MANCHESTER, N.H., May 31, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — A 1963 Volkswagen Beetle brings to mind images of boulevard cruising and trips to the beach, but when late actor and race car driver Paul Newman laid eyes on his, he saw a speed machine. Newman’s own V8-powered Beetle has just been listed for sale, coinciding with the approaching debut of Volkswagen’s 21st century Beetle, a decidedly sportier car than the outgoing second-generation model that has been a staple at Volkswagen dealerships like Quirk VW for more than a decade.
The 1963 VW Beetle left its factory powered by a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine producing a somber 40 horsepower. While that was enough for some, Newman wanted more speed after falling in love with racing while shooting the film “Winning.” The solution for Newman’s power problem came in the form of a 351-cubic-inch 300-horsepower V8 mated to a five-speed racing transmission and a host of other high-tech parts usually seen on Indy race cars. More than 40 years later, the car is fully restored and up for sale for the cool sum of $250,000.
“Paul Newman and the Volkswagen Beetle are cultural icons with a special place in the hearts of Americans, and the eventual lucky owner of Newman’s restored Beetle will feel a sense of history each time they drive it,” said Frank Carnucci, general manager of Quirk Volkswagen, a Manchester, New Hampshire Volkswagen dealer. “The third generation Beetle doesn’t fully neglect the vehicle’s classic design, but now it’ll be coming right off the lot with performance that would have made Newman proud.”
For those without the means to afford high-priced celebrity-owned cars, the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle offers more sportiness than ever at a price more agreeable to Beetle fans. Due to debut at Volkswagen dealerships this fall, the latest Beetle maintains the original’s rear lines while shrugging off its overall circular design for an edgier look.
With three engine choices, 2012 Beetle buyers can choose their preferred balance of fuel economy and performance. The base engine is the venerable five-cylinder 2.5-liter found in other VW offerings, producing 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Those itching for Newman-esque speed can get the 200-horsepower, two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder also found under the hood of the 2011 Golf GTI. There will even be a model with a turbocharged TDI Clean Diesel engine that returns 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
While Newman’s Beetle has a racer-focused interior and an engine taking up the entire back seat, modern Beetle owners will be treated to optional features like a panoramic sunroof and a 400-watt Fender premium audio system. They’ll also find more space, with a larger rear seating area and 10.9 cubic feet of space in the trunk that can be easily accessed through a wide-opening back lid. Outside, flared fenders and a longer, lower roof contribute to the newest Beetle’s stance, which is far more aggressive in appearance than the exterior of Newman’s sleeper.
“The new Beetle is still instantly recognizable, but VW didn’t rely on its name for success during their redesign,” Carnucci added. “It allows returning Beetle customers to achieve performance levels they weren’t able to reach in their older cars, and decades from now collectors will look back on the 2012 Beetle just like we look at the 1963 model, as an icon and a collector’s piece.”
About Quirk Volkswagen NH:
Quirk Volkswagen NH is the newest addition to the Quirk family of auto dealers, and it is already emerging as the destination for VW lovers throughout southern New Hampshire. They have a fantastic selection of new and used Volkswagens ranging from the Jetta to the Tiguan, and the friendly, experienced sales and service staff to back them up. You can browse Quirk Volkswagen’s inventory online at www.quirkvwnh.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuirkVolkswagenNH , call them at (603) 626-7000 or visit their dealership at 1100 S. Willow Street in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Jim Smith, of Quirk Automotive Group, 781-843-4800.
No celebrity endorsement claimed or implied.