Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle?
The car was originally purchased at the Volkswagen Dealership in Great Whitley, Worcestershire, England. After the original owner passed away, she left it in her will to the service manager at the garage, who had maintained it all its life. Now in his 70’s, it was used as his second car, but was put up for sale at the Avoncroft Historic VW Show in ’99 with only 50,000 miles on the clock. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to buy it at this point, and the car was later sold to Ivan of Volksworld Magazine, who moved it onto a lady in Kent. In this time the car did feature in “buying a beetle” in Volksworld August 2001. At Brighton Breeze 2005, I spotted a Savanna Beige beetle that looked familiar. I took some photos of it, and checked the registration – it was the same car from all those years ago! Via the internet, I managed to track it down and the current owner emailed me. We agreed that although it wasn’t for sale at the time, he would give me first refusal.
On 20th April 2009, I was offered the car, and although it needed a lot more work than when I first spotted it, I became the proud owner. The car had no MOT, but after fitting a new clutch it sailed through. After a year of driving it, I decided to carry out a pan off restoration, although the interior is completely original right down to the carpet. 83,000 miles from new.
The body was removed from the pan and delivered to Gavin Jones at Trailer Queen Restos. Although the car required far more metalwork than we first envisioned, Gavin restored all the metal to factory condition, replicating all the factory welds, seams and joints. Later, he resprayed the lower half of the car to match – I can’t thank him enough! At the same time I restored the rolling floorpan. It was dismantled, cleaned, repainted and reassembled by myself using as many of the original parts as possible. Good friend Alan Palmer at Alscot Garage, did some minor repairs to the pans, and repainted them all as factory condition. The engine, was sympathetically cleaned, and detailed by myself.
‘Evil’ Ben Lewis & Mike Attewell kindly delivered the shell from Trailer Queen Resto’s, which was later refitted. I then reassembled the car in my single powerless lockup garage, fitting new wings along the way. The interior is all original and untouched right down to the paint on the dash and the carpets. I even reinstalled the factory tar boards on the floorpans.
Alan at Alscot Garage repaired the ’67 only doors and repainted them, along with the bonnet, decklid, wings & roof. The car was completed in the early hours of the morning before Stanford Hall VW Show 2011. Since then, I have being making the car more factory correct, and have fitted crossply tires to the owner restored wheels, completed the missing tools from the toolroll, and fitted the front and rear Kamei accessory parcel shelves & mudflaps. The car was always intended to be kept stock, despite much pressure. To me, it deserved to remain as the factory intended, due to its originality and also the lack of people restoring stock cars these days. The car to date has won 7 trophies, two which were best in show.
When did you start the restoration?
I started – Feb 2010, finished – May 2011.
How long did the restoration take?
See info above.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the process?
I wanted to use as many original repair panels as possible, cut from rot free CA cars.
In your opinion, what makes the ’67 Beetle so unique?
Its the best beetle – simple! UK 67′s have 4 lug wheels, disc brakes up front, a rear Z anti-roll bar and the 1500cc engine… although UK 67′s come with sloping headlamps and 6V electrics.
What parts were the hardest to find?
All the one year only items. Handbrake cables, starter motor and rear valance.
What is your take on doing a 100% stock restoration VS non stock?
its good to see that stock restorations are still being done, I still like customs, but due to the originality of my 67, I knew i had to restore it stock.
Any ’67 Beetle specific tips or words of wisdom you would like to offer?
Buy the best one you can, with all the 67 only parts in place.
Thanks, Rob, for sharing your story with 1967beetle.com.