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What years of Beetle are able to be used as the frame for a Sterling?

Zenny

New member
I know that the Beatles have gotten longer and the wheelbase has increased over the years, so what years are usable with a sterling? This is mainly pre-research for me but I'm curious what years will work basically with no modification, and which ones will be able to be used but require modification, such as cutting of the frame, etc. I assume the years with no modification would be 60s to 1978, but I could be wrong.
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
All year Beetles except the ones that are called "Super Beetle". Those have a different front framehead and suspension and cannot be used as a donor.
 

Nic

Member
Hi Zenny - Highly encourage you to get one with rear IRS. Handles better and prevents the "tucked in" look when lowered. I think those are 69 and later, maybe even 68?
 

Zenny

New member
All year Beetles except the ones that are called "Super Beetle". Those have a different front framehead and suspension and cannot be used as a donor.
Okay, so by all year Beatles do you just mean classic beetles, or could I get something from say the 2000s? I would assume something from the 2000s wouldn't work because it would likely be a more modern frame rather than the old pan style.
 

farfegnubbin

Site Owner
Staff member
An aspect that could be confusing to a totally new enthusiast is the difference between the chassis/suspension versus the engine being used. As others have answered, all Sterlings use the chassis from a classic Bug (or a custom copy of it..but NOT a Super Beetle because they had different front suspension that required the Bug body to still be present, basically.)

Most builders use a Bug engine (meaning the classic, air cooled engine.) But for years there have been adapters that allow you to mate different engines to a classic Bug transaxle, still in rear-engine format like the original Beetle.

So in total, essentially all Sterlings, Sebrings, and Cimbria’s use the chassis, suspension, and transaxle from a classic Bug but some Sterlings (etc.) have different engines than the original air-cooled engine. (To do so requires many modifications.) Some engine-swaps work better than others but the new engine could technically be from almost any year or brand of car.

I know this is very basic information but I hope it helps if there was confusion.
 
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