The Hella SB12 headlight ring is one of those pesky ’67 only parts that didn’t even make it onto all ’67′s. Only some ’67 Beetles (and Type III’s) have stamped into the top of the chrome ring; SB12. Hella was the company that produced many of the electrical components for VW.
First let’s start off with what the stamp means. As we all know by now, US spec ’67’s were the first Beetles to have sealed beam 12 volt headlights. So, SB meaning sealed beam and 12 for the voltage. Second, not all ’67 Beetles had them installed. Most were just the regular chrome ring without the stamping.
This item is a hot topic for ’67 Beetle owners. Most in the VW community state that these rings were on the early production ’67’s. This would make sense, with the new headlamps and electrics, but I’ve talked with some ’67 owners with original cars that don’t have them. My early ’67 (built the first month, August 1966), doesn’t have them. This may be one of those parts that varied with production days and or availability.
When I was restoring my VW Blue ’67, the car was missing its headlight assemblies, so I bought a nice complete set on EBay for $20. I was very surprised a week later when I opened the package to find that SB12 stamp staring at me. They are now on that car which was built in December 1966. Are they correct for the date? Who knows, but they sure look cool.