In the world of vintage VWs, there are so many special people that make this hobby what it is. Dean Kirsten is one of them. A former writer of Hot VWs Magazine, he reached out to share this very special story of his L19K Yukon Yellow ’67 Vert. It’s an honor. The ’67 Beetle community thanks you!
I would like to share my 1967 convertible with your readers. I found this VW in Naples, Florida after many years of looking for just the right vehicle that wasn’t in need of a lot of repair, or wasn’t fully restored. The more original, the better. After looking at nine ’67 convertibles all over the country, I came across this one just before it went up for sale. Randy Carlson knew I was looking for a very nice ’67 and figured this VW was a good match with my needs. I purchased this ’67 from a dozen photos, and several long phone conversations with the owner. But hearing that he was very ill and his days were numbered, I made the hard decision to take a chance and bought it without seeing it in person. Two weeks later, the car arrived in Costa Mesa, CA, and got my first close up look at what I bought. It drove like a dream, and I was more than pleased with its condition. Three days later, the former owner died of cancer.
This Yukon Yellow convertible was built on June 8, 1967 according to its birth certificate from the factory. It was shipped out of Osnabrueck, Germany on the 9th, and docked into the U.S. in Duluth, Minnesota. From there, it was trucked to Pray Automotive in Greenwich, Connecticut, where it was sold to Rev. Michael Kendall of Waterbury, CT. at the end of June. He used this car for one year, and then sold it to Clifford Swanson on July, 8, 1968, also of Waterbury. Clifford and his wife Elinore owned it until July 15, 2001, where it was sold to George Limnois, who I bought it from on February 6, 2013.
The first owner was a minister who got married and was expecting their first child, so they sold the VW for a larger car. Clifford and Elinore drove this car approximately 90,000 miles. In 1978, they had the exterior repainted and replaced both front fenders with Mexican replacements. During the 33 years they owned it, they never crashed it, and always kept in the garage and only drove it sparingly. Even with two children and various dogs, the top, headliner, boot, rear seat, mats, door panels and rear carpeting are still 100% original! I replaced the two front covers due to the driver’s seat had been patched poorly. I had Lenny Copp of West Coast Classic Restorations do the special request seat covers with proper heat seams and dimensions. He also made up a new gray German carpeting section for the front only.
Prior to the third owner getting ill, George had Monkey Nut in Charlotte, NC, do a detail and re-ring job to the original engine. To date, that HO engine case has never been split, as the pistons were/are 83mm VWs, rod bearings are still original, and cylinder heads have been only cleaned up. While the top end was being freshen up, the transaxle was removed and rebuilt by Mike Gagnier of Troutman, NC. Monkey Nut also went through the brakes, pedals and rear Z-bar. This engine has all the correct parts including the plug-in style generator, short coil with Bosch logo bracket, 30PICT 105-code carburetor with air cleaner support bracket, K-code distributor, Pierburg fuel pump, VW clamps, latch dust cover and so on.
Since I owned this ’67, I have replaced the front fenders with NOS German units, and had the apron and tire well color matched by Buddy Hale. Both bumpers are a match pair of dated coded 2/7, so they have never been replaced! Front headlight bezels are SB12s, the front park lenses are Hella SAE DP66 date code. Nearly every bolt and nut on this car is OEM German Kamax including the big-head fender bolts and flat washers. Front and rear shocks are proper German-made Boge, with the fronts fitted with the VW dust covers and the rears factory painted brown. The floorpan and lower support channels have never been replaced or patched. The doors open and shut like a dream!
Inside, all the dash, door jams and door surfaces are still original paint. The steering wheel, column, shifter, e-brake handle are all unrestored OEM grey-black. There’s a VDO trip speedo, Sapphire 6 AM/FM radio, and both the front hood and glove box lock, of course. Front seat belts are the correct 67 convertible (Ghia) only and actually retract.
Over the years, I have owned a bunch of ’67 VWs, and this one drives better than all of them. Even though a bone-stock 1500 is rather slow, I still enjoy driving this one as it brings me back to 1967 when these were still brand new at the dealers.