It’s emails like these that make me realize just how many ’67 Beetles hold a special place in their owners hearts. Rick’s story echoes many, as the vintage Volkswagen is a very unique car with an emotional connection to the past. We will keep searching around the world to bring these tales to 1967beetle.com. It’s a labor of love.
I stumbled across your web site quite by accident. I no longer own my ’67 bug, but I still remember it fondly as the best car I’ve ever had (and I’m an old guy, so that’s saying something). I bought it for $1,000 in 1976, drove it all over creation, and sold it, ten years and a quarter of a million miles later, for $1500. (Needless to say, I wish I hadn’t done that). I’m really happy to learn that there are people out there who still appreciate the elegant simplicity of those great little cars.
I have a couple of good beetle stories, if you’re interested. The first was a minor miracle: I was driving my bug from Phoenix to Tucson on Interstate 10, a divided road with two lanes in each direction. There was an 18 wheeler in the right lane, and I was almost done passing him on the left when he decided to change lanes–without checking his blind spot. He never even saw me, just ran me off onto the shoulder of the road. I was still doing 65 miles an hour, skittering along on dirt and loose gravel, fighting to hold it straight, when the turbulence from the passing truck sucked the light-weight beetle sideways, back into the traffic lane, right under his rear wheels. BAM! One more inch to the left, he would have hit the engine, and I really doubt if the car would have stayed in one piece. (Which wouldn’t have been too good for me, either). As it stood, there were multiple witnesses. Somebody chased down the trucker (who didn’t even know he’d hit me). And the trucker’s insurance paid to fix the car, good as new. (Which truly was a miracle).
The next year, I turned my bug into a camper by removing the rear seat and installing a carpeted platform. We’d stop at campgrounds, where we could remove the passenger seat, shove the driver’s seat forward, and bolt in a second section of platform that had folding legs and latched to the rear section. Assembled, it was almost seven feet from front to back, and by kind of spooning together, two of us were able to sleep in there (well enough, for a pair of twenty-somethings)
I bought the car from a VW mechanic in Tucson. It had 95,000 miles on the clock, and he was asking $1,000 for it. That was higher than I would have expected for an almost ten year old bug, so I offered him $800. “I can’t go down on the price,” he said. “I just finished rebuilding the engine, and the tires are new, so you’re already getting a deal. The ’67 beetles are the best cars Volkswagen ever made.” He convinced me, so I paid the thousand bucks. Here’s the bug, the day I brought it home.