Jay Salser Posts

What Makes a Vintage Volkswagen?

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We’ve discussed what makes a Volkswagen a 1967 Beetle. When Eric began 1967beetle.com, he had in mind to memorialize the Model Year 1967. We’d all probably agree with him—that’s why we are here, right?!

This week a Reader wrote to Eric (and Eric copied to me) that he recently attended a VW event. He drove his unrestored but completely original ’67 Beetle to the show—not necessarily looking to win an award but just to mingle with the VW Community. He made a pointed observation that cars which were original seemed not draw the attention of the judges. In fact, judges appeared to be drawn to Volkswagens which had been altered in some fashion. The three of us batted this back and forth through our e-mails.

I had made a similar point to Eric, a while back, that I had seen the same thing. Highly modified VWs and those which are more weird seem to attract the attention of the crowd and the judges. In some cases there will be an award even for the most altered or worst vehicle!

At every show, I see absolutely stunning restorations which seem to go unnoticed.

I can appreciate that owners have ideas about what they want to do with their cars. They are the ones who drive them. Who am I to criticize or to dictate how they should use something for which they have paid their hard-earned dough.

Even the most “conservative” of us seem to have something to add to our Beetles—mud flaps, bud vase, and the list goes on and on. These things were not original equipment. But, what I’m discussing has to do with alterations to a car which changes that vehicle’s “nature”. In more and more cases, it would cost so much money to return such a car to original specs that it would prove to be unfeasible to attempt. Such a car is “lost” as far as the Collector Community is concerned.

But, here’s my point. Love me or not…I believe that rewarding alterations to these cars sponsors further alterations. It’s only natural that if people see how the judging goes, they will want to follow suit. At subsequent shows, more and more altered cars will appear, hoping to gain favor and status. From my perspective, I see a downward spiral to a species which is becoming more scarce.

’67 Beetle Keys & Locks — Steve Sandlin

'67 Beetle Keys & Locks

Editors Note: Fantastic interview, Jay! The ’67 Beetle community thanks you. If anyone needs a set, we stock Genuine VW Key Blanks and have most codes available.

July 12th (2015), I attended a large Texas VW Show-n-Swap called DubSplash. This was a show well-organized by der luftkuhlers and well sponsored by an area Volkswagen Dealership and several other businesses. The show was held in Carrollton, TX, at the much-loved Sandy Lake Amusement Park. This was the 4th year for the show. der luftkuhlers not only are fine people but know how to work with the other area VW Clubs to bring out the best in everyone!

I wanted to enjoy the cars but, most of all, to meet people. One of my VW friends and I hooked up at the show. There was not a cloud in the sky and the Texas heat was fierce. Bob suggested that we go for a snow cone. Enroute, I glimpsed a vendor’s enclosed trailer-shop. It was none other than Steve Sandlin’s Locksmith Shop on wheels!

I knew of Steve and had referred people to him over the years but—-never had met him. Here was my chance.

While we talked, I asked Steve to cut a pair of keys for one of my VWs. I had been hating those generic keys for some time. When we parted, I had a pair of VW Logo-ed keys in my pocket.

The Correct ’67 Beetle Wiper Blades

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Not long ago I was with some others who have the “VW Habit”. We got to discussing the color of wiper blade holders. The ones on my ’67 were black—not kosher, you might say. One of the group spoke up and, with a sarcastic nudge, directed us to his car with silver wiper blade holders.

“What?” I gasped. “Where did you find those?”

After we had examined the blade holders sufficiently long, our friend finally confessed that he had managed to paint them to the correct color by masking the rubber blade. He did a great job of it!

A person, whose name I shall not breathe, but whose initials are Eric Shoemaker, kept on my case about my non-conforming wiper blades.

Finally, I gave in and Lane Russell provided me with the correct wiper blades.

In the cool of this morning, I installed my new, correct wiper blades. Don’t they look good?

’67 Beetle Idle Cut-off Valve

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If your Deluxe 1967 Beetle has a 30 Pict-1, VW 105-1 carburetor, you will have noticed, as in photograph #1, a little “canister” protruding from the passenger’s side, right at the generator. If you have not noticed this “canister” maybe yours has been replaced by a simple brass jet.

Volkswagen called this “canister” the Pilot Jet Valve. Today, it is called variously, although most people call it the Cut-off Valve or Idle Cut-off Valve.

Volkswagen carburetors have a brass jet which is called the Idle Jet. When the car is not in motion, for instance, the accelerator pedal is not being pushed. But we want the engine to continue to run so that when we are ready to start moving, the engine will be ready for that operation. The idle drilling draws gas, using vacuum, to keep the carburetor feeding some gasoline/air mixture to the engine—enough to keep it running at low rpms for us. The brass jet usually is marked g55 for many Beetle carburetors over the years.

The cars of yester-year sometimes had a tendency to “diesel”—that is, to continue running after the key was turned off. The Volkswagen was no different. Probably most of us have experienced this problem at one time or another. A VW mechanic tells me that dieseling could be due to a leaky gasket or a high fuel level or pressure. Such conditions would cause fuel to continue to feed through the idle port and cause the engine to run—usually very jerkily—ka-Chug-a–ka-Chug-a….

Kenneth Yeo’s ’67 Beetle

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Our good bud, Kenneth Yeo of Singapore sends the following summary of a recent Volkswagen Reunion. Upon reviewing Ken’s Featured Article, you can realize the importance of this event. Owning and maintaining a Volkswagen in Singapore is extremely expensive.

Hope this finds you well. Just keeping in touch and happy to have just returned from a local VW meet up. Celebrating Singapore’s 50th year of independence, we organized a breakfast meet, swap and drive where 38 air-cooled VWs showed up. Some extremely rare Ghias, Kombis and Type 3s made for a great atmosphere (well, rare in Singapore). This is probably the biggest turnout in over 10 years.

More importantly, we managed to get the four surviving ’67 Beetles together after about 12 years. :) Someone was always too busy. All are still largely stock, with their original registration plates, and driven daily. I attach a few pics of our event, including the four ’67s.

Keep bugging! :)
Ken