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LEGO 1:87 VW Beetles with broken bumpers

BooBooLandBooBooLand Member Posts: 11
I got a few LEGO 1:87 VW Beetles with broken bumpers in a lot that I bought.  Paint condition is very good, but bumpers are broken.  It would be a shame to throw them out, so I was wondering if they can be fixed.  For example, can I buy some other broken VW Beetles (but with intact bumpers) for parts and replace it?  I've never done it before so if anyone has, please let me know if this can be done.  Many thanks!


  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    Don't throw them out.  Even with broken bumpers they're worth money. 

    I don't think these can really be repaired.  Given how the 1:87 vehicles are made (ie glued together) I think you would cause more damage than it would be worth.  Besides a vast majority of the damage I've seen VW Bugs are the bumpers. 
  • BooBooLandBooBooLand Member Posts: 11
    Thanks LuciferSam...I didn't know they were glued.  
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited May 2015
    I'm not sure they are glued (I've not checked that closely)... but in this image of a 1957-65 #261 version I don't see any gluing... it looks like one solid molded part for the entire undercarriage.  But you do see how fragile those bumpers can be... and the are the most common type of damage that happens to them.....

    Here is a copy of the later (slightly smaller) 1200 Beetle.... the #661 version... there are 2 types... the UK/Ireland/Australia type (only found in later 810 Town Plan sets)... top... has more of a curve to the back (left) bumper... while the continental Europe #661... bottom.... has a slightly straighter back bumper.

    The #661 type smaller 1200 Beetle was thought not to have been sold in USA/Canada, but this past weekend a pair were found in a new 725 USA (Samsonite) Town Plan set.

    I would think that Super Glue'ing on a broken part from that vehicle might work... but likely not a piece broken off from another Beetle.

    (Images from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide chapter on 1:87 Cars/Trucks.)
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    By the way.... here's an image from my collectors guide of ALL the 1:87 cars/buses.  All but the VW Beetles have strurdy break resistance front and back bumpers....

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited May 2015
    One of the saddest LEGO images ever... from a Swedish friend (Daniel).... damaged 1:87 LEGO cars/trucks.... in perfect condition these would be worth thousands.... but most are quite damaged.  I see a few VW Beetles without any bumpers, and there's a VW Beetle base with only one of the 2 bumpers there... but also broken.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    All of the 1:87 Lego cars are made of four basic elements. Wheels and an axel, a chassis or undercarriage, the windshield and glass, and a shell. The chassis and shell have to be sealed together some way. It isn't necessarily with glue, it could be sonically welded, heat sealed, cemented or some other method, but they are sealed. Your image of the red VW Bug clearly shows that sealed seem between the shell and the undercarriage.

    My point is that you are very unlikely to be able to separate in undamaged chassis from a damaged shell and damaged chassis from an undamaged shell without causing more harm than good. These were never meant to be swappable parts. I've seen only a few cases where the shell and chassis have come apart "naturally" and many where somebody has tried to cut them apart. The cutting apart has frequently ended badly.

    I can take some photos of some damaged VW Bugs and a Ford Taurus to illustrate this if you wish.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Thanks LusiferSam.... I've always had "separation anxiety".... :)  .... so I've not attempted to remove the parts into separate components....
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 298
    If you don't want them, I'd be willing to buy them, as I do not care about condition at all, as Lego HO scale cars and trucks are expensive anyway, and the poorer the condition the better the price. 
  • Niels_TNiels_T Member Posts: 43

    I have these, should be some throw aways at factory, so never been assembled.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Very interesting @Niels_T  !!!

    Here's an image from an Ebay auction 10 years ago that shows spare 1:87 parts, many in colors never actually sold in.   Unfortunately this is the best image I could get.... 

  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    Some photos of some damaged VW Bugs I have. 

    So you can see the damage to chassis on the sides where it should attach to the shell.  I'm assuming the shell was very badly damaged for the previous owner to not keep it.

    So a great chassis with intact bumpers. But ...

    The shell is total loss.  But it can be used to for DWI vignettes with a wrecker and/or 1:87 police.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    My black Ford Taunus (which accidentally I called a Ford Taurus early and nobody called me on it) isn't damaged or anything.  I'm assuming it poorly attached at the factory.

    Unlike the VW Bugs the glass doesn't attach to the shell, but to the chassis.  It clips to the chassis and can be removed when the shell is unattached.  The car doesn't quite fit together.  It wants or needs to be glued (some other assembly) to be together correctly.  Again I can't see any damage on the shell or chassis.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited May 2015
    Thanks so much @Niels_T and @LusiferSam !!  It's discussions (and especially images) like these that become a learning experience even for me!! :)

    Looks like some of those vehicles could be used along with an Emergency Services road crew... such as this one....

    This is a #656 LEGO Mercedes Tow Truck, but unfortunately with non-LEGO sticker sheet by Techno.  This is another serious issue that collectors have to be aware of... and one of the more serious problems for collecting the very expensive 1:87 promotional vehicles.  But a Bedford or Mercedes Tow Truck could be used in an early Town Plan diarama for including damaged LEGO 1:87 vehicles in tow.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited May 2015
    There is another issue, although I have never seen it this badly warped.... and that is that early Cellulose Acetate 1:87 LEGO vehicles can be warped... although I don't ever remember seeing it as badly as this particular #258 VW Van.  Also the non-warped VW Van next to it has ARAL (petrol station) stickers, and those are questionable as to being original to this truck since this is the first time I've seen them....

    I honestly think that the badly warped #258 van was subjected to some extreme heat conditions (possibly a very hot attic).  Only the vehicles from 1955-63 can be warped (although most are only mildly so).  From 1963-70 all the vehicles were made of non-warping ABS plastic.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
     Wow! This looks like it may have possibly been deliberately warped. Something may have been set on top of it or it was pushed down on something for a long period.   The heave seen in the roof seems unnatural for just warping on its own. But who knows, CA is a bit of a strange plastic so it could certainly do this on its own.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    I've seen a lot of warping, but usually it's minor... never this bad... so you may very well be right.  Some of the worst warping I've seen has been on those old flip-up (235/236) garage doors.

    Here's the parts to a VW Van... this was from a TLG auction a few years ago....

    Sometimes unscrupulous sellers try to take the Vans/Pickups/Samba Buses apart and rearrange them into rare combinations.... but this is virtually impossible to do with the earlier Cellulose Acetate parts, since each one warps just a slightly bit differently.  But it's the ABS ones that you have to be careful with.  There are some rare color combos in existence... but the buyer beware....

    I have a Swiss collector friend who is amassing ALL the VW Buses/Vans/Pickups of the "with glass" variety... with front and side "indicators" (turn signal lights).

    Here's his collection so far.... well into the 5 digits in value, especially since they're all pretty much pristine... with the really rare ones (promotional ones) on the left.....  

  • Niels_TNiels_T Member Posts: 43

    Looks like the Beetle is only one so far with transclear Shell that have been painted, the others look line in colored plastic.

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