Beetle Stories Posts

Don Hooper’s – L282 Lotus White ’67 Beetle


I grew up in Van Nuys, California. My first car was a 1958 VW Beetle that I learned to drive in, and that my father passed along to me in about 1967. This sparked my interest in VW Bugs, which evolved into a love of bathtub Porsches. I became aware, in 1968 and 1969, how US auto safety regulations made VW change such details of their cars as the bumpers, the dashboard, the knobs and seats, etc. I didn’t like those changes then, and still don’t now. I formulated that the 1967 Beetle was the pinnacle of VW Bug development, reaching perfection in all its details, and only going downhill after that.

The 58 Bug moved along and a very stock Lotus White ‘67 Sedan became my daily driver, through my early working years in Los Angeles. Several 356 Porsches passed through my hands in the 1970s and ‘80s, after kids came along. At the same time, I remained a big fan of the 1967 VW, often times driving down to Irvine, in Orange County, for the annual Bug-In Shows. I always had an eye out for clean, stock-looking ‘67 Bugs to admire. I remember one Bug-In Show where there were matching ‘67 Cabriolets for sale, one light blue, and the other beige, in as-new, never-sold condition. I think they were priced around $5500 each, which was way out of my league for a Beetle. All I could do was drool over those two examples.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s the VW Beetle was ubiquitous in Southern California. Bugs in every sort of condition were everywhere you looked. But Convertibles were not often seen. Since I was a big fan of Drop-top 356 Porsches, I naturally sought a Drop-top ‘67 VW bug. But I seldom saw one, until one day in 1979 when I spied one scruffy-looking, but in my favorite color, Lotus White, with old black and yellow plates, in a driveway of a home just a few miles from where I lived in Granada Hills, California. I knocked on the door of the house, and asked the young woman who answered if I could buy the VW in her driveway. She said “Yes!” But then she explained that the engine was worn out and needed replacing. I could see that the top was torn, and the fenders banged up. But the paint appeared to be original, as did the worn interior. A look under the car revealed a dry solid pan and a well-oiled engine. I made a deal then and there to buy the car for $675.

I soon figured out that I had bought my Cabriolet from the daughter of the original owner, as the sales invoice copy was in the Crest Motors Inc. owner’s blue vinyl booklet in the glove box. I found the warranty and maintenance service stamp pages as well as some past service receipts. Crest Motors VW was in Escondido, California, a little north of San Diego. That’s where the first owner lived, before moving to the San Fernando Valley and apparently passing the car to his daughter.

Michael Young’s L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle

The almighty Jay Salser of 1967beetle.com had been going back and forth with Michael in regards to his amazing L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle. You know this car, and have too most likely seen it in the past. If not, you’ve dreamed about it a time or two. (I know I have) In his own words.

This is a 1967 Volkswagen Deluxe Beetle Sedan VIN 117651175. The Beetle was manufactured April 21st 1967 in Wolfsburg Germany. The Beetle was originally purchased by Helen Eisele of Columbus, Ohio on May 23, 1967. She purchased it from the now closed Davidson-Green Volkswagen dealership located on the east side of Columbus, Ohio. Helen traded in a 1949 Chevy for $125 dollars to allow her to purchase the Beetle. I purchased the Beetle from then 78 year old Helen, on August 29, 1983 with 21,994 miles on the odometer. Helen was forced to sell the car because she could no longer push in the clutch pedal due to hip issues. The current mileage is 22,777. I purchased the Beetle when she was 16 years old and she just turned 50 this past April 21st 2017. I have clocked less than 800 miles on her over the past 34 years. She is very original including the original tires and new unused original spare tire.

The following is a list of parts that have been replaced or rebuilt since the car was manufactured in April of 1967. Some of these parts were replaced before I purchased it and some were replaced by me over the last 34 years.

Julian Stewart’s L633 VW Blue ’67 Beetle

Another fascinating ’67 vintage Volkswagen Beetle story. This one comes from a reader of 1967beetle.com across the pond. Like my own ’67, it’s heart warming to hear stories of original owners and their relationship with their old VWs. After all, they don’t call it the “small wonder” for nothing.

Photos, video and more on this great story here. © Jil Mcintosh

“Purchased on June 23, 1967, the little Beetle came to $2,322.85: a base price of $1,998, plus a $100 sunroof, $85 radio, and $14.95 for rustproofing, a $15 license fee and five per cent sales tax. Stewart estimates it’s worth about $20,000 today.

Montreal’s Expo 67 exhibition was the big draw in Canada’s centennial year, and Stewart drove it there. The following year, he and his wife Margaret took it to Los Angeles for a vacation, travelling mostly along Route 66. The trip covered 7,600 miles (12,231 km) and cost $76 in fuel.”

Chuck’s L41 Black ’67 Vert

Another fantastic ’67 Beetle for the world to see. 88,000 original miles; wow. If you own any vert, you know Chuck. Thanks, Jay for helping me pull this one together. What would 1967beetle.com do without him?

It was 1979 in Corona Del Mar California. I had been buying, “fixing-up” and selling VW Convertibles for 7 years ( the market always had been strong there). I had purchased many from other States for $100’s and sold them in Southern California for $1000’s.…..when, one day I was sitting at a stop light. A Black ‘67 Convertible Beetle turned left in front of me! I thought:

“This would be “The Ultimate ‘67”!

I thought that I knew all of the VW convertibles in town! I made a quick U turn, when traffic passed, but could not find the ‘67.

Two weeks later, I again saw it…..going the opposite direction. Another U turn and, like the last time, it was nowhere to be found.

A few weeks later, it popped up in our local paper:

“1967 VW Convertible black with red interior 78K miles $1975”

Well, I was the first one there to look at it since it was only 6 blocks from my house. It was owned by my mail man!

After a test drive and listening to the owner giving directions to 2 more people wanting to come see it, I bought it on the spot. That was 38 years ago.

Since then, I have done a few things to the ’67. I’ve repainted the exterior and replaced the original torn and faded early-style seat covers (they were rice grain centers with smooth sides). We hand-made these using the original seat covers as patterns. I rebuilt the engine using NOS 1500 pistons and cylinders from the local VW dealer. And, of course, I restored the top, using the early style with chromed brass trim which I purchased from a Dealer in 1980!

Over the years, I have located NOS correct sun visors, chrome top locks, interior mirror, German hub caps and beauty rings, SB 12 headlight rings, Hella lenses and door handles—just to name a few things which I’ve done to the car.

Nor Cal Treffen Challenge — The Waller Family

Once again, our hats are off to the mighty Jay Salser for his dedication to 1967beetle.com. Each article is hand crafted with passion and attention to detail. The Waller Family Nor Cal Treffen journey is a fantastic read. Go, Ron & Diane. – ES

Ron and Diane Waller of Phoenix, Arizona not only are loyal Readers of 1967beetle.com, Ron has contributed several articles to the Site. Earlier this year, the Wallers decided to drive their 1967 Lotus White Beetle with many other air-cooled Volkswagens on the 19th Annual Treffen Border-to-Border Cruise. Their Journal memorializes the notable trip from Washington State to the tip of California. Drive along with them as they revive that feel-of-the-road Volkswagen experience.

Treffen #19, 2017 Journal

About four years ago, my wife, Diane, and I heard about the “Border to Border” Treffen. Treffen is the German word for trip or journey. Little did we know the word also could be used for “adventure,” because indeed it was!

Treffen starts in Port Angeles, Washington, and cruises down the coast on Highway One or U.S. 101. It lasts ten days and finishes at Border Field State Park at the Mexican Border. This was the 19th year for the event. Total mileage is 1,700. We decided it was something we had to do. From that point every decision we made concerning work on the car was made with Treffen in mind.

One of our major concerns was how “laid back” the trip was. The only requirement was an “air cooled VW.” There was no registration or fees. You came and went as you wanted. Being a very organized “Type A” personality, that was a real challenge for me.

We also decided to ask our best friends, Dan and Becky Lehman to accompany us. They have a beautiful 1971 Super Beetle. Needless to say, a great deal of planning and effort went into this adventure. First, we decided to ship the car to the starting point of the cruise. If you have shipped a car you know the anxiety that goes into this! The car left Phoenix three days before the start of our trip, which would begin on July 20. We had it delivered to Vancouver, WA, in time for our first Treffen day. When we left Phoenix, the temperature was 106. In Oregon it was 70! We had great weather the entire trip. The only rain we saw was in Arizona on the drive home! Our little Lotus White 1967 Beetle had 5,070 miles on the odometer when we left Vancouver.

Day 1 – Friday, July 21

We drove from Vancouver to Astoria, Oregon, along the Columbia River. This first leg was just over 90 miles. We crossed the Columbia River on the four-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Our first meeting of “the group” was in Astoria for dinner. Not knowing who or what to expect we all wore some type of VW shirt. It also was the first time we met “Buck” and “Andre” who were the contacts and leaders of the trip. They did an outstanding job. At some points there were over fifty cars on the road, a very impressive sight. Herding the group and keeping it together was not an easy task. It made for a few heart-stopping moments!