small things.  A lead foot won't get you that good gas mileage and will increase your cost of upkeep over time.  If you're not looking to feel close to the road or want to drive it at freeway speeds in the fast lane and feel safe...forget about it.

If you do buy a beetle, just understand you'll get some attention for it from time to time.  They turn heads, spawn violence (slug-bug), trigger nostalgia, attract hippies, will get you greasy from time to time, occasionally get called Nazi cars (which if you read the history...isn't exactly true) and definitely will give you one hell of a ride ;-)
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mclamorewp
I don't mind getting my hands dirty..but i'm not too knowledgable mechanically speaking. But I can certainly learn. I saw a beetle yesterday for 1100.00 and was thrilled til I saw the rust right behind the passenger side window that went straight through the body. Too bad. Every thing you said is good news to me though, I've read on here of some beetles getting around 30 mpg which is much better than my 10 mpg with my ford..and a 90.00 fill up. lol. What differences are there between a standard beetle and super beetle. Thanks again
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MY72BUG
bschwarz77 has already given you some good advice.  Think of the entire thing as a cost - benefit analysis.
ON THE PLUS SIDE: 
 Beetles are cool.  Parts are still quite available and part costs are still very reasonable.   Beetles are simple - a good amateur mechanic can do far more with one than what can be done on modern computerized look alike jelly bean cars.  Beetles are part of an international network where help is available for whatever your problem may be.
ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE
Beetles are old technology.  Newer cars are more reliable, faster, quieter, safer and within the same engine size are kinder to a tank of gas.  They may be easier to work on but you will work on them more often.  Their environmental impact would equal the operation of 3 or 4 modern cars.  If you need heat and especially defrosting the cars have a deserved reputation for being " challenging " to put it mildly.  The bodies are biodegradable for being prone to rust - depending greatly on the climate in which you live.

SO:  As a daily driver in my climate (Southern Ontario) - no way.  As a summer toy or a show car or a drive down town for ice cream in the summer car - you bet!  The Beetle is a great affordable restorable classic.  It is instantly recognized by everyone at a car show and brings back memories for a whole lot of people. 
Be very concerned about rust.  The rust you can see is bad; the rust you can't see is worse - floors, structural heater channels under the door sills, sub frame components.  Don't worry at all about interiors - replacement stuff is widely available, easy to install and cheap to buy.  Mechanical stuff is widely available and very reasonable.  For what it can cost to replace the timing belt on a modern front wheel drive V-6 you can rebuild a bug's engine! 
Look at parts sources such as CIP1 and do some mental shopping.  Go onto the Collector Car Trader.com website and enter the parameters for your search and you will see loads of bugs for your price range - again, think body and take someone with knowledge of the cars with you.
The Super Beetle has a more bulbous front luggage cover ( hood ), a spare tire that stores flat in the front storage and coil springs over McPherson struts for the front end.  Front fenders are a little bigger and the dashes are different after 1973.
From this point on the decision is yours.  There are loads of books out there which can help you.   If you decide on a Beetle ( for whatever purpose ) welcome to the international club.   Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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mclamorewp
I just saw an ad on thesamba listing a 98 Mexican VW beetle for sale..air cooled though. But it had a US title. Anyone know the process for importing them over here..or would it just be too much of a pain?
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