Paint and Upholstery:
L13K (91) Sonnengelb / (83) lava/schwarz
L20C (92) Nepalorange / (83) lava/schwarz
(neither of these colours were available on standard production Beetle saloons in the 1975 model year)
1300cc typ. 113 unbadged
Factory Fitted Optional Equipment:
(model based on the 1975 UK market 1300 inclusive of M228 padded dashboard)
M102 Heated Rear Window
M162 Rubber Bumper Trims
M560 Steel sliding roof
M 976 4½J x15 (Lemmerz) sports style wheels
Without a doubt this Edition was very much a “close out” model. Manufactured just ahead of rationalisation of the European Beetle saloon models down to just the 1200 /1200L for the last three model years of European production and also just ahead of cessation of Beetle production at D’leteren.
Researching through known first registration data of several surviving examples suggests that deliveries reached dealers at the very close of the 1975 model year with many examples being held over as display models (and unsold stock) through the late Summer & early Autumn and consequently well into the 1976 model year season.
The Edition (and the rarely seen contemporary standard 1300 model for UK on which it was based) exhibited a curious mixture of components and equipment level. Although the main body complete with steel sliding roof had a full headlining of the 1200L/1300 other details bore more connection to the spartan 1200/1303A. The latter not having been imported into the UK. The steering wheel was the “old” basic 1200 two spoke type and many small fittings such as the interior light were omitted. This presented a curious contrast with the padded dashboard that was rarely seen on Beetles imported into the UK prior to the introduction of the 1200L for the 1976 model year. Whilst the standard 1300 imported into the UK for 1975 had rear lights with only amber/red lenses and wheels with the spartan plastic caps instead of hub caps the Sunshine Beetle had reversing light lenses in the rear lamp and Lemmerz sports wheels. Perhaps the most inconsistent detail though on the Sunshine Beetle was that the fitting of basic 1200 model bonnets without air intake louvers. This consequently denied air flow to the air vents incorporated within the padded dashboard! On several surviving cars the bonnets themselves show signs of metal fatigue cracking midway along the side edge after years of being opened and closed – possibly due to the bonnet being unreinforced.
With sales names for the two paint colours of Sunshine Yellow and Sunburst Orange the Edition has been known variously as the Sun Beetle, Sun Bug and Sunshine Beetle on account of both its colours and steel sun roof. So as to avoid any confusion with the 1974 North American market Sun Bug we have taken the decision to catalogue it by the last of those three names: the Sunshine Beetle.
We believe that between 300 and 600 Sunshine Beetles were produced by D’leteren at Brussels (Belgium)
Non produced .
Information courtesy Stephen Paul Hardy.