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In the Garage: 1959 Volkswagen Beetle
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1959 Volkswagen Beetle sedan owned by Rich Hallberg
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Between 1939 and 2003, over 21 million of the iconic Volkswagen Beetles, or Type 1s, were manufactured and distributed from plants around the world. Today, older models are sought-after collectibles, especially among the strong body of Long Island enthusiasts.
“As the story goes, this car was first owned over in Germany,” Hallberg says of his sedan. “This Beetle has semaphores. They are European turn signals that pop out of each side of the car and they light up.” The speedometer is in kilometers, he says, and “the color of the car is not seen often. The dark red, sort of like a brick red, seems to be a rare color. You don’t see too many older Beetles on the road today like this one, so I’m glad to have one this old.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
He bought it in May 2012.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was listed in the classifieds on the Long Island Volkswagen Club web site. “The car was in a garage in West Babylon,” he says. “Once I saw the car up close, I fell in love with it. I had to have it.”
“Volkswagens are a lot of fun to own and drive,” he says. “They are pretty simple, for the most part, to maintain and to take care of. I believe that this car has been restored. It's been painted and the interior has been redone. Right now, it has 50,222 kilometers on it, which would be 31,206 miles. I'm not sure if they are original, but it's nice to think that they are.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“You have this car for a reason,” Hallberg advises. “Have fun with it. Let the car breathe and give it some exercise once in a while. Let her be a pavement queen, not a trailer queen.”
Hallberg says he’s been told his car is worth $10,000 to $15,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“My grandfather passed away in March of 2012,” he says. “He, along with my ‘Nanny,’ had left me money after they had passed away. I used my money to buy the car of my dreams. They both knew how much I wanted a VW Beetle.” In honor of the couple, Hallberg had his grandfather’s handwriting added as a decal on the bottom of the rear window, including the words, “with all our love,” to represent their sentiments on the greeting cards they had given him. “It is a gift from them, after all,” he says. “They, along with all my other family and friends, know how much this car means to me.”