1971 VW Beetle Karmann 1302 LS


・A striking and unique champagne pink
・Rare 2 year only 1302 LS model in ‘super beetle’ spec
・Significant and well documented service history file
・Starts and drives extremely well
・Recent mechanical servicing and interior updates 
・Celebrating her 50th Birthday this year


The humble little Beetle is the true original, the king of cool and where the family line began.

Part-way through its production, in 1971, VW introduced the ‘1302 Beetle’, in an effort to make it more practical and improve sales. It was offered as a restyled version alongside the regular Beetle which was badged the 1302 (1285cc) and the 1302S (1584cc). This had a more bulbous front end but retained the flat windscreen. 

Wilhelm Karmann was a contract car manufacturer, who got his start building convertibles and became the sole supplier of Beetle convertibles from his factory in Osnabruck. In 1953, he asked the Carrozzeria Ghia automotive design house in Turin, Italy, to take the chassis of a Beetle and design a convertible sports car.

This uprated ‘Super Beetle’ featured MacPherson struts with coil springs, while the rear suspension was also upgraded to the much improved I.R.S torsion bar system akin to the Porsche 911 of the same era. These changes improved the handling, ride comfort and stability, plus the front luggage area was also increased.

Unfortunately, fans of the traditionally styled Beetle struggled with the new look and so this model only ran for two years. 

The car we have here is an example of that now über rare Beetle.


This 1302 LS being an LS Karmann built version, originally built in Germany in 1971, is one of the more special and luxury trims of the "Beetles". During the first 12 years of its journey in Germany not much it's known, before being imported to the UK in 1983. The original colour of the bodywork is known to have been cream, but at some point in the 1980s, it underwent a full respray to its current striking colour of champagne pink.

Originally a left-hand drive model, this Beetle was converted to right hand drive for use in the UK, though the exact date of the conversion is unknown. There are 7 UK owners registered on the V5 document, with the last two owners being female enthusiasts who have loved this Beetle since 1990. Since then, this Karmann Cabriolet has been affectionately known as ‘Florence’.

During this two-owner 41-year period, both lady owners spent much time and money on Florence, as evidenced in the numerous bills, work sheets and receipts in the service history, which included a replacement unleaded engine in 1998 (having covered only 51,000 miles since the engine swap).

The current owner bought Florence in 2003 and has kept the car garaged for the last 18 years, continuing to maintain and document the work undertaken over the years. Most recently, the owner has put very few miles on the car, is finding less time to drive it and has a home improvement project to fund. Therefore, it is finally time for this rare Beetle to pass to another loving custodian.

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The paperwork is nothing short of significant, with pages and pages documenting the work, servicing, repairs and parts across the lifetime of this 1302.

Thumbing through the history file, reveals years of work from the replacement of very minor parts, to some significant items, including the replacement unleaded engine, a front disc brake conversion, a full set of wider wheels and tyres (we’ll come back to those later), replacement PVC soft top hood with vinyl cover, an upgraded Monza exhaust, new carpeting and interior door panels and recent preventative maintenance to ensure many more years of classic motoring.

Owing to its age, this 1302 is tax and MOT exempt, however following a period of two years off the road (registered as SORN), the car has just been tested and passed a recent MOT.

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The interior is classy black throughout and presents in a very tidy condition. The seating, carpets and interior trim are a fabulous feature of the car, showing very few signs of wear. The door cards have recently been retrimmed and provide a first glance of this super interior, when opening either door.

Naturally basic as any Beetle interior is, the dashboard does include a CD radio head unit and a leather-bound sports steering wheel. Finishing off the interior features is an aftermarket VW logo gear knob and chrome door pulls. All interior and dashboard plastics, rubber fixings, switches and controls are all in great shape, as are the black carpets throughout the interior and front luggage area.

The interior controls and switches are largely working correctly without fault, with the exception of the front and rear screen heating (though the internal low-level heating is working well) and the bulb for the interior mirror light is missing. 

It is noted that as per the original Beetle specification of this period, there are no rear seat belts.

It's also worth stating that "Florence" comes with a lot of spares such as window seals, bonnet seal, window winder handles, trim clips , rubber footwell mats, internal head bow and more. She also comes with a black vinyl cover in immaculate condition for the soft top when its down.

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The exterior’s dominant feature is the unique and charming champagne pink across the car’s bodywork. 

It’s fair to say that the exterior is showing signs of age now, with the respray having taken place prior to the last two owners (41 years), and as such has some bubbling under the paint surface and certain areas have crossed the threshold from patina to corrosion. 

However, is it noted by the owner that owing to the Beetle being kept garaged and protected from the elements, the areas of corrosion have developed at a very slow pace.  With recent work carried out on the car, no further structural issues were noted and as such, it’s suggested that the remaining spots of bubbling could be addressed over time as a cosmetic preference.

Elsewhere, those previously mentioned wider wheels were an addition to car some years ago, but the styling remains original and really compliment the look and stance of the Bug. The wheels are in great shape, as are the tyres which are in good condition with plenty of remaining tread all round.

The chrome brightwork of the windows, bumpers, headlight surrounds and other exterior trim are in a lovely condition, cleaning to a bright shine, complimenting the equally bright chrome hub caps.

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As indicated previously, this Beetle comes with a deep history file, documenting years of mechanical maintenance and servicing. Recent works conducted by a reputable local garage include servicing to the rear brakes, the fuel tank being subjected to a drain and flush including the fuel lines and new box welding to the underside for preventative maintenance.

From the turn of the key, this superbug fires up with ease, runs, drives, stops and steers as it should, with no notable issues or suspect noises. The 1.6L (1,598cc) fuel injection engine ticks over with that unmistakable flat-four sound, showing no signs of smoke. The engine bay presents well, reflecting the long history of mechanical servicing.

This 1302 is road legal with its fresh MOT and ready to roll for the summer.

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In the hunt for a classic car, there are few better choices than the iconic Beetle. Without doubt one of the most revered and recognisable cars ever designed. That air-cooled flat-four hanging out the back marked the beginning of nearly a century of some of the most desirable cars in motoring history. 

If you’re looking for an affordable, fun and easy to maintain classic, the Beetle would be a great choice even without its contribution to world history, popular culture and it’s not insignificant influence on the development of the automobile. But that wider significance gives an even greater reason to buy.

This 1302 LS Cabriolet represents one of the rarer and higher spec examples in the Beetle’s lifetime. Sure, it may need some smartening up over time, but it’s one that can used, enjoyed and driven for miles of open-top smiles.

It’s very likely a cliché, but who cares, the Beetle is a true icon of 20th Century motoring and occupies a significant position in the hearts and minds of drivers and enthusiasts across the globe. It is the longest running and most manufactured car of a single design platform anywhere in the world. Now why wouldn’t you want a piece of that?

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1971
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Beetle Cabriolet
  • Colour Pink
  • Odometer 51,198 Miles
  • Engine size 1598
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • Ma•••• £11,250 04/08/21
  • To•••• £11,000 04/08/21
  • To•••• £10,750 04/08/21
  • Ma•••• £10,500 04/08/21
  • To•••• £10,250 04/08/21
  • Ma•••• £10,000 04/08/21
  • To•••• £9,900 04/08/21
  • Ma•••• £9,800 04/08/21
  • To•••• £9,700 04/08/21
  • Ma•••• £9,600 04/08/21

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