DES MOINES, Iowa — Pop music entertainer Billy Joel came to Des Moines, Iowa, to play a concert and left as the owner of a vintage Volkswagen.
Doug Klein, owner of American Dream Machines, said the star dropped into his dealership while looking around the city. He passed over several immaculate Corvettes, Chevelles, a Mustang, GTX and GTO and went for a candy brandywine 1973 VW Beetle!
“It was the least expensive car in the shop,” laughed Klein. The German import had been priced at $4,995, but Klein declined the final price.
Billy Joel's VW Beetle
He said Joel was “a real down-to-earth guy. He just wanted a cool ol’ bug to go down to the beach.
“He gave us eight up-front tickets” for the April 15 concert, Klein added. “It was awesome!”
American Dream Machines is housed in a historic downtown building that was built in 1929 as a Packard dealership. The dealership usually has some 50 vintage cars on display in the 14,000-sq.-ft. facility.
Klein said Joel’s selection was a low-mileage local car and only the second VW he’s sold. “It’s a nice, solid old Beetle,” he said. “I drove it for three weeks while my Lexus was in the shop.” The car already had the brandywine repaint and alloy Super Beetle wheels before the dealership acquired it.
Klein said his famous buyer did mention that the VW 1600’s model year, 1973, was the same year his hit, “Piano Man,” came out.
Joel is known to have recently owned at least one other collector car, a Citroën 2CV.