My Car Quest

June 16, 2024

A Beautiful VW Beetle From Down Under In California!

With the many car events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic we will not see the car action we are accustomed to at this time of year. I thought it would be a good idea to reach back into the My Car Quest archives and occasionally re-post certain articles with photos of interesting cars and events to help us get through.

This is the ninth of the My Car Quest Archives Series – A Beautiful VW Beetle From Down Under In California! – From June 2015.

Mike Gulett, Publisher

by Mike Gulett –

A few years ago I took a drive to attend the San Luis Obispo Concours for the first time. It was quite a drive from Carmel but I ran into Charley Potts who brought two cars from the San Francisco Bay Area – an even further distance than my drive.

This was a very nice, yet small, event. I saw some special cars and I especially liked the Volkswagen gathering. I also saw cars that I had not seen before.

I was taken by this green 1954 Volkswagen Beetle owned by Tom Baxstresser. Take a look at the photos and see if you can guess why this Beetle is an unusual site in California.

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

Tool Kit

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

Look at that steering wheel

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

Engine Bay Tag From Brisbane

Volkswagen Beetle

VW Beetle from Australia

You should have guessed by now that this beautiful 1954 Volkswagen Beetle was imported to the US from Australia. When I asked the owner,Tom, why he would do that he said it was a terrific car and the currency exchange rate at the time he bought this Beetle favored the US Dollar. Plus he has a perfect right hand drive VW Beetle – the only one I have seen.

Not bad, it makes sense to me.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Volkswagen logo

This was originally published in June 2015.

A Beautiful VW Beetle From Down Under In California!
Article Name
A Beautiful VW Beetle From Down Under In California!
What is a VW Beetle from Australia doing in California?


  1. Wayne Watkins says

    Lovely car and 1954 was the first year VW beetles were available in Australia . I noticed a 1954 Redex Trial brochure on the front seat of your beetle . A Ford V8 won the first Redex Round Australia trial in 1954 and in 1955 a 1200cc VW won the trial with a loss of only 19 points . Roads in Australia were little more than goat tracks in those days , so a remarkable achievement .

  2. Ed Niles says

    My very first “furrin car” was a 1949 Beetle with split rear window. It would make about 50 MPH, unless I tucked in behind a big rig and got sucked along at 60. Scary car to drive, but lots of fun after big American cars.

  3. Bruce Steele says

    I have been driving an Australian right hand drive 62′ beetle for the last 44 years here in Southern Calif..It is great fun and with a large dog in the left seat you really can get some looks. I bought it from a officer in the Navy who imported it back in 1972, I paid $350

  4. John in Fargo says

    A small wonda from down-unda!

  5. I’m not thrilled with that fuel line.

  6. Elliot Hunt says

    This is my uncles car he also has a 1965 Volkswagen bus but The 1954 Australian bug is my favorite because of how rare it is

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