Automatic Transmission

Asked by Aug 04, 2008 at 11:36 PM about the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Car Customization

I just purchased a 1973 VW Super Beetle, but I'm having a tough time with the manual transmission so I can't drive her. Does anyone know of a place that can install a semi-auto or complete automatic trans on this particular Bug? If yes, how much do you think it would cost to have this done? I appreciate any help you could offer. Thanks :)

17 Answers

if you found one it would be $$$,practice with it,it takes a little time to learn but you will get it.I drive a 18 wheeler i have a 18 over trans try to figure that out on your own.

5 people found this helpful.

forget tit it would cost a fortune better off buying a semi auto they are cheaper cause no one wants them and they arent very good

2 people found this helpful.

To get a little more in-depth with what i think the people above are talking about: In the late 60's-early 70's, Volkswagen offered a semi-automatic transmission in the Beetle....called the Autostick. It's not an automatic or semi-automatic transmission, at least in the way modern ones are designed. It's more like a manual transmission with an automatically operated clutch. There's a couple problems with Autosticks though. First, they're still a bitch to drive, at least until you get used to it. In the summers I work at a Volkswagen repair shop and I end up test-driving all different kinds of cars. Even with that, it took me quite a while to get used to the way the Autostick works. The second problem is one of repair and parts availability. To be straightforward, the availability of replacement parts is just about zero. Added to that, it's pretty tough to find anyone who knows how to work on them properly anymore. For those reasons, it's a pretty popular thing to convert Autostick cars back to regular manual transmissons. Of course, that also makes them harder to find. So here's what I recommend. 1. You could keep the Super Beetle. Bugs are usually pretty forgiving when you are learning manual, at least if you're patient. If the clutch is seeming really difficult to operate, you might want to have the car looked at to make sure that everything is OK in the clutch and transmission. 2. Opt for a different car, such as a newer one with an automatic. If you have your heart set on an aircooled volkswagen though, the later model Buses and Type 3's (aka squarebacks and fastbacks) were available with true, fully automatic transmissions. 3. If you manage to find an Autostick, make sure you find a really good Volkswagen mechanic. Sorry for the (very!) long post, but I hope the info is helpful.

24 people found this helpful.

I have 73 super with a auto stick. You need to practice shifting the 4 speed. I can't find any repair parts for my auto and no one knows how to work on them anymore.

2 people found this helpful.

I have a 1969 auto beetle, that need repair, it is hard to keep it running, I need to part it out & find another car to work on.This car was given to me, but I can't get it going.dissappointed?

1 people found this helpful.

I used to have A 1971 auto bug, I have long legs, I would always hit the shifter with my leg and go into neutral, traded it soon after.

3 people found this helpful.

I am converting my 1972 Superbeetle from a standard(4 speed) transmission. Anyone know what years automatic transmissions I should use? will there be any problems doing this conversion? Any info will help and much thanks to all that I hear from... Frank inFlorida.

19 people found this helpful.


3 people found this helpful.

There is so much bullshit being spewed here it is unbelievable. n autostick is a nifty piece of engineering that only developed problems because your local VW guru was too LAZY to learn to work on it, and the transmission itself is simply a converted 4 speed with matching gear ratios. The only difference is the autostick uses a torque converter fluid coupling in place of 1st gear. And they are not difficult to drive AT ALL, if you can't drive an autostick you shouldn't be driving. Its just: let off the gas, shift, hit the gas. How hard is that??? There are some extra parts to an autostick, like the vacuum control valve and the vacuum hoses, and the tanks under the rear fenders, but all of those are readily availble through some (not all, but some) popular VW vendors, and on the samba classifieds, etc. Parts are not nearly as difficult to come by as the posters above would have you believe.

20 people found this helpful.

I have got a 69 bug with semi auto transmission. IT IS A GREAT CAR TO DRIVE ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW HOW. Parts for the gear box are sometimes hard to come by. Perhaps all owners can exchange info. of where and which shops are keeping stocks. That would be a great help

3 people found this helpful.

Hi Thomas the one place I know of that stocks just about everything needed for the autostick is They even sell rebuilt dual-chamber oil pumps (one chamber pumps oil and the other pumps the ATF fluid for the torque converter.) Another good source is Bug City ( that has lots of used original German parts. Finally I would recommend scouring the Samba classifieds ( I have seen lots of autostick parts for sale on there as well. I happen to live close to a VW salvage yard and have found lots of parts that way as well, but I also scored a fully operational spare whole transmission off craigslist for $50 a couple years back. The parts are out there!

10 people found this helpful.

My husband just converted by 71 Super to full automatic using the transmission from a type 3. The conversion required alot of re-engineering and I would not recommend the project to just anyone....but it drives great and is much easier for city driving. I liked the standard but hated driving in the city too much stop and go

2 people found this helpful.

they can be had. Believe it or not, a few beetles had automatics from the factory. Rare as hens teeth tho, no telling what one would cost. Maybe you just need the shifting mech reworked? They can be problematic if everything isn't just so. Had the same troubles myself years ago, but some work on the linkage fixed the problem.



1 people found this helpful.

Hi. I got a 1974 1600 cc bug with semi automatic gear box, any one got spare parts or complete gear box just mail me. my e mail thank you. Victor

Hi I have a 1970 Autostick that lost second gear. Any ideas where or what I can do?


I have (2) 1968 to 1970 VW Beetle AutoStick that have bee 100% rebuilt for sale. $250.00 each. Also have a 1974 VW Beetle AutoStick that came out of a running car that has the PARK position. Remember AutoStick are a 3 speed forward gear trans, not 4 speed. I also have a lot of parts for AutoStick. Call Alan 706-868-7461 Grovetown, GA

1 people found this helpful.

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