Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle?
My ’67 sunroof was produced on December 20th 1966. It left Germany for California on December 22nd. I found the car in my hometown of Cumberland, RI in 1996. I finally got to own it in 2001. It had Berkeley University Faculty parking permits plastered across the rear bumper (which now hangs in my garage) dating from 1967 through 1983. The California DMV had no records for the car after 1983. It’s still a mystery to me how the car came to Rhode Island. It has a Mexico Tourist decal from December 1967 and a parking permit sticker for the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley on its rear window. The car has its original engine and transaxle and pop-out windows according to the birth certificate from VW in Germany.
When did you start the restoration?
I started a restoration on my first ’67 sunroof in 1995. The car was a New England car and very rusty. I started accumulating 67 parts then. In April 2001 I bought this ’67 sunroof. A California car that was very solid but basically a shell with a motor. Between the 2 cars and parts I had gathered since ’95, I had enough for the restoration.
How long did the restoration take?
It was finally finished, I hope, in 2011 so a good 15 years.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the process?
Trying to find the best aftermarket parts when the originals aren’t available. Luckily new items are always being produced and improvements of other items are being made also. Having to cut a hole into my painstakingly installed headliner for the sunroof. Adjusting the sunroof without scratching the paint.
In your opinion, what makes the ’67 Beetle so unique?
All of the one year only parts. VW only changed something to improve upon it it in those years so every model year would have a couple of different things. The ’67 by far has the most one year only parts. There are also early, mid and late production ’67′s and they have different variations of the parts. For example the seats, door lock knobs, the rear bumper over riders and the SB-12 headlight rings. These are just a few of the items that are different depending on when a ’67 beetle was produced. It is also the easiest year to identify by just looking at the headlights and the front bumper.
What parts were the hardest to find?
From what I’ve read on the Samba, the plastic clips attached to the B pillar that hold the seat belts back. The metal bracket that secures the air cleaner to the carb and intake. Finally the elusive plastic dust cover for the engine lid lock mechanism. Luckily between the two ’67′s I had these items.
What is your take on doing a 100% stock restoration VS non stock?
You should do the restoration that you want to do and what fits your budget. My restoration never started as a concourse show vehicle, but it evolved into that. Now I’m afraid to leave it out of my sight, but I’m still not afraid to drive it. I think a stock vehicle will always fetch a higher resale price.
What advice would you give to anyone restoring a ’67 Beetle?
If your going for a stock restoration, research, read and learn. There is a wealth of knowledge on the Samba. There are a few guys that are very knowledgeable to ’67 only specs. My screen name is 1-4-3-2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you have most of your parts available before you start. There are good quality items being produced now because the hobby is growing so fast. Things I wished I could have bought ten years ago.
Any ’67 Beetle specific tips or words of wisdom you would like to offer?
Enjoy your ’67 in whatever state it’s in, daily driver to trailer queen. Don’t let others discouraged your car or the restoration. Trust me, the time and money I’ve invested in my car was for me. It’s not perfect. Remember, it’s not 1967 and I didn’t just pick it up from the dealer. Do the best with the parts and resources available to you. Enjoy what you have and you’ll always be happy.
Thanks Jody for sharing your story with 1967beetle.com.
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