Letha and her husband, Tommy, originally purchased their new Volkswagen Beetle on
July 18, 1967 in San Diego, California. They lived 8 miles from the Mexican Border.
The Beetle was imported from Germany, directly to Tijuana, Mexico, then sent to a
dealership in National City, San Diego County, California.
The car, L282 Lotus White with Red Interior, lived at the same address in the same
garage for 47 years until my wife, Jane, and I bought her on November 2, 2013. We
moved her to Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Letha and Tommy paid great attention to making sure that anyone who performed work
on the car stayed true to the authenticity and originality of the car. This accounts for the fact that our Beetle still has matching numbers and the original, although now rebuilt, engine.
Letha was a teacher of Spanish and frequented the San Diego Naval Base. The car
still has its Naval Base access sticker on the front bumper and a military blanket in the luggage compartment. The car is in great shape considering that the speedometer shows 183k original miles. Letha provided us with complete documentation – original loan papers and all of the registration cards and receipts for work performed.
She had turned down several prospective buyers since they were looking at the car with the intention of converting it into a Baha Bug or a hot rod. We told Letha that we were interested in preserving the car just as it had been delivered from the factory. I told her that we were going to do a couple of detail items and then show the car as-is at a couple of coffee shop car gatherings. She was very happy to hear this and wanted me to send pictures since she always had wanted to show the car herself.
Letha currently is 85 years old and has all her wits about her. Although she recently had suffered a stroke and had returned home but 5 days earlier, she was right back at it, negotiating the sale and telling us stories of the car’s history while her daughter, Cher, and son-in-law, Mike, looked on. It was a pleasure to have time to sit with Letha and her family to talk about the car and family history.
Letha’s love for her car really sank in for Jane and me when it was time to sign the
papers and depart. We saw the emotion welling up in Letha’s eyes at letting “Her Baby”– as she always referred to the car–go.
As the car continues its travels, I really want it to be a tribute to the Original 1967 Beetle, and to Letha and their history together. I feel very blessed to have found such an original car with such a great story.
Thanks, Letha, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.