Jay Salser Posts

’67 Beetle – Interior Rear View Mirror Mystery

Over time, I’m learning never to say never and never to say always—when it comes to some of the knotty problems which we of the 1967 Beetle Community confront. Oh, yes—a lot of the time there WILL be an explanation for what appears to be a radical problem. But—what about those other situations which seemingly have no quick answers? Hummmmm!

The latest paradox arose when Eric copied me with a message which he received from Reader Justin Heath. Justin said:

“Hi Eric, It’s been a while since I’ve asked you about some ‘67 trivia. I’ve recently acquired an American spec Right Hand Drive (RHD) ‘67 Beetle. Unusual? It seems so… Very cool story about its travels. I’ll get into that later. But first, I wanted to ask about the ‘67 Rear View Mirror. I know that some ‘67 Rear Views had their stems painted black and the mirror head had a black plastic backing. Was this for the entire run of ‘67 VINs? Or (let’s say) did early ‘67s come with the chrome-stem/aluminum-head Rear View? Finally… is the black/black Rear View Mirror ‘67 only, or did that style continue into 1968?

I went to your “One Year Only” section on the website but saw no mention of the Rear View Mirror. Thanks! Justin Heath”

After some initial exchanges, Justin added:

“When I acquired the car, the owner claimed he was the fourth owner and the car came with some detailed history. It was shipped to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from the Factory, then spent time in Malaysia and Indonesia before coming to Nor-Cal around 1980. It was originally owned by a college professor.”

During the brief research I’ve done, I’ve been told that there were a few select RHD markets that had the option of either Euro or American Spec ‘67s. Thailand and possibly Japan being just two that were named. I have no idea how to confirm this….but it makes for fun head-scratching moments.

I asked about the Mirror because I’ve seen the black/black ‘67 Mirror on more than one occasion. In my case, this RHD Bug was in need of a Rear View Mirror since the one it came with was bad. I found a RHD black/black Rear View on eBay UK, so I bought it. Knowing how hard it is to find RHD parts in the US, I jumped on it regardless of its color…it was for RHD!”

Hella SB-12 Headlight Rings

Along with the many other interesting things about the 1967 Volkswagen Beetle are the Head Light Rings Engraved with Hella SB-12. The SB-12s first were used by Volkswagen on Type 3s—the FastBacks and SquareBacks which came to US Dealerships.

Then for reasons unknown to us today, Volkswagen decided to install these special Head Light Rings on early ’67 Beetles—only those manufactured from August–October of 1966. The validation of this information has taken many years of checking the VINs of original, unrestored ‘67s which had SB-12s installed.

If you want to check to see when your ‘67 Beetle was manufactured, go here.

You also will be able to check your Engine H0 Case Serial Number to see how close it is to your VIN.

In today’s world, you will find SB-12s installed on a lot of ‘67 Bugs no matter what month the car was manufactured. Unless you are a purest, it really doesn’t matter if they came with the car, or not. They are very cool to have installed and finding a good set these days is getting harder all the time.

As we all are aware, Volkswagen made a lot of Beetles. However, the ’67 Beetle is the milestone year sought by collectors. It has been said that you either love or hate ‘67s. It really depends on how many of those one-year-only parts are already on the car when you acquire it and how many you have to chase down.

The bottom line is–if you have SB-12s on your ‘67 and it is an early ’67, great. If you have them installed on a later ‘67, enjoy them, because they are not easy to find these days and that is one of the first things folks look for when they are checking out a ‘67.

James Mitchell’s L456 Ruby Red ’67 Beetle

My first experience with 1967 Volkswagens was as a kid in the early ‘70s. My Dad got a Navy-colored Sunroof ‘67 Beetle from a friend. It had been rolled down a mountain, but it still ran and drove, even though every panel on it was in ruin.

Dad then picked up a Sunroof ‘64 that had experienced an engine fire. His plan was to swap the ‘67 motor into the ‘64, but he never got around to it. Me and my siblings played in those cars for years until some neighborhood teenager bought them for parts. My 1967 VW brings back many fond memories—I still remember that cool wooden Formula Vee shift knob Dad’s Bug had.

I had been looking for an older Bug for a while when this one came up for sale about 75 miles away. Rust-free Bugs are hard to come by on the East Coast but supposedly this was a West Coast car. The original Owner’s Manual showed service stamps from VW dealers in CA and OR, and there was a CA college parking sticker on the rear window, which helped to confirm her origin.

She was super solid underneath, and although shabby, she did run, drove well, and was fairly complete. The previous owner (PO) had just replaced the transaxle with one out of a ‘67 Ghia, and mentioned that the clutch was sloppy and needed adjustment. When I got it home it turned out the real problem was the clutch cable tube which had broken free inside of the tunnel at all three welds. But with a bit of careful welding and fabrication of new mounts, I was able to fix it, and she now shifts as good as new. I asked the PO to include the original transaxle in the sale. I now suspect that nothing was wrong with it as the clutch cable tube may have been the root of the problem Maybe one day I’ll get it back in.

The engine ran “ok” when I bought it, and the heads under the valve covers were very clean (which indicated a low mileage motor), but she really lacked power. I found that her distributor was allowing only 12 degrees of maximum advance, so I swapped it for a new one with electronic ignition that gave 25 degrees advance, all before 2700 rpm. I also found that the throttle cable was allowing only 2/3 of the required travel, so that was adjusted too. The carb jetting also was very lean, especially for having a header, so I rejetted the carb with fatter jets, performed a complete tune up and adjusted the valves.

VW 105-1 30 Pict-1 Carburetor – The Choke Processes, Part I

By the time Volkswagens were “in the womb”, carburetion was not a new thing. But the German Engineers tasked with creating a viable engine system for Ferdinand Porsche had to create a system that would work with the air-cooled engines which were being demanded. Bit by bit, the VW carburetors were evolving into what would become a virtually fool-proof unit.

With the advent of the 12 Volt Electrical System, Volkswagen was coming of age. Carburetion would be just one of the areas which would benefit—with better starting possibilities. Let’s look at the Choke Mechanism on the VW 105-1 30 Pict-1 Carburetor.

While there are several parts to the Choke Mechanism, it is relatively simple.

But first—what is meant by “choking the engine”? “Choking” might better be termed “restricting”—because that’s what’s happening. When the Engine is dead cold, the Fuel Mixture must be more “rich” in gasoline with less air. The Engine is “hungry”. So, by restricting (or choking) the in-coming air, this need can be met.

Eventually, in a matter of minutes, the Engine will be running well and will need more air in the Fuel Mixture as it begins to reach operational temperature. It will be “starving” for air. Now the restriction on air can be relaxed—the “choke-hold” can be relaxed and the Carburetor can seek its own Fuel Mixture levels as needed.

We will be examining only the Upper Half of a Carburetor during this discussion of the “processes” or elements which comprise the Choking Mechanism.

1967 VW Beetle Community


I tell people all of the time that the Vintage Vehicle Hobby revolves around people. It’s more than just a hobby—it’s a Community! PEOPLE drive these Vintage Volkswagens.

When I attend a Volkswagen Show, I go for talking to people about as much as I go for seeing the cars. Really! For me, it is a non-stop talk-a-thon. I’m really worn out from talking, interacting and listening to all of those VW Community PEOPLE!

It was Neva’s and my pleasure this week (1/8/18) to have a visit from Ron Waller of Phoenix, AZ. Ron has visited us once before, about a year ago. He and his wife are in Texas with family but he took time to drive over to spend time with us, as well.

We had a blast! And, we didn’t nearly exhaust the subjects, including, of course, all things Volkswagen.

One of the major topics was Ron’s and Diane’s experience on the Border-to-Border Treffen Cruise down the West Coast of the USA, which they experienced not so long ago. And, what an experience! I read and re-read Ron’s account of the trip—but to hear it in person was something else!

“I really want to do this Cruise”—that theme kept going through my mind. Ron and Diane were the only ones to drive the entire route in a Beetle, their 1967 Lotus White Bug.

I listened as Ron recounted their preparations. They worked with a local VW Specialist in the Phoenix area. They checked and re-checked the car. They made up lists of supplies. When the time came, they were ready! And, then some.

I watched Ron’s face as he traced the route in his words. Some difficult times, some really great times, some frustrating times, some times when they wanted to do a victory lap! If you have driven a Vintage Volkswagen much, you know the feelings herein described.

We had a grand time visiting but, all too soon, Ron had to get back to family.