Richard Diaz’s ’67 Beetle

Featured ’67 Beetle — Richard Diaz

By the time I finally decided to make the leap and reconnect with the Volkswagen of my youth, my children were grown and pretty much out of my wallet. I was well into retirement. I also believed I was old enough, and wise enough, to get involved in what surely would become an addictive and expensive hobby. The ’67 Beetle.

My search involved about four years of mostly stopping and checking out every Volkswagen Bug I saw for sale, and eventually jumping onto craigslist to expand my search. I wasn’t looking for any particular year, but wanted a daily driver, and to stay in the 1960’s because that is the era I grew up in.

At this point I would say that, for me, craigslist was a disaster almost from the start! Many of the ads did not match the stories, yes stories, listed in the ad and the cars were pure junk! Also, many of the sellers were “flippers” who had the best stories because they didn’t have a history with the car. Their stories were used to hide issues with the car so that they could make a fast buck! And, some of the sellers that were genuine had been long abused by “flippers” with low balling their offers and abusive negotiation tactics so many times that when a serious buyer, like me, came along I caught the brunt of their frustration when I began asking questions about the car! Sorry Mike in Paso Robles, but I really was a serious buyer and not jerking you around!

Featured ’67 Beetle — Richard Diaz

I was lured into the mistaken confidence that by buying this car from a business that restored Volkswagens for a living, that what they said I could pretty much believe. I believed, and was told by them, their business reputation depended on satisfied customers! Mistake! But, in their defense I was anxious for and very tired of looking at “beater” Volkswagen Bugs! So anxious and tired I overlooked some key things they did say and some mechanical problems they had reasonable answers for! After all this car is 46 years old! All Volkswagens leak! The solenoid rarely does that! The car wanders because of the wide tires in front, but when you put the stock ones on that will stop!

Featured ’67 Beetle — Richard Diaz

After purchasing the car, I drove it home pleased with my purchase. After all, when I put the stock tires on all this wandering would disappear! This picture shows the hood, which I didn’t notice before I bought it, would turn out to be the real cause of the wandering! The car had been in an accident and the left front fender was tucked under the hood. The left front tire protruded from under the fender while the right front tire seemed to fit properly.

A trip to my mechanic eventually revealed a bent front axel beam, bent tie rods and a worn out steering box and ball joints! The entire front end had to be replaced! Additionally, the starter will have to be replaced he told me and that new noise in the engine are are the bearings in the generator that will need to be replaced! The mechanic recommended I sell the car and start over. I rejected his recommendation and decided I was going to have this car fixed and drive it while I slowly restored, I mean renewed it.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Richard Diaz

One of the positive aspects of my purchase was that I stumbled upon what is one of the best years for Volkswagen! I discovered 1967beetle.com, and through reading the articles I have become more assured that in the long run, me, and my Papa’s Slugbug will be ok together as a team to bring him back to the glory days! Although I have accepted my 1967 Bug will never be restored, but only renewed, I am still happy I bought it. I plan to stick to a slow “renewing” schedule and hope to have it in to a body shop early next year to correct the body work to better visually align the body, clean up the spare tire area so that a spare tire will fit properly into the well and to align the doors so that they close properly. Who knows maybe a radio might be in the immediate future!

Featured ’67 Beetle — Richard Diaz

Plates

I take full responsibility for letting my guard down when I bought this car, but Southern California is a great place to drive a Volkswagen and I plan to drive my 1967 Volkswagen a lot! Look for me in Ventura County Slugbug players! But, first I need to replace that noisy generator!

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

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Eric Shoemaker

I created and curate 1967beetle.com. I own and restored a 1967 VW Beetle that my Grandfather bought new. Have a question? Own an air cooled VW? Say hello!

12 Comments

Mike Buettell

about 11 months ago

Richard, Great story and welcome to the '67 Beetle community. Congratulations on joining an exclusive club, of discriminating owners, of the finest year Beetle ever produced. A few suggestions: 1. In your "rebuild" "refresh" or whatever its called, use as many German parts as you can. They cost more but are worth it. 2. If given a choice of doing "heavy modifications" or keeping it stock, keep it stock. It will pay off in the years to come. 3. If given a choice of rushing an improvement and having it turn out mediocre or taking the time and spending the $, take the time and do it right. 4. Get a AAA "plus" membership with 100 miles towing, then get that car out on highway #1 and run it to Monterey and back. You'll have a smile on your face the whole way. 5. Since you live in California, consider grabbing a set of "Black" plates on eBay. (read the link on this site). It takes the car to a new level. 6.Always be friendly and take the time to answer people's questions when they stop you on the street with car questions. As a group, we're men and women who love, and take pride, in our little cars, but are not pretentious or snobs. 7. Most of all...enjoy your ride and someday pass it on to someone who appreciates it as one of the finest vehicles ever produced.

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Jay Salser

about 11 months ago

Hi, Mike...I love your Public Relations Attitude. You'd make a really bang-up PR man for some lucky company! You have given some great advice here to Richard. You are spot-on about modifications. Every mod subtracts some value from the car. Yes...we love some of the stuff we do and that's fine. But, it sure gets in the way when a guy gets ready to sell his vehicle, doesn't it! I did some things to my car, knowing that probably it would be the last one that I will have (what...no VWs in heaven?). Well...I just have to balance my pleasure against the devaluing which I did to the car. Sigh. jay

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Eric Shoemaker

about 11 months ago

Well said, Jay!

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Don Barker

about 11 months ago

I love it. Don't worry, you'll get her right in no time. Rebuilding the generator is easy, and you should try it yourself. I did mine and it works perfect. A couple new bearings and new brushes is all there is to it. Now, getting it off the engine is the hard part. Gotta take the engine out of the car. Someone had replaced mine and I don't have the push-on connectors, 1967 only. Mine has studs, I think 1968 or 1969. Make sure you keep yours.

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Nick Rios

about 11 months ago

im not sure but i think i remember this car. I think i saw this car on craigslist when i was searching for a bug 4 months ago . The car i think it is was in irwindale ca. that is the santa fe dam in the picture with the hill of rocks

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Richard A. Diaz

about 11 months ago

Thanks everyone for your input and advice! To Mike; your comments and advice are very much appreciated! To Nick; that is the car! To Don, Jay and Eric; I feel much better about this car's future! I will show it love! I have been taking a class on VW Repair and I am hopeful I will be able to do a lot of my own basic service and some repairs that don't require special tools. I am having fun driving this car and meeting so many great people since I have owned this car and beginning this journey! 1967beetle.com has been a great resource for me!-Richard

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Jody Sauvageau

about 11 months ago

Hi Richard, great story and welcome to the 67 club. I'm not sure if the radio you intend to buy in the immediate future is going to be modern or stock 67, but I have a very nice original 67 Sapphire V radio for sale.

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Richard A. Diaz

about 11 months ago

Jody I would like to put an original radio in if the price is right and it works! I have looked at the modern ones that fit right in, but continue to look around for a Sapphire V! My home email is: dickdiaz@roadrunner.com-Richard

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Eric Shoemaker

about 11 months ago

Richard, Jody is a good guy to do business with! Sapphire V all the way.

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Richard A. Diaz

about 11 months ago

Thanks Eric! FYI, the instructor for the VW Repair Class I am taking agreed with the others posting to the article on my '67 that I can do the generator myself and has signed on to help out! So thanks guys for the encouragement! We are going to pull the motor and replace some of the tin missing in the engine compartment while we are at it also! Things are looking up very quickly for me and my '67!

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Eric Shoemaker

about 11 months ago

Right on! Keep us posted if you need help.

Richard A. Diaz

about 10 months ago

Well thanks to Jody Sauvageau I have now installed, and working in my '67, a Sapphire V radio! Ventura County is a sketchy place for AM reception, but it is nice to have company while I am cruising around town!

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