Buying Your Dream Vintage Volkswagen

Buying Your Dream Vintage VolkswagenIf you have been reading 1967beetle.com for a while, you probably have seen my article entitled: Buying Strategies.

While I definitely will touch on points which I used in that article, the focus of this article is different. I’m going to chasten sellers but at the same time not let buyers off the hook.

Things in the World of Vintage Volkswagens are heating rapidly. Prices of vehicles are rising steadily. As I have said before, the day of a running, driving VW for $500 or even a thousand dollars is over! Forgive that rare case, of course.

A decent vehicle that doesn’t take complete restoration to get it going is going to cost $6500 to $8500. I had to give up my idyllic world of cheap Beetles a few years ago. I consider myself a “veteran” VW buyer, having bought and sold scores of them over the years. In all conditions for all sorts of reasons. I could ferret them from backyards, garages—anywhere that owners had parked them. It was easy. Had I more money at the time and more space, I would have bought hundreds. But, that wasn’t the case.

Now, I drool when someone comes up with a decent Beetle for $3000. Wow! How did I miss that one?!

Okay…let’s examine a specific case. Eric and I field lots of buying questions but many people who come to us already have purchased a car which they hope will be the car of their dreams!

Let’s call him Bill. Bill and Eric and I conferred after the fact. Bill had purchased a Convertible 1967 Beetle. He contacted us when he noticed an anomaly—a simple thing at first, but as the story played out—a travesty! Bill gave permission for us to use his story in hopes that it will help others to avoid what happened to him.

Bill used a well-known VW WebSite to search for his dream car. He eventually discovered a 1967 Beetle Convertible in California. The seller sent multiple photos for Bill to see. When all questions had been asked, the deal was sealed, money crossed palms and the car was shipped across the Nation to its destination.

While cleaning the project Convertible, Bill discovered that someone had installed a ’68 and later shift lever. Wanting his ‘Vert to be original, Bill found a stock shifter Online and set about to install it. To his surprise, the stock, year-correct shift lever would not fit. ’67 and earlier shift levers have a pin on the “ball” which fits into the “cup” of the shift rod in the tunnel. The cup had no notch for the pin! What???

That’s when Bill talked to Eric and me. Questions began to pour from us. What’s the VIN beneath the rear seat? Does it jibe with the tag behind the spare tire? Are the wheels 4 lug or 5 lug? And on and on.

Bill’s answers elicited further questions. The picture began to come into focus. It came to a head when Bill closely examined the VIN beneath the rear seat and discovered that it was a little crooked. Upon further examination, he could see that it had been grafted into the chassis. Not only so—the original VIN that had been cut and removed was pushed beneath the heater tube on the driver’s side. It read: 118xxxxxx The chassis is from a ’68 Beetle!

Then, Bill began to compare photos which the seller had sent to him. The seller’s photo of the VIN showed it to be in good condition. Yet, when Bill received delivery of the car, he found the sound deadening material surrounding the VIN to be melted.

And…the aluminum VIN tag behind the spare tire was missing.

Vintage Volkswagen — Pan Off Restorations

Vintage Volkswagen — Pan Off
We receive a good bit of emails here at 1967beetle.com about the pan off restoration process. Yes it’s a lot of work, but can even be done at home. (With the right tools and knowledge) There are many friends of ours around the world that have accomplished this very task.

The submitted video below shows just how simple removing the body from the chassis can be. You have to remember, these cars were designed to be worked on.

Randy Chow’s Barn Find ’67 Beetle

Randy Chow's Barn Find ’67 Beetle
The term “Barn Find” is a bit of an understatement in this case. By the looks of this VW, it’s obvious that Randy Chow is a very talented creative. This ’67 Beetle was created by hand to get that perfect aged look. I’d be honored to drive this car daily. In fact, I’d never even wash it. Would you?

Vintage Volkswagen Fall Foliage Cruise

Vintage Volkswagen Fall Foliage CruiseThis great story was sent over from a customer of Lane Russell, and follower of 1967beetle.com. Just another example of how we are connecting ’67 Beetle owners around the world. And, it’s always good to see my VW pal, Chris Vallone of Classic VW Bugs.

Hello, everyone!
Below are photos and a video of Chris Vallone and I. I took part in the 2014 “Fall Foliage VW Cruise” into the Hudson Valley in New York. It was very well organized and a lot of fun. I had a great time.

Regards,
Sean

Vintage Volkswagen — The People’s Car

Tom

Tom’s article (below) speaks to why I believe 1967beetle.com has a been a successful effort. These cars have such a rich, emotional connection in people’s lives. Kudos to everyone that’s keeping these old gems on the road today.

The people’s car is really about the people, and we had a grand assemblage of people over at my house for a “body-on” party. The ’67 Beetle that my daughter, Becca, and I are restoring, named “Bucky,” was finally going to get its body put back onto its chassis. I know, it’s about a 5-minute exercise, but it seemed a good reason to have a party. The evening got off on the right foot as Tony Mace, owner of Beetle Power in Pleasanton, showed up in his black Baja Bug.

Tony Mace Baja Bug

Then Joe Blackman, owner of Castro Valley Autohaus, and my buddy Matt Brown came driving up in Joe’s beautifully restored 1962 VW Beetle, both of them styling with the top down and arms resting on the doors as the sun sunk over the horizon.

Joe Blackman VW Beetle with Family

We had Italian antipasta and drinks in the garage and everyone was getting acquainted, or re-acquainted. Joe hadn’t seen Tony since the 1980’s when Tony was a young racer and mechanic working at his dad’s shop in Hayward. Joe and Tony are at opposite ends of the VW spectrum. Joe is refined and showroom detailed, and Tony is more effusive and horsepower-driven. They are both extremely knowledgeable about Volkswagen history, and both as honest as the day is long. Tony re-built Bucky’s engine from the ground up, and it’s a masterpiece.