Beetle Stories Posts

James Mitchell’s L456 Ruby Red ’67 Beetle

My first experience with 1967 Volkswagens was as a kid in the early ‘70s. My Dad got a Navy-colored Sunroof ‘67 Beetle from a friend. It had been rolled down a mountain, but it still ran and drove, even though every panel on it was in ruin.

Dad then picked up a Sunroof ‘64 that had experienced an engine fire. His plan was to swap the ‘67 motor into the ‘64, but he never got around to it. Me and my siblings played in those cars for years until some neighborhood teenager bought them for parts. My 1967 VW brings back many fond memories—I still remember that cool wooden Formula Vee shift knob Dad’s Bug had.

I had been looking for an older Bug for a while when this one came up for sale about 75 miles away. Rust-free Bugs are hard to come by on the East Coast but supposedly this was a West Coast car. The original Owner’s Manual showed service stamps from VW dealers in CA and OR, and there was a CA college parking sticker on the rear window, which helped to confirm her origin.

She was super solid underneath, and although shabby, she did run, drove well, and was fairly complete. The previous owner (PO) had just replaced the transaxle with one out of a ‘67 Ghia, and mentioned that the clutch was sloppy and needed adjustment. When I got it home it turned out the real problem was the clutch cable tube which had broken free inside of the tunnel at all three welds. But with a bit of careful welding and fabrication of new mounts, I was able to fix it, and she now shifts as good as new. I asked the PO to include the original transaxle in the sale. I now suspect that nothing was wrong with it as the clutch cable tube may have been the root of the problem Maybe one day I’ll get it back in.

The engine ran “ok” when I bought it, and the heads under the valve covers were very clean (which indicated a low mileage motor), but she really lacked power. I found that her distributor was allowing only 12 degrees of maximum advance, so I swapped it for a new one with electronic ignition that gave 25 degrees advance, all before 2700 rpm. I also found that the throttle cable was allowing only 2/3 of the required travel, so that was adjusted too. The carb jetting also was very lean, especially for having a header, so I rejetted the carb with fatter jets, performed a complete tune up and adjusted the valves.

Zac Porta’s L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle

Zac’s L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle is an honest example of brilliant design and simplicity. At 50 years old, it’s still doing what VW of old had intended it to do as his daily driver. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Zac!

I’ve been saying for years that I wanted another L620 ‘67. I owned one once, about 18 years ago. As I typically do though, I sold it in favor of some other beetle which has long since been sold. I purchased my car on February 19th of this year. I had known about it more than a year or so prior, but passed on it in favor of a road ready savanna beige ‘67 since I had no garage at the time to get it roadworthy. Not that I regretted the purchase of the other car(who’s body was a little rough), but I still wanted the one I was originally after. About February 12th or 13th, I got a text from my friend Brad with the link to the Samba listing of the car. I’m friends with the seller, so I immediately sent him a text expressing how I still wanted his car. His reply was, “buy it!”, but I’m married with two kids who had only four months prior purchased our first home, so I had to convince my wife that I was making a good decision.

Surprisingly, I was able to talk her into it and a week later the ‘67 was in my garage. The deal was that when I got the “new” car ready for daily driving, I was to sell the other car, so that’s what I did. I had vacation planned for a week in March and I spent a lot of that week in the garage, getting acquainted with my new to me Beetle. I was a bit rushed though, as I had struck a deal to sell the previous car before the new one was ready. The idea was to get the new car ready in a week, while still driving the previous car, and seamlessly transition to the new one. As is generally the case though, things didn’t go as planned. The car did run, but that was about it. The doors were in pieces, the wiring was a mess, the wiper motor was incorrect and not even in the car, the headlight switch was wired up, laying in the trunk and broken, it had a faceplate for the radio, but no radio, door panels for the front were missing, rear panels weren’t installed, three flat, dry rotted tires, no brakes, the list went on and on. So I got to work, replaced the brakes all around, tracked down a ‘67 wiper assembly, a Sapphire V radio that worked, and I even had a spare headlight switch, so that was also fixed. A friend of mine has a shop, so I got some new tires. I needed seatbelts for the rear since my two kids would be back there, installed them. Vacuumed the car out, replaced the rubber floor mats, removed all the add on old man accessories, put the doors together, installed some pop out rear windows I had laying around, tracked down the ‘67 seat belts I needed for the front, installed them, replaced the transmission mounts, replaced the engine compartment seals, new trunk seal, door seals, deck lid seal, bumper bracket and over rider support seals, swapped out the steering wheel in favor of a spare I had that was in better shape, installed the engine and it was ready for it’s first drive. It ran great, but would not idle. It didn’t have the correct carb, so I needed to track down a 30 PICT-1. Luckily, my family is into VWs as well and my stepdad had one. I had it rebuilt by the local VW guru, installed it, and it purred like a kitten.

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.”