1979 VW Convertible Specifications

by John London
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The 1979 Volkswagen Beetle convertible is a classic two-door convertible that belongs to the famous line of Beetle economy cars. Designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s, the Beetle became the embodiment of post-war prosperity in Europe and America. The 1979 model was the last year that the convertible was sold, even though the sedan version continued to be manufactured until 2003.


The 1979 Volkswagen convertible trim was equipped with an air-cooled, four-cylinder, overhead cam engine. The piston displacement of the engine is 96.7 cubic inches, and the compression ratio is 7.3-to-1. The engine produces 48 horsepower at 4,200 rpm and delivers a maximum torque of 73 foot-pounds at 2,800 rpm.

Weight and Price

The 1979 VW convertible weighs 2,100 pounds, which results in a power-to-weight ratio of 0.05 HP/kg. In the showroom, the vehicle retailed for $5,700. In 2002, a brand-new 1979 VW convertible in mint condition sold for $21,450.

Regulation and Competition

In the 1970s, some car enthusiasts were fearful that the government would introduce new safety regulations banning convertibles and many people bought what they thought would be one of the last convertibles. The 1979 VW Beetle convertible competed against other "instant collectible" convertibles such as the Cadillac Eldorado, which was marketed by GM as the "last American-made convertible."


Most of the VW convertibles produced in 1979 are in well used to poor condition with high mileage, or they were junked long ago. Hardly any VW convertibles from that model year can be found in mint condition today.

Other Specifications

The 1979 VW Beetle Convertible is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. It came with a standard four-speed manual transmission.

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