Denim Revival! Remember the Jeans Beetle?

It’s incredible to think VW once needed a marketing gimmick to attract younger buyers to get behind the wheel of a Beetle. The Jeans special edition was it, and with news of the latest Jeans up! launch we thought, like VW, we’d go back and visit the original denim clad classic…

The original Jeans Beetle, launched in 1974, was based on the 1200/34bhp model with L16M Tunisian Yellow paint, Lemmertz sports wheels, Jeans stickers on the bottom of the doors, rear quarter and bootlid – and, of course, distinctive denim seat coves and doorcards. Chromework on the bumpers, indicators and headlamp rims was also painted black. It was later available in Phoenix Red, Brilliant Yellow and Marino Yellow.

main small

Interestingly, in mainland Europe a 1974 a ‘Jeans Kit’ was available at local dealers and consisted of decals, seat covers and mudflaps. The kits can be identified by the factory model by the fact that the letter ‘a’ in ‘Jeans’ was more legible than on those made at Wolfsburg. There was even a special edition black hubcap made with the word ‘Jeans’ pressed out of the metal.

Jeans kit 2upblack and white 2up

There was also a Jeans model made in VW’s South African factory from 1975. It featured rostyle wheels and was available in four different colours. This time, though, it was powered by a 1600cc engine. Total production is only thought to have totalled 1400 examples.

to go with interiorinerior 2up to go with press shot

The Jeans theme had a revival in 1982 when the Mexican factory in Puebla started producing a limited edition model finished in black with natty ‘Jeans Bug’ logos on the side and bootlid. They were later produced in Mars Red and Alpine White as well.

mexican red 2upMexican black 2up

Another Mexican Jeans Beetle appeared in 1994 for the home market only, and then again in 2000 (above) – this time with distinctive alloy wheels being its key distinguishing feature.


I myself owned a Jeans Beetle (above). It was left-hand drive and I bought it from auction with a cracked screen and a ‘zoom tube’ for £300. It was actually pretty sound – although ironically, the thing that let it down was the saggy denim seats!


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

9 responses to: Denim Revival! Remember the Jeans Beetle?

      1. Thanks I have sourced some denim, and I see that coastal cushion company on face book do them but they are not exact copies

        1. Hi Adrian
          Andy will be able to copy exactly your design as for the majority of cases he makes to the customers design and choice. He will be able to replicate the jeans stitching pattern exactly. The most problematic is matching the colour of denim but if you allready have some and your happy I’m sure you will end up with the result your looking for.
          Andy at the coastal cushion Co is not only a friend but also my business’s first choice for all my customers re-trims
          My kindest regards Doug (dougs VW werks)

  1. Hi,
    I have a Jeans Beetle which I’ve just tried to get on the road but it looks like he’s going to cost me too much :o( as I’ll have to have all the work done at a garage (can’t do it myself). Would you happen to know what would be a decent asking price for him as a project? THey got the engine running apparently, but the failed the MoT on practically everything and needs a lot of bodywork… Just not sure where to go from here. Thanks for any pointers! 🙂

  2. Congratulations for this wonderful blog. I found it very informative and interesting too. I have bookmarked your blog and will return in the future. I want to encourage you to continue that marvelous work, have a great daytime!

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