Non-UK special edition Beetles

We did a blog here about the various limited edition Beetles that were available in the UK, but here are some of the models that were a bit too special for these shores, including some dealer only oddities…

Formula Vee – 1970
As its name suggests, this 1970 special allowed dealers in the US to plunder the Formula Vee accessories catalogue in order to transform the standard Beetle into something more hip and sporty looking. Features included mag wheels, side stripes, bonnet air scoop, taper tip exhaust pipes and over-riders. Inside, the cabin was adorned with a walnut effect dash, gearknob and steering wheel as well as a tachometer.

Formula Vee

Less visible mods included the addition of stiffer shocks and a dual tone ‘fanfair’ horn mounted on top of the front bumper. Interestingly, the GT Mag Type wheels were originally made by Whitney Industries for the Riviera Motors of Oregon VW dealerships a couple of years earlier before being added to the Formula Vee range later on.

Glitter Bug – 1970
Another dealer option, available in the US and Germany, the appropriately named Glitter Bug was a collaboration between the 3M company and VW. The limited edition cars were painted in glitter paint colours with a roof that mimicked vinyl and featured various racing stripes and transfer kits to jazz things up a bit.


Gemini Beetle 1971
Dating from June 1971, the 1300 Gemini with its special ‘Gemini’ metallic paint, black seats, heated rear screen, twin fogs and 4.5Jx15 Ritter/Lemmerz Sprintsar wheels was only available in Belgium. There was a sequel in January 1972. Love the flares…


Jubilee Beetle – 1971
15,000 of these were available throughout Europe from the autumn of 1971 to celebrate the 20th million VW. It was based on the standard 1300, 1302 and 1302S and painted in Saturn Yellow with Sprintstar wheels, heated rear window, a padded dash and high back front pews. Owners were also issued with a limited edition certificate and given a dash plaque.


Knight Super Vee – 1971
Employed by a Californian dealership, service advisor Phil Knight also robbed VW’s Formula Vee accessory catalogue to come up with his own take on the sporty Bug theme. Built to order, intriguingly they were based on a 1963 body and floorpan but with a bang up to date bootlid, bumpers, rear lights and wings added on. But this is where it gets interesting…

Knight super vee

Knight fitted a Porsche Super 90 engine, specced up with a wild cam and sports exhaust, trick flywheel and beefier clutch. He also played with the interior, adding extra VDO gauges, bucket seats and a hard as nails racing steering wheel. Super cool EMPI Sprint Star wheels finished off the package.

Wunderbug – 1971
The faintly grotesque looking Wunderbug (below) was developed by Kansas-based Lieffring Industries and was sold as a conversion kit which included a 1930s style bonnet and modified wings. Apparently, some main dealers sold new cars with the kit already fitted.

US look one

15 Millionth – 1972
This was made for the Australian market to commemorate the 15,007,034 Beetle, the world record breaking car being a 1302. The one for Dub fans down under was Pastel White and had matt black dash panels with limited edition plaque and full carpeting. Owners also received a special edition metal key ring.

15 millionth

Baja Champion SE and Baja– 1972
The Baja Champion SE (below) was made for the US market to celebrate Baja race successes from 1967-71 and was closely related to our ‘Marathon’ Beetle, which was available at about the same time albeit it with high back seats, Bosch driving lights and sometimes ‘Baja’ stripes along the side. The plain ‘Baja’ was a dealer option in the US and had mag style wheels and various bits and pieces from the Formula Vee catalogue.


May Beetle – 1972
Made for US and German buyers, the May Beetle (below) was available in 1200 and 1302 guise in Saturn Yellow, Blood Orange, Tangerine and Willow Green. A total of 12,221 were produced of which 6666 were 1302s and 555 were 1200s.

May Beetle

VW GT – 1972
Only available from the Salzburg based VW/Porsche dealership in Austria and inspired by their rally cars, this 1302S limited edition came in silver with black stripes, black bonnet and engine lid with GT logos. Some cars had high compression cylinder heads, 914 valve springs and twin carbs which upped power to 65bhp. Only 210 were sold. GT Beetle

Fun Bug – 1973
We like this. It was a South African special painted in Hibiscus Red, Sunset Yellow or Nugget Gold and featured Rostyle wheels (with the old school 5-bolt stud pattern, of course) and a number of other natty extras including opening rear side windows and taper tip pipes. 1600 were made.

Fun bug

Marron Glace – 1973
The ‘Frozen Chestnut’ was a French limited edition painted in Agate Brown with a beige interior, wood gearknob and lots of extra chrome – including chrome Fuch’s style wheeltrims and Hella branded fog lamps. Just 1000 were produced.

Frozen chesnut

Yellow and Black Racer – 1973
Based on the 1303S, this Saturn Yellow painted race inspired creation had a black bonnet and boot lid, black bumpers, extra driving lights and a vented front valence like US spec cars for provision of an extra oil cooler (not fitted). Inside it was a bit special too, with leather covered Recaro sports pews and a Petri AG leather rimmed steering wheel.


Super Fusca – 1974
Made between 1974-5, this was the most powerful air-cooled ‘Fusca’ (Beetle) built by VW do Brasil and featured the same engine as the Brasilia with twin Solex carbs and a totally unique boot lid which was distinguishable by its two large oblong slots instead of the usual vents to draw in more air.


Love Bug – 1974
Inspired by the Herbie films, the US only Love Bug was available in Phoenix Red or Ravenna Green and had GT wheels, black painted bumpers and headlamp surrounds. It was sold at a slightly lower price than the standard model to attract buyers.

World Cup – 1974
Made exclusively for the German World Cup football squad, 25 1303S cabriolets were given the rather lurid black and Cliff Green treatment. A further 300 similarly garish saloons were made available at dealerships throughout Germany shortly afterwards with football shaped gearknobs.

World Cup

Lux Bug – 1975
Made for the South African market to celebrate the 250,000th SA produced Bug, it featured special Bronze and Green metallic paint, rostyle wheels and additional chrome, as well as taper tip exhaust pipes, centre console and a wood grained dash.

South african

SP1600 – 1975
Another South African special, but this time given a shot in the arm courtesy of tuner Theo Decker who fitted twin Solex H32 carbs to the 1600cc engine, upping power to 58bhp. Locally produced rostyles, a special sports exhaust system, front spoiler, tinted windscreen and cloth tartan seats added visual drama. It remained in production until 1978.


Ultra Brite – 1975
Not a special edition as such, but fun all the same. These Beetles were offered as a prize in a competition run by toothpaste manufacturer Ultra Brite. There were thought to be just five given away in total, with Marina Blue possibly being the base colour.

ultra Brite

Triple White – 1976
One of the most sought after of all topless Beetles, the Triple White was made from 1976-’79 and had white paintwork, white interior, white hood and factory installed white wall tyres. The very last Beetle Cabriolet was indeed a Triple White. Around 3000 were made in total.

all white

Closely resembling this car was a Champagne special edition with a light sand coloured hood made to celebrate the 1 millionth Golf. There was also a Triple Black Cabriolet. The Bicentennial Convertible was another special edition dating from 1976 and was made to celebrate the US American Revolution and one car was made available to each US dealer during June 1976.


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







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