In early 1996, as a 15 year old high school student in West Michigan, I could not wait to get my driver’s license and my first vehicle. In fact, I despised riding the school bus so much that I bought a moped and got my moped license, which you could do at age 15 in Michigan. As much as I liked the new found freedom, it made my desire to have my own vehicle even stronger.
I had always liked VW’s, since receiving a toy Beetle as a gift from my Aunt at a young age. Coming from a car family in Michigan, my Dad and uncle had various VW Sandrail Dune Buggies over the years, furthering my love for VW’s. When it came time for me to start looking for my own car, Dad mentioned that one of his co-workers had a 1967 VW Sunroof Beetle for sale. I immediately was interested.
Upon going to test drive the car, Dad told me to get in and figure it out (I never had driven a manual transmission car). After stalling it several times, and the battery falling through the floor pan while I was “test driving” it, I was a bit hesitant. My Dad assured me, on the way home, that I could learn to drive it in a day or two and we could repair the floor pan. A few days later, after negotiating with the owner, I purchased my first car for $1600 of my own hard-earned money.
I would later learn that it was a 100% original California car, with matching numbers with the original L633 VW Blue paint. A year after that, while still in high school, I started working at a VW Dealership and was able to buy (for next to nothing) some new old stock heat exchangers and other original parts that had been sitting on the shelf in the parts department for over 20 years. I had the car repainted in the original L633 color at the dealership as well. I owned the car through college, but eventually, after 7-1/2 years, I sold it to an elderly woman, since I was a poor college student in need of money for rent and expenses.
Years later, I purchased my second 1967 Beetle, after moving to the Tampa Bay area of Florida in 2005. This car had a really bad white spray paint finish, but imagine my surprise to find that it also had been originally the L633 VW Blue. Ultimately, I sold this car after about a year, as I didn’t have an adequate place to store it, and it needed more work than I could take on at the time.
Fast forward to June, 2020. After about 15 years of not owning an air-cooled VW, I began casually looking for another. About a month or two into looking, I stumbled across an L633 VW Blue 1967 in mostly original condition, but with a 1776cc dual-port motor and front disc brakes, for sale in Cocoa, FL. Beyond excited, I made the 125 mile trip across Florida to look at the car, and couldn’t go home without it. So here I am–24 years after purchasing my first 1967 Beetle, I’m now the proud new caretaker of this great car, that is almost a twin to my very first car.
Now, for years to come, I can share the love and experience of the ‘67 Beetle with my 8 year old son! After owning it for only a week, I’ve already replaced the door lock pins, window cranks and reverse lights with original 1967 bits that I have been holding onto for years. I’ve taken the car to two local get-togethers in the past week, including the weekly Air-cooled VW Sunset Gathering just 5 minutes from home on the Dunedin, FL, causeway, overlooking the sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico. The nostalgia for me is personal and part of who I am. I love driving the car and plan to care for it for many years to come. I feel so fortunate to have found another great car.
Editor’s Note: L633 is the Official Blue Color of Volkswagen, Inc., and can be seen on their signage and other identifying features. Chris’ Beetle truly is Volkswagen Blue!