Kenneth Yeo’s ’67 Beetle

Featured ’67 Beetle — Kenneth Yeo

Huge kudos to Jay Salser for his work on this article. It was crafted by Ken Yeo in his own words. Our growth has been amazing, and the fact that these great cars keep surfacing. Slowly, we’re connecting ’67 owners globally.
-Eric

Ken, tell the Readers of 1967Beetle.com a bit about yourself and where you are located.

I’m 40 this year, from Singapore. I’ve owned 4 bugs over the last 20 years, and my current 1967 for the last 15. I’ve had a ’71 1302, ’67 1300, another ’67 1300 and a ’66 1300.

How did you become interested in Volkswagens.

It was my 4 years at the University of Miami, Florida where I first was exposed to beautiful cars and fell for vintages almost immediately. Upon graduation and return to Singapore in 1995, I set out looking for a classic and found the VW bug most affordable, since I was conscripted into the Army and wasn’t paid well. Interest became passion, then obsession, and I’ve always owned at least one ever since.

Your car differs in some respects from those which were directly imported from Germany into the USA. Tell us about some of those differences.

Our ’67s are available only with 1300cc ‘F’ engines (much like the ’66), and retain the sloping headlights. As an ex-British colony, we are right hand drive (RHD). Our bumpers come with over-riders. Rear turn signal lamps are in orange instead of red, and reverse lights are excluded. A little mix-and-match of the US and European models, I would say.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Kenneth Yeo

Did you find your Beetle in Singapore or did you have to import it?

My beetle has been registered in Singapore since day one. According to records, it was registered on 7 July 1967, and had only 2 owners before me.

You told me that there are few VWs in Singapore. How do you access parts when you need them?

While only around 250 remain, they were really popular in the 60′s and 70′s. When I first got into the scene, parts were easy to find at scrap yards but that source has dried out. Today, most of us buy parts when we travel, or source them off the Web.

How many 1967 Beetles do you see there?

I have seen around 6, but only 4 remain as daily drivers.

Are there VW clubs or other VW affiliations in Singapore?

Official clubs no. But we have good friends who meet occasionally to ‘reinfect’ each other or to trade parts. Some also travel to VW shows in neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand every year.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Kenneth Yeo

What has been your biggest challenge while owning this vehicle?

I would say the general cost and complexity of car ownership in Singapore. Also, we often get bullied on the roads due to our Asian culture due to the lack of appreciation for old things.

You told me that there is a limit to who can own and drive a car there. Can you explain?

Due to limited land size, the Singapore Government tries to limit car ownership. Limited numbers of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) are released every month, and potential car buyers have to bid for these titles to own a car. The number of COEs released is tied to the number of cars de-registered to prevent over-population. These COEs are valid only for 10 years, after which car owners can choose to scrap the car, or pay the prevailing COE for extension for another 10 years.

Once de-registered, a car may not be re-registered. At this writing, a COE is approximately USD $60,000 on top of the purchase price of a car.

There also is a “Classic Car” scheme you may opt for when a car hits 35 years of age. Under this scheme, you pay only 10% of the prevailing COE, but you are limited to a maximum of 28 days of driving per year. The pity is that this scheme is irreversible and the car cannot be fully registered again. A “death sentence” as we call it.

Usage brings about more costs. Gas is approximately USD$6.50 per US gallon, road tax is USD $650/year (extra 50% for cars over 10 years of age), and toll prices to use city roads are USD $0.50 to USD $2 per entry.

The Readers will be interested in knowing about the practice of renting vintage vehicles. Tell us about that and how often you rent your Volkswagen.

I started renting out my bugs for 2 simple reasons: to help buffer the cost of car ownership, but really more to spread the joy and experience of riding in one. At first, many potential clients are doubtful about the car’s comfort and reliability, but once they have taken a spin in it, the take-up rate is around 90%!

Outside of weddings, I also rent it for photo-shoots and filming. To date, my ’67 has been in 3 movies, 2 commercials and countless photo-shoots. Pre-68 bugs are really rare in Singapore (fewer than 10?) so there is quite a demand!

Featured ’67 Beetle — Kenneth Yeo

Thanks, Ken, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Jay Salser

I’ve been driving and working on VWs for over 37 years. In fact, I raised my family in these cars. Now, I’m 75 years old and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been my favorite year.

42 Comments

wallace

about 4 months ago

nice one Ken

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Thanks my brother from north of the border!

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Norsham

about 4 months ago

Hi Ken This is Norsham from Malaysia. I am restoring my 67 bug now. Long way to go. Anyway would like to know whether your wheels come with a four or five lug nuts. cheers

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Hey Norsham, the wheels are in a wide-5 pattern similar to '66 and before. However, according to what I've read; the '67 wheels, although visually similar to the '66 wheels, have an extra lip as a safety feature. This apparently holds on to the tyres better. Anyone else here can testify to this? Thanks!

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Hello, Ken and Norsham... Beetles which were imported directly from the Wolfsburg factory into the USA in '66 and '67 had identical 5-lug (wide-fives) non-safety rims. We in the USA were not yet really using radial tires on a wide-scale. However, in 1968, VW introduced the "safety rim". For instance, on my '68 Karmann Ghia I have this factory safety rim. It could be that elsewhere VW introduced the safety rims prior to 1968 because in Europe and other countries, the radial tire already was being used. The rims for 1968 which came on '68 and later cars were 4-lug rims. The use of 4 lug safety rims elsewhere than in the USA is a topic which I have not seen discussed--yet. jay

Eric Shoemaker

about 4 months ago

Good info, Jay!

EVel

about 4 months ago

Hence my earlier question, if birth cert would record such details...?

EVel

about 4 months ago

Nice Ken, I'm helping a friend in msia restore one too... But I'm based in singapore. Please email me at evel2010@gmail.com, I would love to meet the gang!

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Hey it was nice meeting you. I will contact you should we have a veedub meetup in SG!

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Graham Patterson - Perth WA

about 4 months ago

fantastic Ken, great to see another RHD that is similar to my Australian 67 version, I fully understand the serious and costly difficulty in keeping a car on the road in Singapore especially the old cars such as yours. This only goes to show you passion and drive. Well done mate

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Hello, Graham! I haven't heard from you in some time. How is the restoration going? Well, I trust! Thanks for staying in touch! jay

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Graham Patterson

about 4 months ago

afternoon Jay all well down here. My car is on go slow at the moment, all the guards, door, bonnet and engine lid are sprayed as well as all the small bits, but have to get down to the main body work spray, engine, gear box and assoc parts complete carried out and sourced all new pieces I need from Gmy - USA and Aust. just need a bit of cool weather and some motivation to get the spray complete and then assembly. Not a small job when having a family and full time job, but I will win. thanks for asking and remembering regards Graham

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Yes...I have a photo stored in my head--I remember the basket ball sitting in the car, and laughingly asked you what part of the car it was? LOL Yes...having a family and a job certainly puts restoring a car in its place. I admire you and others who have such responsibilities, yet manage to get a car done. Keep up the good work and thanks for staying with 1967beetle.com! jay

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Thanks Graham! Yea RHD can be a little bit of a pain for parts sourcing.. like the rear view mirror for one! :D

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Graham Patterson

about 4 months ago

Ken, with regards to the RHD interior mirror, are you in need of one? I can keep my eyes on any parts you need from Western Australia. I had the same issue with that one too by the way.

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ken

about 4 months ago

Hey Graham, thanks in advance for any assistance. I am looking for a good used rear view mirror and fuel gauge. Let me know if you happen to chance upon these!

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Graham

about 4 months ago

ok Ken, I have posted an Ad in the area for any parts available and will let you know what comes back cheers Graham

Mike Buettell

about 4 months ago

Love those Black plates. Good looking ride.

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Hi, Mike...I agree with you about that license plate! Very unusual (for us here). I wonder about the rear bumper over riders--just like ours in the USA yet no reverse lamps. jay

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Thanks Guys! Bought the car with its original license number, registered on the same day as the car. At the moment, I am sourcing for "Ace plates" to get the correct fonts from the 60's.

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Eric Shoemaker

about 4 months ago

Ken, That's fantastic! The '67 community is loving this story.

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Greg

about 4 months ago

Absolutely shocking what it takes to own a car there! I was blown away by this post, and I do have friends in Singapore! They would tell me about the taxes, the fees, but never revealed the actual amounts. Now I know why they have only one, modern, cheap car. It is truly amazing how blessed we are to be able to have our vintage, and modern cars here in the U.S. This article should be an eye opener. I have friends in Finland as well and they tell me similar stories!

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Hey Greg, I've seen the COE go as high as USD$100K. Right now, a basic Japanese car could cost as much as an apartment; pretty shocking when put in that perspective!

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sdguero

about 4 months ago

$60,000 EVERY 10 YEARS!!?? That is crazy. It would great if classic car owners formed a lobby group to get the laws fixed. Your dedication is making me rethink selling my car (we are moving to a new house with a 1 car garage...).

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Hey thanks! I feel that we never really own our cars.. we merely lease them for 10 years at a time :/

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Larry

about 4 months ago

A fantastic looking 67. Thanks for sharing your story - very interesting!

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Thanks Larry, nice to be part of this great community!

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Right...we in the USA do whine a lot about the prices of parts, maintenance and registration. I, for one, agree with sdguero (above)--Ken's story gives me an even greater appreciation of my own Volkswagens. jay

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Neva Salser

about 4 months ago

Kenneth! The lighting in your photos is fantastic! What is your secret? Time of day? Shade? Overcast? Whatever your secret, it is ever so enticing. I'm glad she has you.

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Eric Shoemaker

about 4 months ago

I noticed that. *Designer, geek observation.

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Ken

about 4 months ago

Hey Neva, I have the great fortune of having a colleague who's a professional photog; who combined the blazing hot Singapore sun and a little Lightroom magic! :D

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Richard "Dick" Diaz

about 4 months ago

What dedication and sacrifice! Speechless!

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Jason Lee

about 4 months ago

This is the best vintage VW site on the planet. Much better than the junk on The Samba.

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Hello, Jason..thanks for being a supporter of 1967beetle.com. I'll have to say, in defense of TheSamba.com, that it serves a lot of us in a different way--and, I speak to selling. A lot of us post parts for sale or buy parts through that venue. But, you are right--in that it can't be so focused as 1967beetle.com. That's the genius of this Site. Eric Shoemaker must have eaten the right thing when he went to bed that night and got up the next day to create this amazing venue! Long live 1967beetle.com and its Readers and Supporters! jay

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Eric Shoemaker

about 4 months ago

Thanks, guys. I'll keep working hard for the '67 community. Jay, your check is in the mail.

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Jay Salser

about 4 months ago

Promises, promises! LOL Well...I think that I'll just cash in my "happiness chips" and keep enjoying 1967beetle.com and all of the wonderful articles and Readers! jay

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Eric Shoemaker

about 4 months ago

(Laughing) Oh, Jay... Our efforts would be nothing without your dedication. Here's a 1500 CC high 5 your way. (NOS, of course)

Mark

about 3 months ago

Hi ken Very nice restoration. I'm from Singapore as well. Could you email me to let me know where all the work was done?

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EVel

about 3 months ago

Hi all, Seems like we south East Asians have a completely different grouping of 67 specs compared to the US. Good to note all these little details down, thanks to this great site! I'm still baffled to see some 67s with 4 lug wheels while others are 5. Is it possible to know if these details are recorded somewhere? How about yours mark? Hope to catch you one of these days in singapore!

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Jay Salser

about 3 months ago

Hello, EVel...I agree with you regarding the diversity of parts and applications in different parts of the VW Community. The simple answer is that VW designated specifics to fit each market destination--because of the regulations of each country. We, today, don't have a concise record of these differences, unfortunately. This leads to a lot of speculation. Generally, when a Beetle here is discovered to have certain features uncommon to the USA designated cars, it is called a "Euro" Beetle (from Europe). This may or may not be true. For instance, an imported Beetle from Australia will have some features similar to those of England. But, since it was manufactured in Australia, certainly is not a "Euro" Beetle. We see today Beetles that have come to the USA under private importations from England, Germany, France, Canada, Puerto Rico, etc. All having their sets of unique features. Thanks for commenting. I hope that you can get together with Mark. Also, with Kenneth, who lives in Singapore. There's quite the VW Community in Singapore, I understand. jay

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Afzal

about 1 month ago

Hey Ken. I'm from Singapore and my dad has a '67 beetle which we use daily. It's been with us since 1988! Would love to get in touch to find out where to source parts and stuff like that. And for my car to meet his friends! You can reach me at afzal.imram@gmail.com.

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ken

about 1 month ago

Hey Afzal, Thanks for getting in touch. Would be great to meet some time. We just had a little gathering today at Dempsey with around 20 cars. We'll probably have another one at the end of the year. Would love to see your 67. Share some pics! Parts wise, Old Volks Place can provide engine parts and work, and most of us source for other bits online. If you like, please join the community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/10542072692/ See you around!

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