I once owned an L620 savanna beige ’67 Beetle that I loved very much. I moved into a small place and sadly I had to sell it. A year or two later, my wife said that I should get another Beetle. I found a ’61 that was great but needed some rust repair. I fixed it enough just to fill the empty gap. I drove it around for a few months. All I could do was think of my old ’67. So, I told my wife “this one wasn’t going to work”. I sold the ’61 and started shopping for another ’67. I found an listing in Boise Idaho. A “67 Beetle project,” no pics. I emailed the person asking to send me some more info. He sent me several pics and I was very interested. I sent him a deposit, drove the 400 miles to Idaho and the new journey began.
When I arrived in person, the ’67 was very dusty and he gave me the whole story on it. He bought it from the original owner and never touched it. The original owner grew up in Idaho, moved to Modesto CA and worked her career and moved back to Idaho to retire. She brought the original ’67 Zenith blue Beetle with her when she retired and the car sat since 1987. She had bought the new ’67 VW at Deet-Eichel motors in Modesto CA. I have a lot of paperwork too! It still sports the original Zenith paint. I was surprised how good it looked and no rust to be found. When I popped the front bonnet I was amazed! Under about an inch of dust was a beautiful shiny Zenith mirror like finish. Talk about excitement.
I bought it in January 2011. I hooked it up to a Uhaul dollie and started my journey back to Nevada. About 60 miles into my trip I noticed the car was swaying a bit. By the time I found a safe place to pull over, the right rear wheel had fallen off! I was out in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and barely any traffic. I had minimal tools and it was getting late. Luckily, my brother lives in Boise and he could help. I unhooked the trailer and ’67 and drove back to where I had cell service. I called my brother and told him to get me a rear drum and axle nut. I had to drive back to Boise and leave the little Beetle out in the middle of nowhere over night! I was so scared that someone would steal it or vandalize it. I prayed and worried all night hoping that it would be ok.
The next day I made it back and nothing was touched. I was so relieved. I put the new drum and axle nut back on “tightly” and finished my journey home.
I started restoring the interior first. The og seats were still in it but the seams were apart. I ordered all materials from Wolfsburg West. New seat pads and black vinyl made it perfect. After seats, I drove it for six months. The og mats and door panels were acceptable for use. Last summer, I redid the mats and front door panels. I also did the “top” part of the headliner and left the rest alone since it was in very good shape. As for the original 1500 engine, I had the heads cleaned up and installed new pistons and cylinders. Technically I now have a 1600 single port; still the og motor though.
I want to fully restore the car in the future to original color and specs, but it still looks and drives very good. I would imagine a restoration will happen in the next couple years.
One challenge I have with my ’67 is the roof. The original owner “Ewen” let her grand kids run across it. It has a few dimples I need to get ironed out. It will be a chore to remove these. Another problem is the rear alignment has been hard to adjust. I’m still getting more info on how to fix this.
I am pretty happy with the purchase of my ’67. I only paid $2500 for it and it didn’t need that much attention. My favorite VW is the ’67 because it’s so rare. A lot of one year only parts. But the stoutness of the ’67 is what I like best. Look at it from the rear. The rear slanting towel bars and the squared off decklid are sexy. I also like the wide wheel track and rear Z-bar. I think it’s the best Beetle built. It’s like VW was at its peak when the ’67 Beetle was produced. After that, the character started to fade out.
I bought some rims and tires for the ’67 so I can restore the original slotted wheels. I bought the BRM repops from EMPI. They look good for now. I am a purist and think that original is the only way to restore it. I’m not a fan of custom.
The only thing I can say to someone who owns a 67? Take your time and find the right parts. Don’t skimp on a restoration. I only but from Wolfsburg West or The Samba classifieds. Also, I look for other people that own ’67’s and usually they have more ’67 parts on hand. If I were to own another Bug it would be an oval window. But I will never let my new ’67 go. Never.
Thank you, Kevin for sharing your story with 1967beetle.com.