Not a week goes by here at 1967beetle.com without someone sending photos of their vintage pride and joy, fresh from bodywork and paint. More times than not, their car has an aftermarket front fender. If you didn’t know, the ’67 Beetle front fenders (German) are another one of those fantastic one year only items. If you look at the vintage market, you’ll see plenty of folks claiming, “high end restoration.” However, (sadly) people often use cheap parts for max profit. The power is being able to tell the difference. I’d like to explain how can you tell if you’re dealing with genuine German VW metal. Let’s discuss below, with photos to help illustrate how simple the difference really is. I’d love to know how many readers actually go outside and look at their cars after reading this.
Turn signal holes
This is by far one of the easiest ways to distinguish the real deal from aftermarket. On the right we have a genuine German VW fender. If you remove your top turn signal assembly, the hole punched should be round. On the top of the hole, if you looked close enough you’d also see that the fender is stamped with a VW logo mark. Over time, these are often worn away. However, they are there from the factory. Also, the metal of German fenders is much thicker. On the left, we have an aftermarket fender with a goofy oblong hole. Why the folks making these did not use proper tooling to produce something that matches an OE fender is beyond me.
Horn grill locations
Alright, this one is even easier to spot. Go outside and take a look at your ’67 Beetle. Do you feel a calm balance? Or, is something just not right? If you feel a bit drunk, not to worry. It’s not your fault! It’s because your ’67 has an aftermarket fender where the horn grills don’t match up. This is always very easy to spot, once you know what you’re looking at. There’s a “two finger rule” between the section of the horn grill and the body. I’m sure a reader of 1967beetle.com will be able to point out the exact measurement, as I don’t have it at the moment. Let’s look at some photos, left to right.
Aftermarket and German
GermanGerman and aftermarket
German and aftermarket
Aftermarket and German
In closing, of course there is a need for aftermarket parts. It’s not like these cars are being produced anymore. However, I still wonder why proper tooling can’t be used to produce parts that are as good as OE quality. Obviously, there is a market for it. I’d love to get your feedback. If you do find you are dealing with an aftermarket fender and you can’t sleep at night, they do pop up now and then here at 1967beetle.com. Feel free to email if you need help. In the future, we will talk about the rear fenders and what key things to look for in a German fender.