Jay Salser Posts

Vintage Volkswagen Collectibles

VW Logo SpecsA family stationed in Germany went to a Volkswagen Dealership to purchase a brand new Bus. It was just right for the family.

A perk from the Dealer was a smart genuine leather key pouch. The pouch is embossed with a gold VW Logo and the words: Auto-Blank Kornwestheim Ruf 6030

Kornwestheim is a town in the district of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated about 10 kilometres north of Stuttgart, and 5 kilometres south of Ludwigsburg. Eventually, the Bus and the family parted ways but the key pouch was kept as a souvenir.

One of my VW friends was good friends with this former VW owner. Thus, the key pouch passed to my VW friend. When my friend lost interest in VWs a while back, he passed this wonderful pouch to me. Needless to say—it never resides in my pocket. I want to save the embossed lettering.

The key fastens to the ring on a strap. The strap can be pulled to retract the key inside the pouch. Once the key has been pulled into the pouch, the strap is snapped to the pouch to secure the key inside. The pouch can be stowed in a pocket or the loop can be used to wear the pouch on a belt.

’67 Lobster Claw Seatbelts

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While selling a 1967 Beetle Seat Belt to a customer, we discovered that there were two versions. The customer brought his belt and we laid them on the table for a comparative photograph.

It is notable that both Belts bear the VW Logo and the Identical VW Part Number.

The “reinforcing ribbing” is not the only difference. The webbing for the non-ribbed version is black while the ribbed version has gray webbing. Note, also, the difference in colors of the catches.

It is suggested that the manufacturer may have discovered, during the manufacturing year, that the non-ribbed version was subject to breaking at that point and began producing the ribbed version with no hesitation during manufacture–thus, also no change in the part number.

These are “Reel” Seat Belts used for all USA Deluxe Model Beetles for 1967 and into early 1968 Deluxe Model Beetles to VIN 118-096-785.

The Belts are Right and Left. Part Numbers are as follows

Right Belt: 111-857-706
Left Belt: 111-857-705

Convertible 1967 Beetle Seat Belts have the following VW part Numbers

Right: 141-857-706
Left: 141-857-705

(Note: 141- usually denotes Karmann Ghia Parts. However, in this case, both the Beetle Convertibles and the 1967 Karmann Ghias share the same Belts and, thus, utilize the same part number.

’67 Beetle Door Locking Mechanism

Door Locking Mechanism
A customer recently contacted 1967beetle.com. Eric asked that I field the inquiry; it was in Spanish!

Yes, I still can make some head-way in Spanish. And, it just so happened that this customer lives in Colombia, South America—a place where Neva and I lived for 14 years! Like “going home”.

I breathed deeply, then lit into a reply to Padre Santiago, the proud owner of a 1967 Beetle; yes, these trusty little cars are to be found the world over!

The trouble stemmed from a faulty driver’s door locking mechanism. Padre Santiago had purchased a reproduction ’68-and-later door mechanism that is supposed to work for the ’67 door too, “after a slight alteration”. After attempts failed to produce a reliable mechanism, the Padre turned to 1967beetle.com.

I replied, saying that I would do my best to locate a working mechanism and thanked the Padre for his patience in advance. Thus began a journey that would take me in a completely unexpected direction. Join me, if you will.

My first attempt to find the mechanism was to a local shop, known for carrying many door parts. This yielded not a thing. Next, I called my good friends, Dustin and Cassie Carter at Don’s Bug Barn in Athens, Texas.

“Yes,” Dustin told me, “I most certainly can supply the necessary piece!” Great—a hurdle jumped.

When the piece arrived, Dustin already had done a lot of cleaning. I let the piece sit in a bucket of old-school carb cleaner for a couple of hours, retrieved it, washed the piece and dried it thoroughly. Sparkling!

I sat at my work bench operating the mechanism to observe the function. After some lubrication, I had all parts loosened and moving. However, the “claw” which grasps the post on the B pillar would not release.

I spent a couple of 30 minute sessions just operating the mechanism to learn how it works.

Chris Vallone — Classic VW Bugs

Chris Vallone — Classic VW Bugs
A follow up to an earlier interview we did during the infant stages of 1967beetle.com; our good pal Chris Vallone of Classic VW Bugs in NY. You can either watch the video or read the edited down transcript below. Edited by the legendary Jay Salser.

Happy 2015, Chris. Tell us where you are currently in your business.
The business is doing extremely well. 2014 was a banner year for us, the best year since we started 8 years ago working from a one car garage. We are involved in 16 clientele projects right now and are at a 2.5-3 year wait list to build.

How has your business grown over the years?
We have grown to a global following. We just passed the 5 million views mark on YouTube, and the Website Sports, about 2-3 million hits a month. I still answer about 2-4 hours of fan mail everyday. Web 2.0 and Social Networking has been great to us.

How has the business changed?
Well like everything, you get better with age! You learn the ins and outs and all the nooks and crannies of the VW Beetle. You know what makes them tick, and how better to put them together. Our intricate level of detail keeps getting better and better. Each Bug I do is better restored than the last. You just keep living it, learning it, and getting better at it. It shows in our work, and, as time goes on, more and more people are interested in having us to restore a Bug for them. I also learned how to pace and log my time. Time is money, so you learn how to estimate how long jobs are going to be, whether it is an interior or a motor build. I have become an even better business man through these years.

How many projects are you currently working on?
We presently have 16 projects–half are Build-A-BuG, the other half is Find-A-BuG.

So… you still are doing the Build-A-BuG Program?
Yes, we still are on Build-A-BuG, but we have removed the “driver quality” restorations. We do only High End Show-piece/Museum-quality Bugs.

Tell us about the Find-A-BuG Program.
Find-A-BuG is where I find a somewhat already restored Beetle for a client. This is for a client who either can’t afford a Build-A-BuG, or who does not want to wait the 2-3 years to have one restored. We find a car that already is painted, but which needs to be assembled or even fully restored. We take it into the shop, make the changes that are required for the customer, if they want any changes. We fully inspect the car and make it roadworthy and turnkey–without any issues.

’67 Beetle Rear Bumper Over Riders

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Let’s all pause for a moment and give Jay a huge thanks for his dedication and research on this topic. -Eric Shoemaker, 1967beetle.com.

The question has reared its ugly head periodically and always seems to be in the back of everyone’s mind—and especially the minds of those who own 1967 Beetles.

Were there two styles of Rear Bumper Over Riders for 1967 Beetles or Only One?

My pat answer has been to review the decklid (engine compartment lid) information. The decklid changed for 1967, in conjunction with the new rear apron style. The decklid was widened at the latching end.

In order to accommodate this widened lid, the rear bumper over riders also were altered—reducing the height of the two inner “legs” and, at the same time, gently sloping these two shortened “legs”. The change is so slight that if a person did not look carefully, he might not notice the difference.

'67 Beetle Rear Bumper Over Riders

But…the question remains: did all 1967 Beetles sport this new bumper style?

In my various communications, I finally came up against two authorities whose testimony I could not dispute.

James Kraus, who worked at a Dealership in the late 1960s, asserted that he saw ’67 Beetles with both styles of the over riders. Further, he comments that it was late into the production when he saw the new, sloping style for the first time. At first, he comments, he thought that the bumper had been damaged in a collision. Upon closer inspection, he discovered that the over riders intentionally had been formed from the factory.

David Brown was trained by Volkswagen to manage the Parts Division in Dealerships where he worked. Dave managed to save the replacement pages that regularly came to the Parts Managers so that, even today, he retains a complete set of Parts Manuals for Volkswagens–second to none.

Dave notes that “Volkswagen never superceded the early style (of bumper over rider) and both were available as of 1983 but gone completely by my 1997 Price Book. “

This means that a car owner could obtain (at least in theory) either of the over rider styles until, in practicality, Volkswagen ceased selling vintage Beetle parts.

He continues, saying, “There are definitely two rear bumper bow styles for 1967. The tube was reshaped on the inner curve to ‘cut the corner’ and thus give the engine lid more room. The change was made at Chassis Number 117-171-365 The uprights (outer legs) remained the same (as they had been). I see no other bumper changes at that Chassis Number. You can sure see the difference once you compare the two.”

At last…a defining moment emerges. The records demonstrate that at Chassis Number 117-171-365, the new over rider was introduced to accommodate the new decklid.

At first glance, it would appear that the previous 171,364 1967 Beetles produced sported the earlier style of over riders. Problem solved and case closed. Right?

Wrong!