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Don't buy a car without this book!
Expert advice from a marque expert.
Unique points scoring system to evaluate cars after inspection.
Walk away or stay? - quick initial evaluation of a car.
How to check the car's authenticity.
Which models are best.
The implications of restoration.
Is it the right car for you? - will it fit your garage, will you fit in the car?
Running cost details.
Don't buy a car without this unique illustrated guide! Expert advice will help you to find the best car for your money.
With the aid of this book's step-by-step expert guidance, you'll discover all you need to know about the car you want to buy. Unique point system will help you to place the cars value in relation to condition. This is an important investment - don't buy a car without this book's help.
Review from Australian Classic Car, September 2007
Veloce has now published 13 of these handy pocket size books. Each serves as a useful guide for enthusiasts and assumes that readers will already know a little about older cars. The publications follow a pattern, starting off with the question, "Is this car right for you?" – it's a valid question, since many first-time owners buy with their hearts and not their heads, and live to regret it.
Items to watch out for are helpfully divided into a 15-minute evaluation and a more serious investigation examining mechanicals, body, trim and so forth in close detail. The author then compares the various advantages of auctions against private sales before discussing the all important paperwork – after all, you'll want to make sure that the seller actually owns what you are buying. Internet links and tips on where to find spares are helpful as is the list of relevant publications. Put it in your pocket before you start looking.
From Met On Wheels magazine, Volume 3 Issue 052, 2005
Having studied three of this excellent A5-sized series I would suggest that going to buy a classic car without one of these in your pocket would be a very foolish thing to do.
Sixty-four pages contain the wisdom of marque and model experts that would take years to acquire. There is no gloss or shine, just honest information; what to look for, where to find the faults, areas of rust etc.
A simple scoring system enables you to find out if the car is a good or bad buy, or even one to be avoided at all costs. There is also a guide to the cost of replacing wings, clutches, services and even complete body shells or engines.
A price guide should also help with finding out the vehicle's relative value.
Engine and chassis numbers will help stop you buying a "ringer' and a complete set of specifications will allow you to make sure what you are buying is right.
They are not definitive guides or model histories, but a real tool to assist in buying, and one that should be top of the list when researching a model. They are good quality and ridiculously cheap at £9.99 given the accumulated knowledge contained within.
Review from Classic Car Weekly, October 2005
THE Volkswagen Beetle is the best selling car ever, and pretty much everyone you know has either owned or travelled in one at some point. But, if you tell them you’re considering buying one of your own, you’ll usually hear the same old nuggets of information. You’ll be told how cold, slow and noisy they are and the engine, which is in the wrong end, is only held in place by four bolts, but never anything of any use.
Buy a good Beetle and you’ll soon find they are cheap to run, easy to work on and that the huge number of clubs and specialist shows in this country mean that you’re buying into an entire sub-culture, that you just don’t have with other cars. They are a great starter classics and an excellent first car. The problem is that because they are so many peoples first car, they tend to buy with their heart rather than their head and it’s all to easy to buy an attractively priced, tarted–up old dog.
Written by Ken Cservenka and Richard Copping, they provide so much informed, expert advice picked up from many years of VW ownership that even a total VW novice should be able to avoid the pit-falls and decide for themselves whether a particular car is any good or not. The book is broken down into 17 easy to follow chapters and covers many useful topics, including if a Beetle is the right car for you, running costs and the key problem areas to look out for.
One of the most useful features for novice buyers is the provision of a useful point scoring system that can be ticked-off when viewing a potential purchase. Using the book as a guide, each section of the car can be awarded a potential four points, which can then be totted-up to decide whether the car is OK or if it’s better to simply walk away and find another.
There are plenty of pictures sprinkled about the pages, showing different generations of cars, common problem areas and all the little bits and pieces most people forget to look at in the excitement of that first test drive.
Over 21million Beetles were made before production ended in 2004, they are rugged, reliable and great fun to own. So if you’re a VW virgin and fancy getting in on the action, this handy sized buyers guide is essential reading and at just £9.99 it’s a lot cheaper than going out unprepared and buying yourself a lemon.
Review by Sherri Corrao
At first glance this book appears to be too small to hold the information a potential Beetle buyer would need. Just as the Beetle’s size is small but deceiving so is this book. The smaller size lends itself well to taking it with you when looking at a prospective Beetle.
Once you open the cover of the book you will be very aware that it was written and published in the UK. Many of the UK terms are defined and at the bottom of the introduction the currency exchange rate used is explained. The authors point out they have left many obvious details out of this book on the assumption that most people will know something about the Beetle. This should be perceived, as the book is not going to have all of information you need.
The contents are laid out nicely and are logical. Before getting into the subject, the authors take you through a series of topics that will help a person decide whether the Beetle is the right car for them. Some of the topics are vague, but the book does make one think of the items that need to be thought out prior to purchasing a car. As mentioned previously, this book should not be considered to be the only book you need for a Beetle.
The author’s regiment of a 15-minute evaluation is a good idea. By looking at the suggested areas one can very easily decide whether the car deserves a more thorough inspection or not. This should also serve as a way to keep an objective opinion of the car. If the Beetle is still looking to be a good candidate after the 15-minute evaluation, the authors guide the buyer into a 60-minute inspection with a numbering system of 1 to 4. After the inspection, each score is added together and the final score will help the buyer classify the car as excellent, good, average or poor. This will help the buyer determine if the car is right for him/her, the price is in the correct range and an idea of the amount of work and money to bring the car to their standards.
While many car-buying books would end after the inspection process, this one does not. The author’s give a true perspective when they explain that a restoration “will take longer and cost more than you think…” They also make a valiant attempt at pointing out some of the common problems you may need to fix if you buy a not so perfect Beetle.
The author’s chapter of listing auctioneers, clubs and specialists was interesting to see if not only to see who was listed. From what I know now about the hobby and resources, it would not be of much use to me. Many of the clubs are UK and Europe based but there are a few US based clubs listed, too. At best, it is a good starting reference. The last chapter gives a brief statistical analysis on 3 sample years; 1954 Deluxe, 1967 1500 and the 1973 1303S and adds a short synopsis of major changes by year and month. It helps identify some of the changes but does not give a complete look at the differences of all Beetle models.
Overall, I felt the book refers more to the European and UK models but the advice and examples can very easily help a person outside of those countries have a better knowledge of what to look for when buying a Beetle. This book would be a great tool to bring along while inspecting a potential Beetle to buy. It would certainly help one keep an objective mind while considering a purchase. As many of us know it is hard not to be bitten by the Bug when looking at buying one.