Vintage VW exhausts the market

Collecting Treasures: The 50-somethings of today have the disposable income to search out VW items that remind them of their youth

Just when all the news is breaking about how the Volkswagen Group cheated the system with sneaky computer programs designed to cheat emissions testing, and their stocks start to tumble … comes a vintage Volkswagen collection to our auction house, and it does anything but stumble!

When the news broke about Volkswagen’s problems, we were setting up several vintage Volkswagen cars, trucks and parts for our Sept. 25 auction and online interest was already high.

On the day of the auction, we had more than 400 serious car and truck enthusiasts in house and more than 3,700 bidders online, and the bidding frenzy lasted several hours.

The collector market doesn’t waver when it comes to highly sought after VW items.

The star of our recent auction was a 1961 Volkswagen truck. It was a non-running, unrestored truck that needed a lot of TLC to bring it back to life, but that didn’t stop buyers from around the globe from competing to land the coveted VW prize. It sold for just more than $10,000 to a buyer from the Midwest who was ecstatic that he was the winning bidder.

Our second runner-up VW that sold was a 1964 custom Beetle that sold for more than $6,000. It also needed a little TLC to make it road worthy.

All in all, we sold seven VW cars and trucks that day along with hundreds of vintage parts that where cobbled up like junk at a dump. The buyers bought everything from old VW emblems to fenders to door latches and more.

What makes these Volkswagen items so desirable?

Well, back in the 1970s and 1980s, VW cars and trucks were easy to find. Almost every high school had 20 to 30 VW bugs sitting in the school parking lot because the students could afford them, the parts were easy to find and cars were easy to work on.

Now ratchet it up to 2015. Vintage Volkswagens and their parts are harder to find and much more expensive. Why? People collect items that remind them of their youth, and the 50-somethings of today have the disposable income to search out VW items. The push from the retro collector market is also driving prices up.

Two things are for sure in the vintage VW market: There will be no slick computer programs controlling the emissions, and the prices will only continue to rise.

Erik Hoyer co-owns EJ’s Auction & Consignment in Glendale and J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale. Contact:, or@EJs_Auction on Twitter.

Click here for the link to the AZ Central article


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