Beetle Stories Posts

Bob O’Haus’s L639 Zenith Blue ’67 Beetle

Thank you for your edits, Jay! It’s an honor to connect with so many ’67 Beetle enthusiast around the world.

I had a few air-cooled VWs as a young driver but I transferred to the water-cooled VW models later in life. About 4 years ago, I decided to get back into air-cooled VWs after seeing Vince Vespe’s beautiful ‘65 Karmann Ghia at a local car show in Ridgewood, NJ. Vince was great to talk to. He introduced me to another air-cooled guy attending the show. That was Chris Vallone, of Classic VW BuGs in Congers, NY. Talking to these guys had me hooked.

I searched the web regularly and learned as much as I could. My goal at the time was to get a Bug from around 1965 up to maybe 1972. I was not for or against any specific style, but I knew I liked a lot of aspects of Bugs from those years.

I came across my 1967 Bug on the Samba and though I always favored the unique features of ‘67s, this one was out of my price range, so I never bothered to call about it. Unfortunately, the Bugs I felt I could afford were less than desirable. I began to wonder if that ‘67 was still available.

Though it was not listed on the Samba anymore, I had the contact info on my PC . I gave the guy a call. It still was for sale! My wife and I immediately made an appointment to drive to Massachusetts from our home in New Jersey to have a look. Four hours up and four hours back was a breeze in my GTI.

The car was everything the owner advertised. After a drive and some good negotiations from my wife, we struck a deal. The owner was a very cool guy. Besides the ‘67 Bug I bought, he currently was building a beautiful air cooled beach buggy in one section of his barn. While showing us that, he told us that he was an engineer on a wooden sailing ship that took college students as crew on semester-long trips around the world. He went on to point out many interesting parts of his home, both inside and out, including pieces which he obtained in far off places and had incorporated into his remodeling projects. Fascinating.

Of course, I asked how he found this ‘67 Bug. He told me that with his job, he has periods of vacation time that last for months. A few years earlier, he had traveled to California, bought an old air-cooled Bug, had brakes and tune up done, then spent a few weeks of his vacation driving it home to Massachusetts. Once he got it home, he sold it. He said that it was such an enjoyable and relaxing way to travel and see the country that he did it again for the next few summers–buying Bugs in Arizona and California, because they tended to be less rusty and much easier to sell here in the rusty Northeast.

He told me that he bought this particular ‘67 Beetle from the original owner in San Francisco. The original owner had had the Bug restored about 10 years earlier. It sat in the garage for most of the time before the man’s son decided to use it to commute to college. During this time, the car was vandalized in a parking lot and the repairs were not up to the standard of the original restoration. Rather than to redo the whole restoration, the original owner decided to sell the Bug.

That’s when the man from Massachusetts bought the ‘67, had the brakes done, installed new tires, tuned the engine, then took the next 3 weeks to drive the ‘67 Beetle all the way home from San Francisco, with his daughter as the copilot. He told me that the car performed perfectly for the entire trip and that it was a great experience for his daughter to get a chance to slow her pace of travel to 55 MPH and learn to drive an old car with extra care in braking and merging on to highways. It had to be a lot of fun.

Mary Ellen Tousineau’s L639 Zenith Blue ’67 Vert

Mary recently became a new customer of Lane Russell. After looking over a few photos, I knew this was a gem we’ve seen before. As it turns out, our good pal Mark Massey over at Old VWS had restored her. A good ’67 Beetle never gets past Jay and I. This ’67 is an example of doing it right. Kudos to Mark for paying close attention to the small details that matter; the details that make the ’67 the “best year vintage VW.”

Hello, 1967beetle.com.
I thought I would take the time to tell you my story concerning the 1967 Beetle. When I was a little girl I fell in love with cars. I was only 5 years old and I could Tell you every make and model. It was much easier then. Any work on a car From changing oil to changing flat tires I was with my dad wanting to learn about.

By the time I reached adulthood, I knew exactly what I wanted. I 1966 was working by then for a retailer in data processing. I had my heart set on a SS 396 Burgundy Chevelle Convertible. I went car shopping alone. I can home with one of those yellow sheets with an out the door price. It was around $3800, Which I thought was’t bad. My dad said Flatly no it was too much. So I began to look for other options. I checked out the Mustangs…..I wasn’t a fan. I finally ended up at HILLTOP VOLKSWAGEN in Virginia Beach.

In that day I had to order to get what I wanted. I loved The Zenith Blue color so I ordered It in a convertible. It arrived probably in January. It was very cold. They took it to Pembrooke Mall. It was there a couple of weeks Before I even knew it had arrived. Finally the day came and we went to pick her up. My dad asked if I would like for him to drive her home, since it was a manual and I was rusty.I declined of course and that is when the love affair began. I had a ball with friends going all over Virginia Beach to the beach, to party and of course to work. The year of 1968 was a major change for me. My fiancee’ came back from Vietnam and we were soon married. We had an issue with the governor sticking. I would put it in neutral pull over and flip it back. At times it wouldn’t crank and we would push it off and pop the clutch. He grew weary of the antics and pushed me to trade her. We did and I have regretted it ever since. The 70 Duster was junk and my regrets grew.

Joe Sherlock’s L41 Black ’67 Beetle

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Sent over by a reader of 1967beetle.com, Joe’s L41 Black ’67 Beetle is a keeper for sure. Don’t you agree? (Credit: Joe Sherlock)

The Keeper: Our family’s record for length of car ownership goes to our black Volkswagen Beetle sedan, which I purchased new in March 1967 and sold in June 1995. I traded my ’63 Corvette Sting Ray for it and had to put up an extra $310 to get the new Beetle.

The 1967 Volkswagen featured a larger 1493 cc. engine with 53 horsepower. It would do 0-60 mph in a little over 16 seconds. It was the first Beetle with single-unit (non-glass covered) headlights as well as backup lights in rectangular chrome pods.

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It also had a 12-volt electrical system and a dual brake system. The heater system was better than the ’63 model; the car even had a center dash defroster outlet – a feature introduced in the 1966 models. 1967 models featured push-button door locks, replacing the 1930-style swing handle found on earlier models.

Our 1967 Beetle was probably the most durable car we’ve ever had. We kept it for 28 years, the longest of any vehicle we’ve owned and registered it in four states during its time with us.
We purchased it in Pennsylvania. When we moved to New Jersey, the Beetle came with us. We brought both of our newborn kids home from the hospital in it.

I took the car on many business trips. I remember a winter drive to Agawam, MA where I gave a talk at a Society of Plastics Engineers meeting. After a few post-lecture rounds of drinks at the bar, I walked to the parking lot and found that my VW Beetle cranked so slowly that it barely started. A few minutes later, the radio announced that the local temperature was minus 22 degrees. But the little Volkswagen eventually fired up and I chugged back to my motel in the crisp snow.

We towed it across country when we moved from New Jersey to Oregon. I piloted my VW Scirocco, pulling our VW Beetle behind with a tow bar. Once we passed Chicago, I felt pretty lonely – very few ‘furrin’ cars. It seemed like every vehicle in Nebraska was a big Ford LTD. Or Chevy Caprice. Upon our arrival in Corvallis OR, the 1967 Bug was used daily for errands and such.

Rich Tegge’s L282 Lotus White ’67 Beetle

Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle?
I grew up with a beetle. Mom had a ’68 savannah beige auto stick she bought brand new. I was born in ’73 so my earliest memories include that VW. We moved to Florida in 1988 and left the VW behind. 20 years of Wisconsin winters and road salt had taken its toll. No matter what, vintage cars remained in my blood.

The story of my beetle starts in Sarasota, FL. In the spring of 1990. I was 16 and just got my driver license about a month before. I was working in the front yard when I heard this god awful racket of a car ripping down the street. It was white with a patina of reddish surface rust, red late-model doors, no bumpers, and a loud, aftermarket exhaust. I could tell it was a ’67 from front fenders. About two minutes later it flew down the street again. All I could think was “COOL!”

An hour later I was walking around the block and saw this beetle sitting in the front yard of a house. It had a FOR SALE sign in the window. I stopped and talked to the owner. His name was Herb Burgart. I ended up working out a deal to buy the car. A few weeks later she was mine! Herb had to drive the car to my house because I couldn’t drive stick.

Fast FWD. One day on my way home the beetle started to spit and sputter. I looked in the rear view mirror only to see flames. I grabbed a fire extinguisher and quickly handled the situation. As it turned out, the pressed fitting on my fuel pump fell out. The fuel filter was actually still intact, just melted a little. All in all, no real damage. Whew!

Ken Relethford’s L41 Black ’67 Beetle

Ken Relethford's '67 Beetle

This article was submitted by reader and ’67 enthusiast Ken Relethford. Thank you very much for your contributions to 1967beetle.com.

Hey, 1967beetle.com.
I parked next to a Porsche Speedster at the Encinitas car show last night. The owner of the body shop that painted it Jimmy at “Rancho Auto Body” is wiping it down for me in the photo below. I think the bug got more attention than the speedster.

I went a little overboard…The thing looks brand new…One hiccup on the headliner install, making them pull the rear window and redo it..They thought the carpet went right up to the rear window..Cant live with that.. (We don’t blame you!)

More photos to come. I have a pretty good collection of before during and afters..
Last item is the original wheels and white walls. We have done one for the spare for now, but will probably put some miles on these chrome moonies before changing out.

Cheers.
Ken Relethford.

Ken Relethford's '67 Beetle