Tips Posts

Buying Your Dream Vintage Volkswagen

Buying Your Dream Vintage VolkswagenIf you have been reading 1967beetle.com for a while, you probably have seen my article entitled: Buying Strategies.

While I definitely will touch on points which I used in that article, the focus of this article is different. I’m going to chasten sellers but at the same time not let buyers off the hook.

Things in the World of Vintage Volkswagens are heating rapidly. Prices of vehicles are rising steadily. As I have said before, the day of a running, driving VW for $500 or even a thousand dollars is over! Forgive that rare case, of course.

A decent vehicle that doesn’t take complete restoration to get it going is going to cost $6500 to $8500. I had to give up my idyllic world of cheap Beetles a few years ago. I consider myself a “veteran” VW buyer, having bought and sold scores of them over the years. In all conditions for all sorts of reasons. I could ferret them from backyards, garages—anywhere that owners had parked them. It was easy. Had I more money at the time and more space, I would have bought hundreds. But, that wasn’t the case.

Now, I drool when someone comes up with a decent Beetle for $3000. Wow! How did I miss that one?!

Okay…let’s examine a specific case. Eric and I field lots of buying questions but many people who come to us already have purchased a car which they hope will be the car of their dreams!

Let’s call him Bill. Bill and Eric and I conferred after the fact. Bill had purchased a Convertible 1967 Beetle. He contacted us when he noticed an anomaly—a simple thing at first, but as the story played out—a travesty! Bill gave permission for us to use his story in hopes that it will help others to avoid what happened to him.

Bill used a well-known VW WebSite to search for his dream car. He eventually discovered a 1967 Beetle Convertible in California. The seller sent multiple photos for Bill to see. When all questions had been asked, the deal was sealed, money crossed palms and the car was shipped across the Nation to its destination.

While cleaning the project Convertible, Bill discovered that someone had installed a ’68 and later shift lever. Wanting his ‘Vert to be original, Bill found a stock shifter Online and set about to install it. To his surprise, the stock, year-correct shift lever would not fit. ’67 and earlier shift levers have a pin on the “ball” which fits into the “cup” of the shift rod in the tunnel. The cup had no notch for the pin! What???

That’s when Bill talked to Eric and me. Questions began to pour from us. What’s the VIN beneath the rear seat? Does it jibe with the tag behind the spare tire? Are the wheels 4 lug or 5 lug? And on and on.

Bill’s answers elicited further questions. The picture began to come into focus. It came to a head when Bill closely examined the VIN beneath the rear seat and discovered that it was a little crooked. Upon further examination, he could see that it had been grafted into the chassis. Not only so—the original VIN that had been cut and removed was pushed beneath the heater tube on the driver’s side. It read: 118xxxxxx The chassis is from a ’68 Beetle!

Then, Bill began to compare photos which the seller had sent to him. The seller’s photo of the VIN showed it to be in good condition. Yet, when Bill received delivery of the car, he found the sound deadening material surrounding the VIN to be melted.

And…the aluminum VIN tag behind the spare tire was missing.

Vintage Volkswagen — Pan Off Restorations

Vintage Volkswagen — Pan Off
We receive a good bit of emails here at 1967beetle.com about the pan off restoration process. Yes it’s a lot of work, but can even be done at home. (With the right tools and knowledge) There are many friends of ours around the world that have accomplished this very task.

The submitted video below shows just how simple removing the body from the chassis can be. You have to remember, these cars were designed to be worked on.

Vintage Volkswagen Windshield Washer System

FOR SALE: '67 Beetle Washer Bottle Reservoir Decal
One of the features which the Volkswagen Beetle has retained since 1962 is the windshield washer system. Though it has varied in some details, it has remained a pressure operated system. The fluid bottle was to be filled with clear water or a windshield washing fluid which could consist of an anti-freezing-cleaning solution for winter months or for colder climate zones.

This bottle was also marked with either a yellow or red decal. Both are correct. It just depended on what the factory had on hand.

Pressure in 1961 was generated by a diaphragm—the switch was pulled to activate a diaphragm which pulled water from the unpressurized fluid bottle and pushed it through the washer nozzles onto the windshield.

For 1962, the bottle was changed so that it could be filled with liquid, the cap screwed shut and the bottle pressurized by use of a tire pump or some other source of compressed air. The washer hose, of course, changed to accept this pressure. The hose was routed around the gas tank to the passenger’s side and then to the washer switch. The bottle cap (in the Owner’s Manual illustration) was white and knurled.

Helphos was a major manufacturer of the washer bottle (perhaps the sole manufacturer). In the photo below, Logo and other identifying information has been highlighted in black for illustrative purposes only.

’67 Beetle Owners Manual

67-owners-manual

The ’67 Beetle owners manual has been mentioned before here at 1967beetle.com. However, a reader (Donna Fischer) was kind enough to send the world a more friendly format. You can now download a PDF of the ’67 Beetle owners manual. Let’s give Donna a big “air cooled” thanks for doing so.

Are there other unique pieces of ’67 Beetle literature you’d like to see here at 1967beete.com? Please chime in below and let us know.

Magura vs VDO Gas Gauge

Magura vs VDO Gas Gauge

Recently, fellow creator of 1967beetle.com, Eric Shoemaker showed me the Magura Gas Gauge from his 1967 Beetle. He has cleaned it to look like new. He reports that his sender unit (in the gas tank) as well as the cover for the sender, are a coordinated set from Magura.

Through production year 1967, Beetles in the USA came with a “grill” to the right of the speedometer on the dash. The mechanical gauge was located there.

My experience with VWs has been limited to living in Texas—mostly in the Dallas, TX area. I have seen Magura gas gauges but never fully investigated them. Most cars which I have seen had the VDO gas Gauge and related parts.

Frankly, I believed that Magura was a replacement gauge. End of story. That “story” now has been shown NOT to be ended! We need Reader response and input about the gas gauge and related parts in your 1967 Beetles! Let’s see what our combined experience tells us.

Here’s some more information to put into the hopper.

The VDO gas gauge for 1967 part number is 113-919-031A (the one which I am looking at is date-stamped 12/66). The cable is always silver colored. The VDO gauge is clearly marked on the face as VDO. The country of origin also is clearly marked as being Germany.

The VDO sender cover plate part number is 113-919-137A. The cover has the VW Logo and a raised VDO. This cover is probably a zinc coating.

I do not have a part number of the VDO sender itself.

The Magura gas gauge (this one date-stamped 6/66) part number is 113-919-031. The cable always is black in color. The Magura gauge face is clearly marked Magura.

The Magura sender cover plate is stamped with the VW Logo and the part number 113-919-137. The Magura crest-logo also is stamped into the cover. The cover is a gold colored coating—possibly cadmium.