Russ Keller’s ’67 Beetle

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Russ Keller is a customer and personal friend of 1967beetle.com. He’s restored a few ’67 beetles, and this one is definitely worth a mention. He also is very handy with Sapphire V radios, if you’re ever in need of having yours serviced. Alright, let’s take a look at this ’67 he saved from a barn.

The Journey of a ’67 Beetle Fender

unnamed-1Not too long ago, I seemed to have a pile of German ’67 Beetle front fenders. I’m not sure if it was living in Nor Cal at the time or what. But, hoarding became an issue so I decided to put out some smoke signals to the ’67 Beetle community. In case you don’t already know, German ’67 Beetle front fenders are getting harder and harder to find.

I started to receive inquiries. However, I had this sensitivity towards these fenders. What if they ended up on some chopped Baja, or a slammed hood ride. To each his own. It’s just that you can’t walk into a dealership and buy one of these cars. Those days are long gone. We have to do what we can to protect all ’67 Beetles.

Finally, our good bud Mike Buettell came into the picture. He was interested in my collection for his own ’67 that our friend Lenny Copp was about to begin. I felt confident they would go to a good home. Mike drove almost 1,000 miles to meet with me to pick them up. He event took a drive in my own ’67 Beetle. We joked about the idea of, “what if these fenders could talk?” Would they speak of the beauty of coming off the ship from Germany, making their first drive on the US market? Ah the history of these great cars.

The best part is, it’s all because of 1967beetle.com. When I created this project, I had no idea so many people would take interest around the world. So, here we are. Thanks for that.

Mike explains below the continued journey of these fenders, long after they left my hands.

Finish Your Plates — Restoration Services

Digging in the archives here at 1967beetle.com, we wanted to put this fantastic article in the spotlight once again.

Brian, tell me a little about yourself and how Finish Your Plates began?
Well, I’m 34 years old and a single dad of a ten year old daughter. Finish Your Plates is my full-time job. I have lived in Tennessee all my life, the Chattanooga area for roughly 24 years and in Cleveland the last ten. I started restoring plates in 2006 after selling off a bunch of stuff on eBay I had no use for. I discovered the popularity of vintage plates at this time. I was very amateur in the beginning and for years to come, nearly all the way through 2010 before a great breakthrough in quality came.

Should I Purchase a ’67 Beetle?

For Sale – L620 Savanna Beige ’67 BeetleIt is difficult to speak to this subject without stirring some controversy. Although I recognize that situations vary, in general I believe in what I detail below. Also, I realize that my views are not necessarily endorsed by 1967beetle.com. However, it is because of 1967beetle.com that I have gelled my thoughts into what “makes me go” these days regarding a Policy of Conservation when it comes to the Vintage Volkswagen Community.

Because I have remained active in the Volkswagen Community for many years, daily I find myself being asked advice on one thing or another. Giving advice requires that a person not only have some degree of knowledge but that he also be able to give direction.

Do we turn right here or do we turn left? We certainly can’t do both. And, to do nothing could be disastrous. To give an indiscriminate signal or, worse, just throw up the hands and let the car do what it will, makes no sense. That’s part of what goes on in my mind when I am asked advice.

I spend countless hours giving counsel to people who call, write or come to see me about buying a vintage Volkswagen. Since meeting Eric Shoemaker and 1967beetle.com, I come into contact even more with persons interested in buying, specifically, a 1967 Beetle.

One of the most common inquiries regards purchasing a ’67 for a son or daughter to use for driving to and from school and their jobs. Safety for the child is one of the major concerns voiced.

Two factors immediately come to mind when I hear that a parent is contemplating the purchase of a vintage vehicle for a child:

  • A vintage vehicle is an old car, to begin with. No amount of “restoration” is going to change that fact. Owning a vintage vehicle is not a money-saving measure. Some parts are scarce and, as a result, are difficult to obtain and can be quite expensive. This often leads to the economy of using inferior parts. This further moves the situation to the next concern…
  • A vintage car is not a “safe” vehicle for a person of any age. But, especially it is a poor idea to prepare a vintage vehicle for a child. By reviewing the insurance stats, we immediately can see that rates for young people are high. There’s a reason—children are an increased risk due to the number of accidents they have.

Armed with this increased risk of accidents, we must face the fact—a vintage VW is not a “safe” vehicle. There are no air bags, no crush-factors, no power steering, no power brakes, no safety glass and no real safety seats and seat belting. We can do our best but in the end, what we have is a car which is known to be substandard when it comes to safety.

There is a third factor that jumps to mind when I hear that someone is contemplating the purchase and restoration of a VW for a child. That is the fact that these cars, which rapidly are becoming scarce in good running, driving condition, should be conserved—not used for a child’s “first car”. We get carried away with thinking how cute it is going to be or how great it was for us when we were young and had a VW. Times have changed. We all know that youth plus vehicles usually results in disaster to some extent or other. Often this means that another VW is put out of commission—usually for good. Oh, I know—that boosts the value of my Beetle…but, at what cost.

Rees Klintworth’s ’67 Beetle

Featured ’67 Beetle — Rees Klintworth

Digging in the archives here at 1967beetle.com, we wanted to put this fantastic article in the spotlight once again. A huge thanks to Jay Salser for his edits, etc.

Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle.
My great-grandfather purchased a used 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, painted Volkswagen Blue, in November of 1967 (it was built in August of ’66 so I’m assuming that the previous owner had it for about a year). He drove it a fair amount until his death, when my grandfather inherited the car. It ended up at my grandparents’ house, and when my dad was in high school it was really never used (although it still wears the dents he made with a golf ball). When my dad went to college, however, he ended up driving it sometimes, because it was economical and he wasn’t too concerned about anyone breaking into it. Although my dad never hated the car, it just really wasn’t for him. As a result, in late 1986, it was put into the garage at my grandparents’ house. Aside from being rolled from one garage stall to another in the late 1990s, it was absolutely untouched, complete with a half tank of gas (yikes!) and the battery still connected. Over time, it was filled and covered with all sorts of things—used as an impromptu rack and an occasional cat toy.

Growing up I always knew about the car (we live next door to my grandparents), but I never really thought much about it. Around the time I was a junior in high school, however, I started to see dollar signs as I thought that maybe I could sell it and make a little money. I knew zero about cars so that began to fizzle. Right before senior year, a friend who likes cars started asking about it. We decided to start working on it, working sometimes only once or twice a month. Our goal was to get it started, because we knew that a running car is worth a little extra. We replaced fuel lines, got a new fuel pump, replaced spark plugs and the ignition coil, among other things, experiencing our fair share of misadventure along the way. I remember that every time we made a little change, we would sit there cranking it, praying that it might cough to life.

Finally, in November, we had just replaced the ignition coil and I popped into the driver’s seat and turned the key. Instantly, it roared to life. Although there was still a lot of work to be done to make it road worthy, I knew at that moment that I could never sell the car. That day we made it up to a roaring 5 mph (the carburetor was in desperate need of a rebuild). In the months that followed, we got new tires, replaced the master cylinder and each wheel cylinder, rebuilt the carburetor, and performed other minor maintenance. Now I’m a freshman in college and the ‘67 has become my daily driver. It’s so cool to think that 30 years ago my dad was on this same campus with this very car. For the most part everything is completely original (and rust free!), aside from slightly larger tailpipes, a new radio (that was built to look like a period correct Volkswagen radio), speakers, and other very small items. Paint and interior, while not perfect, are 100% original.