Let’s all pause for a moment and give Jay a huge thanks for his dedication and research on this topic. -Eric Shoemaker, 1967beetle.com.
The question has reared its ugly head periodically and always seems to be in the back of everyone’s mind—and especially the minds of those who own 1967 Beetles.
Were there two styles of Rear Bumper Over Riders for 1967 Beetles or Only One?
My pat answer has been to review the decklid (engine compartment lid) information. The decklid changed for 1967, in conjunction with the new rear apron style. The decklid was widened at the latching end.
In order to accommodate this widened lid, the rear bumper over riders also were altered—reducing the height of the two inner “legs” and, at the same time, gently sloping these two shortened “legs”. The change is so slight that if a person did not look carefully, he might not notice the difference.
But…the question remains: did all 1967 Beetles sport this new bumper style?
In my various communications, I finally came up against two authorities whose testimony I could not dispute.
James Kraus, who worked at a Dealership in the late 1960s, asserted that he saw ’67 Beetles with both styles of the over riders. Further, he comments that it was late into the production when he saw the new, sloping style for the first time. At first, he comments, he thought that the bumper had been damaged in a collision. Upon closer inspection, he discovered that the over riders intentionally had been formed from the factory.
David Brown was trained by Volkswagen to manage the Parts Division in Dealerships where he worked. Dave managed to save the replacement pages that regularly came to the Parts Managers so that, even today, he retains a complete set of Parts Manuals for Volkswagens–second to none.
Dave notes that “Volkswagen never superceded the early style (of bumper over rider) and both were available as of 1983 but gone completely by my 1997 Price Book. “
This means that a car owner could obtain (at least in theory) either of the over rider styles until, in practicality, Volkswagen ceased selling vintage Beetle parts.
He continues, saying, “There are definitely two rear bumper bow styles for 1967. The tube was reshaped on the inner curve to ‘cut the corner’ and thus give the engine lid more room. The change was made at Chassis Number 117-171-365 The uprights (outer legs) remained the same (as they had been). I see no other bumper changes at that Chassis Number. You can sure see the difference once you compare the two.”
At last…a defining moment emerges. The records demonstrate that at Chassis Number 117-171-365, the new over rider was introduced to accommodate the new decklid.
At first glance, it would appear that the previous 171,364 1967 Beetles produced sported the earlier style of over riders. Problem solved and case closed. Right?