We frequently receive this question.
“How can I learn the Build Date for my Convertible 1967 Beetle? I cannot find the Convertible Beetle Category in the existing VIN Charts”.
I consulted David Brown, now-retired VWaG trained Parts Manager who worked in several VW Agencies in the Northeastern USA. David maintains complete Parts Manuals and other Official VW Informational Materials.
David took me through the process.
Key to understanding the philosophy behind the VIN Charting (Vehicle Identification Number) is the following important factor:
Chassis for Beetles, Karmann Ghias and Super Beetles ALL began life as Type 1s. Because their bodies appear differently when they leave their respective factories, does not alter the fact that they still possess the Type 1 Chassis. This includes the Convertibles of each of these three Models.
Confusion thus occurs when we attempt to run the VIN for our 1967 Convertible Beetles. We cannot find a VIN Category for Convertibles. No matter how diligently we strive to locate the Convertible VIN Category—it is not to be found.
This is because the Chassis VIN (including the VINs on the Title and Spare Tire Well Aluminum Tag [or later Dash or B-Pillar placement tag]) ALL must be interpreted as Type 1 VINs.
Since we are dealing with 1967 Beetle Convertibles in this Article, I will confine further comments to the Convertible issue.
Review the VIN Illustration below.
The First Digit, a Numeral 1, refers to a Type 1 Vehicle (Chassis).
The Second Digit, a Numeral 5, refers to the Model of Vehicle—in the case at hand, a Convertible Beetle.
The Third Digit, a Numeral 7, refers to the Model Year, 1967.
The Following 6 Digits refer to Production Numbers. Each car coming off of the production line was stamped successively to enumerate that vehicle.
When you read the available VIN Charts, you will NOT see a Numeral 5 (as in 157). You will see the Numeral 1 (as in 117-). Remember, all Beetles, including the Beetle Convertibles, began life as Type 1s. Focus upon the Production Numbers (the last 6 digits). Your Beetle’s VIN will fall into a month. The VIN Charts will give us the Month during which a particular vehicle was manufactured, but NOT the Day. In order to obtain the Day a particular vehicle rolled off of the Production Line, a “Birth Certificate” must be obtained from Germany.
When viewing a VIN Chart, remember that the Production Number for a given Month is that of the LAST car produced that month. By comparing one month’s total with the next month’s total, you can approximate the month during which your Beetle was produced.
The Charted Final Production Number for November is 117-363-979. Let’s say that your Convertible’s VIN is 157-363-980—your car was produced during December’s Production Run.
If your VIN is, say, 157-381-956, and the Charted Final Production Number for December is 117-422-503, then your car was produced well into December’s Production Run.
**VIN Chart From Progressive Refinements-Part 2, Production Year for 1967
Beginning of the 1967 Production year
August (1966) – 117-109-832
September – 117-202-292
October – 117-288-898
November – 117-363-979
December – 117-422-503
January (1967) – 117-505-826
February – 117-566-719
March – 117-620-975
April – 117-674-558
May – 117-739-118
June – 117-817-896
July – 117-844-902
End of the 1967 Production Year
*NOTE: The price for obtaining a Birth Certificate has risen. Reports from people who have applied for and received a Certificate note that it can take an undetermined time to obtain a Certificate. The Wolfsburg Museum advises that there could be a considerable wait for a Certificate due to research into their Records and due to mailing delays. Do not give up!
**Express written permission to use Progressive Refinements Material was obtained from Everett Barnes.