Gavin LaMaide’s (Show Winning) ’67 Beetle

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Editors note: Sorry for the delay here at 1967beetle.com. We are finally moved back to our hometown of Atlanta, GA and are slowly coming back online. There are boxes and VW parts everywhere! It’s a huge mess. In fact, my own ’67 Beetle is resting in my Dad’s garage until I have time to make room for it at our new (very very old) house. Thanks, Gavin for the article.

Hello 1967 Beetle.com,

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in a Fall Festival Car Show. I was ready to go the night before washing, waxing, and taking care of little things I thought would earn accolades from the judges. The next morning it looked as if it would be a beautiful fall day —in fact I’d say it was perfect! I got to the event early, 8:15am and already I was the twenty second car to register. The registration booth volunteers were tense as several parking volunteers had not shown up. In any case they had to make room for 100+ cars.

I quickly realized I had just entered a car show featuring muscle cars and very expensive modified cars from the 30’s & 40’s. These cars were perfect! I honestly felt as if I was in the midst of a Barrett-Jackson sanctioned event! A few of the cars were for sale like a 69’ Camaro for $19,500. I watched as more and more cars poured in and some John Deere tractors as well, sharing the day at the show. I walked around and realized my 67’ was not only the lone Beetle, it was the only Volkswagen at the show…

It was a fun and delightful group of participants. Shaking hands, sharing greetings and testosterone driven discussion of the 442, posi traction hot rod stuff you would expect.

The show wore on. One gentleman in particular walked up to the ol’ bug with a big huge smile and said, “I used to sell these back in the day…I haven’t seen a 67’ like this since I left the dealership!” He proceeded to verbalize the list of one-year parts. He new his stuff. He even made it a point to lift the deck lid and check if the latch dust cover was there! I could hear this guy thinking, recalling his long lost youth. It was so much fun to reminisce with him.
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Shortly after, a guy named Charlie approached. Charlie thanked me for bringing my beautiful bug and asked where I had gotten it. “EBAY, I said. Stunned, he asked, “Off the Internet? In this condition?” I explained to Charlie that we got lucky and found this while sourcing parts for another 67’ project. He immediately asked if it was for sale or trade. I told him, “I hadn’t considered it but, what might be the trade?” I asked. “Down the row is an 86’ El Camino… let me know if you like it, we’’ll swap keys.” Charlie said. Hmmm….I thanked him, he gave me his card and we parted ways.

The show was in full swing, several spectators now started approaching, joyful, gleefully smiling and laughing sharing their bug stories with me and the people to their left and right who also had a story or memory to share. They asked to take pictures in and next to the bug. I felt exceptionally honored that this little car brought so much joy to all, young and old. You see, this car was the exception that day. It is far from perfect and does 0 to 60 in 14 seconds.

It was time for the awards…. I won nothing! The Best of Show went to a 71’ Fastback Mach I Mustang, it was immaculate! The 67’ GTO brought top honors in several categories. The display included a full color poster of the car on the floor of the GM assembly plant from 1966! This reminding me, these people are serious….
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Naturally, I was a little disappointed garnering no hardware. But what I quickly realized is how the Beetle brought out the best in people. This was the Grand Prize! The Beetle encouraged everyone to perhaps forget their troubles for a moment and reflect on a wonderful time or experience in their lives in the company of a Beetle. You know, like the expressions you see when a 3 year old sees their birthday cake! What joy these iconic cars bring to those who want to just “Be & Drive” and to those engineer types who understand and appreciate every millimeter matters. Ahh…the best of both worlds!

Gavin

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™
The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I founded and curate 1967beetle.com. I also co-founded Lane Russell with my wife Amanda. I drive a '67 Beetle daily, and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

8 Comments

Larry Heugatter

about 1 year ago

Gavin, you are so right. I've often said I could accomplish world peace if I could just give everybody an old VW. With them, there's no reason to hate :-)

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jay salser

about 1 year ago

That's a great story, Gavin! It keeps people remembering the basics. It reminds people of a time when the ordinary guy kept his own car going. No one can resist a Beetle--you just proved it! jay

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Sam Glenn

about 1 year ago

Gavin, you have a gift of storytelling! I love it. you won that day, the only thing missing was the $2 trophy. The real trophy was the 67. Thanks for sharing

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Eric Shoemaker

about 1 year ago

Good article, Gavin! And sorry guys for the slack. We have a lot of new stuff in the works.

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Tom

about 1 year ago

Great story Gavin. Cruise nights here are often like that with lots of high tech rods and muscle. But you're right, everyone has a story about a Beetle. The respect and integrity are there for all to see. If I could only close my ears when I hear "punch buggy". Usually only comes from those "not in the know"! LOL Thanks for sharing this story. You made a difference to the people at that show!

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ronw1967

about 1 year ago

Beautiful car. It is a lot of fun to go to these shows. The all VW one's are few and far between. But you are correct, everyone has a VW story!

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gavin

about 1 year ago

Thanks everyone for all your kind comments. I am so pleased you enjoyed the article! This site and community is a very special one that has enriched my life greatly. My family and I find our Beetles a great source of joy. We have had a wonderful unseasonable warm November thus far that has made our bugs rides a real treat in our beautiful waterfront city...Traverse City, MI

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Eric Shoemaker

about 1 year ago

Thank you, Gavin! It's the '67 community around the world that makes 1967beetle.com what it is.

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