Volkswagen Beetle 1200 Armored

When you look at the registration statistics for classic vehicles, the Volkswagen Beetle is still at the top of the list in Germany. The qualities of the compact rear-engined vehicle are also appreciated in other countries. No wonder, after all, more than 21.5 million units rolled off the production lines between 1945 and 2003. A look at the model history quickly reveals that, apart from their silhouette and basic design, early Beetles have little in common with late cars. Over the decades, there have been repeated further developments. For example, a MacPherson front axle moved in at the beginning of the 1970s, making the front end seven centimeters longer. This also finally allowed the spare wheel to lie flat under a cover in the trunk, leaving more room for luggage. In 1972, the 1303 appeared with a more curved windshield to meet the new minimum passenger-to-windshield clearances of the 1973 US registration regulations.

Last European Beetles came from Emden

At the same time, Volkswagen moved production of the Beetle with old drivetrains and bodywork to Emden, as the production of the Golf was starting up in Wolfsburg. This also meant the end of production of the modernized 1303 as a sedan in 1975. Karmann continued to produce the 1303 Cabriolet until 1979. Until January 1978, two-door Beetle sedans were produced in Emden in economy or L versions and with the 1200 (34 hp) or 1600 (50 hp) engine for the European market. After that, the little automotive insect rolled off the assembly lines only in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. These vehicles continued to be officially shipped to Europe via the port in Emden and could be ordered from VW dealers until 1985. After that, independent importers took over, offering final vehicles until 2004. The last units from the Última Edición had to be registered by special permit, as they didn’t had the OBD connections required by regulations for new cars.

Armored car for the Sicilian wife

In the course of the long history of the Beetle, there were numerous special versions. To summarize them all, one would have to write a book. In addition to the variations built directly from the factory, external companies also built more or less independent vehicles. Of course, many readers know the numerous Buggy versions. Some also remember special bodies by Hebmüller, Rometsch or Ghia, whereby the Karmann Ghia offered directly by VW probably remains the most famous variant. In addition, there were four-door extensions as cabs, flatbed trucks and many more ideas. In 1977, an entrepreneur in Sicily ordered a Volkswagen 1200 for his wife. Due to numerous murders by the mafia, he decided to have the car completely armored at the Blindocar company. All windows were replaced with laminated glass between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters thick. Additional locks secured the doors while driving.

Unrestored original condition

Interestingly, the axles and drivetrain remained unchanged, as did the interior. So despite the increased vehicle weight, the 1.2-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with 34 horsepower continues to provide propulsion. According to Chrome Cars, where the car is now for sale, only the braking distance is negatively affected by the conversion. The armored Beetle has never been restored, presents in good overall condition and has only about 45,000 kilometers on the clock. Chrome Cars is calling a purchase price of € 80,000 for this unique specimen.

Images: Chrome Cars