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VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Kit

Italeri 1/24 VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2017 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Scale 1/24
Kit Number 3709 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $32.99

First Look

VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Kit
VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Kit
VW 1303S Beetle Cabriolet Kit

The Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet (convertible) first appeared in 1971 based on the Super Beetle. The car received a number of distinctive updates including the so-called 'elephant foot' stop/turn signals and wrap around windshield in 1973. The 1974 models introduced the 5mph impact bumbers while the 1975 model moved the front turn signals from the top of the front fenders to the the bumper. 1975 also saw the changeover to fuel injection for the car's 1600cc engine. The Volkswagen (People's Car) Type 1, which started production in 1938, would slowly evolve through the late 1970s before disappearing from Volkswagen dealers, but through it all, the Beetle retained its signature shape and remains a classic car, especially with those of us who grew up with them!

Italeri has reissued their circa 1975 VW Beetle Cabriolet kit that was first produced in 1983 and based upon their 1975 Super Beetle (hardtop) first released in the late 1970s. Molded in white styrene, this kit is presented on two parts trees plus body shell and chassis, one tree of chromed parts, and one tree of clear parts. The kit is a simple build straight out of the box but still features some nice details. The experienced modeler will spend far more time painting this kit than assembly to bring out those details.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice interior
  • Front wheels are steerable
  • Hood, trunk, and doors are molded closed
  • No engine in rear compartment though chrome engine bottom is provided
  • Choice of raised or lowered/stowed convertible top

The kit provides decals with a speedometer and placards for the dashboard as well as license plates for cars registered in Italy, France, Germany, and California. The California example has an eagle logo for the top of the trunk which offers a low-budget alternative to the distinctive Pontiac Trans Am hood logo made famous in 'Smokey and the Bandit'.

For those who want a little nostalgia for their scale garage, this kit is a fun project and will look great with a little modeling skill applied.

My sincere thanks to Italeri USA for this review sample!