Volkswagen has announced the forthcoming release of its third generation Beetle, a move that could well heighten interest in the first incarnation of the classic car.
Type 1 Beetles were produced from 1938 until 2003, although production moved from Europe and the US to Central and South America from the late 1970s onwards. The 'people's car', which was first produced in Nazi Germany as a cheap vehicle for the masses, shook off its early political connotations to become a symbol of freedom and non-conformism.
The New Beetle, which was produced between 1997 and 2010, has proved popular with drivers and could well be deemed a classic car one day.
But it is models from the 1950s and 1960s that hold most sway with classic car collectors. Convertibles are especially popular with investors, as shown by the $50,760 sale of a 1956 Cabriolet at Barrett-Jackson in 2006.
Sunroof varieties from the same era are also much sought after. A 1954 'Sunroof' Beetle made $39,600 at RM Auctions in 2008, surpassing its $35,000 top end estimate.
Pre 1954 split window Beetles are highly desirable. A 1951 model made more than $50,000 at Barrett-Jackson in 2007. Oval window versions, which were produced in some models between 1953 and 1957, are also much loved and can command similarly high sums at auction.
The new Beetle will be released towards the end of the year.