Digging in the archives here at 1967beetle.com, we wanted to put this fantastic article in the spotlight once again. A huge thanks to Jay Salser for his edits, etc.
Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle.
My great-grandfather purchased a used 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, painted Volkswagen Blue, in November of 1967 (it was built in August of ’66 so I’m assuming that the previous owner had it for about a year). He drove it a fair amount until his death, when my grandfather inherited the car. It ended up at my grandparents’ house, and when my dad was in high school it was really never used (although it still wears the dents he made with a golf ball). When my dad went to college, however, he ended up driving it sometimes, because it was economical and he wasn’t too concerned about anyone breaking into it. Although my dad never hated the car, it just really wasn’t for him. As a result, in late 1986, it was put into the garage at my grandparents’ house. Aside from being rolled from one garage stall to another in the late 1990s, it was absolutely untouched, complete with a half tank of gas (yikes!) and the battery still connected. Over time, it was filled and covered with all sorts of things—used as an impromptu rack and an occasional cat toy.
Growing up I always knew about the car (we live next door to my grandparents), but I never really thought much about it. Around the time I was a junior in high school, however, I started to see dollar signs as I thought that maybe I could sell it and make a little money. I knew zero about cars so that began to fizzle. Right before senior year, a friend who likes cars started asking about it. We decided to start working on it, working sometimes only once or twice a month. Our goal was to get it started, because we knew that a running car is worth a little extra. We replaced fuel lines, got a new fuel pump, replaced spark plugs and the ignition coil, among other things, experiencing our fair share of misadventure along the way. I remember that every time we made a little change, we would sit there cranking it, praying that it might cough to life.
Finally, in November, we had just replaced the ignition coil and I popped into the driver’s seat and turned the key. Instantly, it roared to life. Although there was still a lot of work to be done to make it road worthy, I knew at that moment that I could never sell the car. That day we made it up to a roaring 5 mph (the carburetor was in desperate need of a rebuild). In the months that followed, we got new tires, replaced the master cylinder and each wheel cylinder, rebuilt the carburetor, and performed other minor maintenance. Now I’m a freshman in college and the ‘67 has become my daily driver. It’s so cool to think that 30 years ago my dad was on this same campus with this very car. For the most part everything is completely original (and rust free!), aside from slightly larger tailpipes, a new radio (that was built to look like a period correct Volkswagen radio), speakers, and other very small items. Paint and interior, while not perfect, are 100% original.