Sgroi drove it off-and-on until 1978, when it was tucked away in a barn—a place it has remained for the past 42 years. The shocker? It has only 89.9 kilometers (about 56 miles) on its odometer from new. No, that’s not a typo. 56 miles driven… ever. Jaws, meet floor.
So why so few miles? It’s that classic “only drove it to church” story.
According to Silverstone Auctions, Sgroi was a deeply religious man who regularly attended church services on Sundays in his village. While the church was just a short walk down the road, in his older age, Sgroi had trouble making the trip and needed to find an easier way to get to mass. This VW Beetle would be that way.
On January 23rd, 1974, Sgroi purchased the car from the G. Terragni Volkswagen dealership in Genoa, and began making his weekly church run in the Beetle. Upon its last trip in 1978, a scant 56 miles had been racked up, at which point it was dressed for bed and left in its barn resting place.
Amazingly, it still wears its original first set of Firestone tires and its 1300cc engine still holds onto its original oil, as supplied on the Volkswagen assembly line.
Though the barn find VW Beetle benefits from a light wax and a new layer of protectant, it’s described as being in largely as-found condition. While these were the inexpensive runabouts for the average man and woman back in their day, they’ve become quite the pricy collector’s item nowadays. This one included. When new, it cost Sgroi 1,760,640 lira (about $2,800) to buy the Beetle.
Now, its 56 miles and pristine barn find status are expected to earn it upwards of €40,000 ($45,500 at current rates) when it crosses the auction block on May 28th in Denmark. What a time capsule.
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Photo Credit: Silverstone Auctions