Beetle Stories Posts

Mark Massey’s L633 VW Blue ’67 Beetle

Another fantastic ’67 from our friend Mark Massey over at OldVWs Restoration. When speaking with Mark about the history of car, this is what he had to say.

Herman is a very early ’67 beetle (VIN #117002513). I purchased in December of 2002. Plans were to restore him someday, but during the winter 2006-2007 I really wanted to have a beetle to drive instead of my truck.  After doing some searching and coming up with nothing worthwhile I decided to use Herman.  I replaced his rocker panels and floors, put all new brakes in and gave him a tune-up.  Attention was played to rust proofing Herman and not worrying about looks.

A good heater system was also devised. Who says a bug heater doesn’t work if setup correct? One weekend in February 2007 we hit -14 below, my truck wouldn’t start, but Herman did.  He had no problem heating up his interior, sure it didn’t get hot inside, but it was comfortable considering it was -14 outside. The key to a good heater is German heater boxes and good air flow.

As of February 2012, I have put about 50,000 miles on Herman (total miles 173,456).  In addition to being driven all winter by myself he is also now driven all summer by my girlfriend. Last summer alone she racked up 12,000 miles on him.  Very little money has been put into Herman over the last 5 years. Herman represents what the beetle was built for, honest cheap reliable transportation.  He isn’t shinny and new, he is what he is and doesn’t pretend to be anymore.  For a 40 plus year old car Herman has done very well.

Bentley Jay Perkins L87 Pearl White ’67 Beetle

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It’s emails like these that make me realize just how many ’67 Beetles hold a special place in their owners hearts. Bentley’s story echoes many, as the vintage Volkswagen is a very unique car with an emotional connection to the past. We will keep searching around the world to bring these tales to 1967beetle.com. It’s a labor of love.

Hello to all the wonderful folks out there that read this. My name is Bentley Jay Perkins, proud owner of a leather-craft business run with my father and of course, an early 1967 Beetle!

Let me begin by introducing you to a vehicle that has no doubt been named many times in her past, but I like to refer to her as ‘Fluffy’ or ‘Fluff’ for short. First registered in the UK on 24th April 1967.

At the age of 17 I bought this wonderful example of a Beetle, having absolutely no knowledge as to how special the car I was purchasing was. Bought for the prize sum of £2050 with a last minute bid on Ebay I was in love immediately. Almost entirely original including her engine and paint she is now, from what I have been informed, worth a considerable amount more with the local Classic VW scene soaring and ’67 Split buses going for upwards of £25000 in mediocre condition I dare to even ask what this little bundle of joy is worth. (My insurance company would have a meltdown) So let the story of my past 8 years with her begin.

Atttention! Boy does she get some attention! My first ever event that I attended was by suggestion of a colleague 2 years after the initial purchase. I bumbled in expecting to see lots of other Beetles just like mine…. only to find, none of them did. Yes they were all Beetles, but none of them had that character that mine had. She seemed a tad wider, longer and more sleek looking than the others, I had different catches, rear lights and other items of small detail I started to pick out. It was only until people started approaching my general area and asking if she was ’67 I realised something must be special about the year.

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Let the research begin! Since then I have attended plenty of shows, while not always with Fluffy, I have always asked around to gain peoples inside knowledge of my cars year, gathering, resourcing and researching I have found a ton of information is accessible to us one year only owners, like this website as a prime example! My latest crusade is the unfortunate need to re-spray the original paint. Enter stage left – Eric, Jay and Chris whom I have been conversing with to find the correct paint for my bug. While Eric has also prompted me to do this small write up for 1967beetle.com.

Rick Quinn’s L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle

Rick Quinn's L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle

It’s emails like these that make me realize just how many ’67 Beetles hold a special place in their owners hearts. Rick’s story echoes many, as the vintage Volkswagen is a very unique car with an emotional connection to the past. We will keep searching around the world to bring these tales to 1967beetle.com. It’s a labor of love.

Hello, 1967beetle.com.

I stumbled across your web site quite by accident. I no longer own my ’67 bug, but I still remember it fondly as the best car I’ve ever had (and I’m an old guy, so that’s saying something). I bought it for $1,000 in 1976, drove it all over creation, and sold it, ten years and a quarter of a million miles later, for $1500. (Needless to say, I wish I hadn’t done that). I’m really happy to learn that there are people out there who still appreciate the elegant simplicity of those great little cars.

I have a couple of good beetle stories, if you’re interested. The first was a minor miracle: I was driving my bug from Phoenix to Tucson on Interstate 10, a divided road with two lanes in each direction. There was an 18 wheeler in the right lane, and I was almost done passing him on the left when he decided to change lanes–without checking his blind spot. He never even saw me, just ran me off onto the shoulder of the road. I was still doing 65 miles an hour, skittering along on dirt and loose gravel, fighting to hold it straight, when the turbulence from the passing truck sucked the light-weight beetle sideways, back into the traffic lane, right under his rear wheels. BAM! One more inch to the left, he would have hit the engine, and I really doubt if the car would have stayed in one piece. (Which wouldn’t have been too good for me, either). As it stood, there were multiple witnesses. Somebody chased down the trucker (who didn’t even know he’d hit me). And the trucker’s insurance paid to fix the car, good as new. (Which truly was a miracle).

VW Wreck-102-Dec '78

Frank Salvitti’s L41 Black ’67 Beetle

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Frank Salvitti, of Long Island, NY, and I began our e-correspondence several months ago. We talked about little odds and ends concerning 1967 Beetles. It wasn’t long before we were exchanging photos and talking in depth about our cars. I began to sense that Frank is a person who talks to nuts and bolts and wrenches and they do his bidding.

In Frank’s own words..

Frank…when I saw photographs of your Beetle and of your garage, I knew that we HAD to do a story.

The garage is something I had in mind and have wanted to do for years, so finally did.

You told me that you have some history with Volkswagens. Give the Readers of 1967beetle.com an idea of when you first were involved with VWs.

A. When I was a kid I always had a love for cars and the sound of motors and loud pipes– since around 6 years old or so, that I can remember. I grew up in the time when cars were at their best in the 60’s with the muscle cars. A lot of family members had hot rods. However some family friends had a VW which I thought was a real neat car. I liked that– so different. During that time, I remember that my grandfather bought a white 1968 VW Bug—the first year of the auto stick. We went for a ride and I was like “…wow! How come the brake pedal is so large? And—“No clutch.” Then I saw him shift and asked how he could shift with no clutch? He explained and I said, “Wow a neat invention!” lol

From our conversations, I know that you have a love of all things automotive. What about VWs interested you?

A. Jay, as for the interest in VWs, after growing up around them I became interested in their neat design, so different from American cars. The motor is in the back? No radiator? How is this possible? My interest grew as I got older and starting seeing so many of them. One of my neighbors had a VW Bus, another VW that I thought was so cool. This was back in the time of peace signs and flower power etc. –painted all over it, a “Hippy Van” I believe it was called back then. Also around that time I came across the first VW Ghia that I had seen. I was fascinated by this new wave of automobiles. But when I saw my first Dune Buggy, that was it! I was sold on VWs. I thought that was the coolest thing of all times. They could be taken down the beach, no roof, loud… wow! “I got to have one!” I was around 15 or so when these things were all over and were only $800.00 for a brand new one. However, growing up kind of poor, that was a lot of money back then to lay out for a toy. I told myself that one day I will have a VW Bug and Dune Buggy. It took me many years but I did accomplish that.

Chris Vallone’s L518 Java Green ’67 Beetle

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An update from the earlier mention of our good friend Chris Vallone’s ’67 Beetle build. It appears he did paint the car the correct L518 Java Green and the build is coming along nicely.

This car was found in north NJ in Mid 2012. This baby is rock solid and should need little body work.  This is a numbers matching Body, Chassis, Motor, ’67 Beetle.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With that in mind, see below.