Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

Tell us the history of your ’67 Beetle.
As per the maintenance card for this VW, it was inspected and delivered to the original owner on January 6, 1967, at BOB SMITH VOLKSWAGEN in Hollywood, CA. On 1/18/67, at 357 miles, the dealer performed the “300 Mile Free Maintenance Engine and Transmission Oil Change”. The next service was performed at 5,000 miles by a mechanic who thoroughly recorded the entire service record, by hand, on the under-side of the engine compartment lid, until 1986. That’s when the car was sold to its second owner for $5,500.00. The second owner was living in Minnesota and had specifically wanted a 1967. One day he received a call from his brother, in Los Angeles, telling him he had found the ’67 for him, for sale in the parking lot of Studio City Golf and Tennis, which the owner frequented. So he bought the car and trucked it to Minnesota, where he had an igloo (garage) built, at the ready. He drove the Beetle only in Summer months. One year later, the owner moved, bringing the Beetle back to Studio City, now living here himself. The car was straight , just as it still is, and well-maintained, when it was sold that second time. The new owner continued to maintain the car, replacing everything as needed, including interior, paint and eventually the engine, kicking it up from 1500cc to a 1600cc dual-port. When this car, that I drove by almost daily for 11 years, was finally for sale the third time, 23 years later, I grabbed it the first day it was for sale. I bought this ’67 Beetle in 2009, exactly 42 years, 1 month and 3 days from the original delivery.

When did you start the restoration?
The day I bought the car I was off and running, buying everything I needed to start the window scrapers for “Walter” at United Auto, in North Hollywood, and from Wolfsburg West. A big problem for me was the fact that the car came with three different keys—one for the after-market ignition and a different key for each door. I quickly found an NOS German ignition with original VW keys. That same week, I had the door handles re-keyed to the ignition key by Kevin Kilfoyl. One key, the way it’s supposed to be. Before the Internet, you never had the resources you have now. Parts were limited to mail order, local mechanics or parts shops or wrecking yards. Many parts that were on the car had to go right away, since the closer to stock, the more I like VW’s.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

How long did the restoration take?
I wouldn’t call mine a restoration. I really like the old parts and want to keep them as long as possible and replace with other used parts, when I can. It can get to the point where your car looks like a bug replica, if you’re not careful. This is truly on-going. I will be finished when I sell it and someone else takes over the responsibility.

What were some of the challenges you faced during the process?
The challenge I’m facing right now is that I would like to change all of the window seals back to the stock look with the chrome inlay. While the windshield is out, I would have to restore the hole that was drilled into the dashboard for an alarm light (these cars were stolen all the time in the 1980s). While the rear windshield and the two side glasses are out, I must re-do the headliner with the period correct type that goes all the way around the back window. Also I would like to redo the rest of the interior, but I’m stuck for now. This car was ordered new with European model cloth upholstery, which is no longer available anywhere, at this time.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

In your opinion, what makes the ’67 Beetle so unique?
What makes the ’67 so unique, to me, is that the ’67 is the link between 1958’s big rear window and the Standard Beetle that was introduced in 1968. It’s what I think of, personally, as the Last Beetle, the Special Anniversary Commemorative, the Final Beetle. “Break out the champagne, this is one of the special ones.”

What parts were the hardest to find?
EURO STYLE CLOTH INTERIOR! That’s what’s hard to find. And, ’67-only rear over rider bars (aka “towel racks”). All of the one-year-only parts can be a real problem. Original stock shifters, I finally found one. When I purchased my car, it had an EMPI trigger shifter. Worked great, just wasn’t bone stock.

Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

What is your take on doing a 100% stock restoration vs. non-stock?
If you have a Bug, you probably love it, be it a Baja Bug, Cal-look Bug, patina, vintage restoration or a simple daily driver. With a non-stock Bug, you get to have your own point of view. 100% stock Beetles require research, time, and strict adherence to the original concepts of this car as established by its designers and engineers, and patience. It’s this niche that I appreciate the most but could never really abide by. For example, I would never give up my rims for stock ones. I like the vintage speedster-looking wheels. As for the engine, I used to drive a 1500cc stock Deluxe Beetle. It’s perfect and feels just right, but I still might go even bigger on my car. More power. It’s very difficult not to personalize a Beetle and make it into a “Bug”. Beetles are 100% and “Bugs” are non-stock. It’s that simple.

Any ’67 Beetle specific tips or words of wisdom you would like to offer?
Specific tips include: always check your oil when you gas-up. You can keep your own shop rag stuffed into the push bars on the rear bumper. And…if it’s not broken, don’t fix it; if it is broken, don’t fix it; and if you have to fix it, simply fix it but don’t replace it with a reproduction part; and if you have to replace it, don’t throw away that original part! Stay posted to 1967Beetle.com. Get your horn fixed, pump your brakes, and carry an extra throttle cable and fan belt.

Thanks, Stephan, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.
Article edited by Jay Salser

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™
This entry was posted in Interviews by Jay Salser. Bookmark the permalink.

Hello, I'm Jay Salser...

I’ve been driving and working on VWs for over 37 years. In fact, I raised my family in these cars. Now, I’m 75 years old and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been my favorite year.

12 thoughts on “Featured ’67 Beetle — Stephan Ruiz

    • Hello, Ben…Eric Shoemaker, Owner and Manager of 1967Beetle.com, asked me to help with some editing. He and his wife are the proud parents of New Twin Babies. Eric finds himself with less “free time” on his hands these days.
      Stephan Ruiz authored the article–I simply assisted with some editing. Stephan has a wonderful folksy manner of presenting the facts. He really knows how to get his message across. if you have not watched his video, you must! It is super! Thank you for patronizing 1967Beetle.com. It’s the greatest! jay

  1. Stephan is priceless! His honesty and heart are pure refreshment. Thanks for this wonderfully detailed and well-crafted story about Stephan and his Bug!

  2. Great looking bug. I bought a 1967 bug last Nov. 6 owners, everyone took care of it , it rides low so i’m having the shocks ajusted for a higher ride. Roads not good where i live. My goal is to finish where the rest left off. Headliner , they put in j tubes, i kind of like heat ! Took out everything for heating . Java green is the paint ( it is now Java green but needs to be redone.) Enjoy this site and your posts are great. Might need some info. Can i email you to ask your opinion on some stuff?

  3. Great article. 67 VW, my favorite year. I am looking for a stock 67 vw, no modifications. Turn key. Unfortuantely, I cannot afford some the prices I am seeing. Any leads please let me know. 67 only.

    • I think what I enjoy most about running this site is just that; the storytelling aspect. These cars all have a rich history in our lives. We’re working on many more stories!

  4. The stories about these cars–ahhhh, the stories. Yes. When I first was attending a VW group, one of the experienced men of the group encouraged each of us to do a history of our cars. I found this to be fascinating! Eventually, several members of the group “uncovered” the histories and we all got to enjoy the chase and the results. No two stories were alike. So, if you have not done a history of your ’67 Beetle, do it. Begin your search of the documents at hand. Contact any former owner whom you can locate. Listen and record what you hear from them. You may be fortunate enough to find the car’s original owner, as I did. You will discover that former owners are as eager to learn about “their” car as you are to learn about their experiences with the car. Then, send your story to Eric! For all of us to read and enjoy. jay

Leave a Reply