Tim Mossman’s L639 Zenith Blue ’67 Beetle

Good morning, 1967beetle.com community. We’ve showcased Tim’s ’67 before in the past. He sent over a recent update, and I wanted to share; especially since it’s written from the perspective of the car itself. -ES

I was built at the Wolfsburg factory In Germany on November 4, 1966 and given the vehicle identity number 117 292 991 and the engine number H0 475 668.  (H: 44 DIN PS, 1.5 liter).  I am a 117 VW De Luxe Sedan with sunroof. I was painted L 639 Zenith Blue and my upholstery was leatherette black. My wheel rims were painted L 680 Cumulus White and my wheel discs, L 43 Grey Black. Since I was designed for the United States, I was outfitted with some extras: M 002 sealed-beamed headlamps, and M 350 US equipment: seatbelts in front, MPH-speedometer, two-locking doors, hazard warning system without headlight flasher, a laminated windscreen, ram protection, reversing lights, drum brakes, a dual-circuit brake system and a 12 volt system. I left the factory on November 28, 1966 and was driven to the dock, along with many other of my VW kin, hoisted up, and placed on a ship bound for New York.

Brian and Terry

From the dock at New York, I was loaded up and driven 1,993 miles to a VW Dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico called Imported Motors, located at 725 Wyoming N.E.. On April 22, 1967, my new owners, Brian and Terry came to the dealership to pick me up. My base price was $1,197.00, but Brian and Terry also chose some dealer options, including a Sapphire V radio with fader switch ($69.00), optional sunroof ($90.00) (which opens 390 square inches of daylight [or moonlight]), and safety harnesses. With a license fee ($18.00) and taxes ($29.50), my pricetag was $2,020.50 (which by the way when adjusted for inflation in 2020 is $15,781.64). As a gift for referring a customer to Imported Motors, I was outfitted with a very cool wind deflector shield.

I spent my first two years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My red plate number 2J3 770 seet against bright yellow plates and the Zia sun symbol brought out the best in my bright Zenith blue paint.  Under Brian’s careful ownership, I was regularly serviced by the local dealership (Imported Motors). Brian and Terry treated “Das Beetle”, as he affectionally refereed to me, as member of the family. Brian kept every piece of my documentation: original bills of sale, service records, and insurance papers. I got caught in a hail storm while out for a drive during the summer of love and was fitted with new windshield on July 18,1969.

Beautiful British Columbia

In August 1969, Terry and Brian loaded me up and moved to North Vancouver, BC, Canada, where I was registered in British Columbia on August 4, 1969.  My bright yello plates were replaced by a stunning shade of blue plates and the number 332 434 which accented my Zentih blue shine. I was in a place called “Beautiful”!

Brian continued to take meticulous care of me in my new surroundings. I was regularly serviced on the North Shore at Capilano Motor Car, Wetmore Motors, and Volkswagen Pacific. In July 1973, we moved again to Victoria, BC, where I was maintained at Speedway Motors and Douglas Volkswagen. On April 20, 1976, after 36 years, I got a new set of whitewall tires; 560-15 Kelly Springfield bias ply from D & D Tires Ltd in Victoria for a total of $116.51.  In the late 1980’s, after a few years of being insured for pleasure purposes only, I was taken off the road and put into long-term storage.

Paul

After 23 years in storage, in May 2011, my Brian reluctantly sold me to a local Victoria business owner named  Paul on June 5, 2011.  At that time, Brian and Terry had driven me 124,000 miles. I was transported about 10 miles to Ellice Automotive on John Street in Victoria to get me running (and stopping) again. I had been asleep for a long time, so I need a lot of work. It was nice to see some VW kin in the shop getting serviced. The sound of German being spoken reassured me! I was in good hands.

plugged, so the mechanic installed a new fuel line along the right side of my tunnel. My fuel hoses were rock hard. I started to breathe more easily once my Pierburg fuel pump was disassembled to free up my valves.  After some carb work and new plugs, my float valve was free again. After getting my accelerator pump nozzle spray adjusted-varoom—I woke up and began running again. However, my brakes were in need of adjustment to free up my wheels. My pistons were seized, so I needed a new pair of front wheel wheel cylinders.  I had my brakes bled and was finally taken out on the road again to losen up.  An inspection of my read drums reveled two seized pistons (one of each side!). So I got two new rear wheel cylinders, and had my brakes bled and adjusted.

After a new fuel pump, a new  battery, some new brake fluid and a change of my oil (15W40) and filter, I had some new gasoline put in my tank, I began to feel like the old me again!  I still needed new brake shoes and drums since my rear drums were rusty and at maximum. My 36 year old tires were also cracking.

On June 11, I was rolled into the service bay. I couldn’t start up. My fuel line was plugged, so the mechanic installed a new fuel line along the right side of my tunnel. My fuel hoses were rock hard. I started to breathe more easily once my fuel pump was disassembled to free up my valves.  After some carb work and new plugs, my float valve was free again. After getting my accelerator pump nozzle spray adjusted-varoom—I woke up and began running again. However, my brakes were in need of adjustment to free up my wheels. My pistons were seized, so I needed a new pair of front wheel wheel cylinders.  I had my brakes bled and was finally taken out on the road again to losen up.  An inspection of my read drums reveled two seized pistons (one of each side!). So I got two new rear wheel cylinders, and had my brakes bled and adjusted.

After a new fuel pump, a new  battery, some new brake fluid and a change of my oil (15W40) and filter, I had some new gasoline put in my tank, I began to feel like the old me again!  I still needed new brake shoes and drums since my rear drums were rusty and at maximum. My 36 year old tires were also cracking.

During Paul’s ownership, I got a new plate and a identity: VFG 737. Not as fancy as my other plates, but I was stuck with it. After 44 years, my front driver’s seat was worn out.  Luckily, Paul had his own automobile and marine upholstery business called Styles, so he reupholstered my seat. Paul only drove me 449 miles, but it the exercise felt great!

Stephen

On November 3, 2011, while I parked outside of Paul’s business, a young man stopped outside Paul’s shop. He looked me over and seemed very excited to see me. He went inside and before I knew it, he became my 3rd owner. His name was Stephen Schmidt—a good German name–and his Dad was from the old country! I was back in good, familiar  hands again. While driving me back to Vancouver where I previously had spent five years of my life, I could feel that Stephen was very comfortable behind my wheel.  The first thing Stephen did is take me for an AirCare test, which I needed to pass in order to get licensed. While on the driving  simulator, I was tested for hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen, and for my idle test, I was tested for hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.  I passed everything, except my idle test for hydrocarbons. The maximum allowable was 1056 ppm and I scored 1958 pp. Fail.

Five days later, Stephen took me to Hansig Auto center—owned and operated by Hans, an old-school German mechanic.  Surely, he could fix me. After scoping and resetting my engine and adjusting my idle and mixture, I was good to go.  Two hours later, Stephen picked me up and took me back to Air Care for a second test. This time, I passed with flying colors! My reading for hydrocarbons was only 272.  I could now be licensed and get back to what I love most—going for drives!  But before I had a chance to hit the road with a new plate number, I was back in storage again, staring at grey concrete walls.

Tim

One day on April 2012, Stephen had decided to sell me. It didn’t take long before a young man named Tim came by to see me. He looked me over carefully and I could tell he wanted to take me home,  On May 17, 2012, it became official. Tim drove me home and began to midely restore me. The first thing he did was to have my old, worn out bias ply tires removed and fitted me with new set of 165R15 American Classic ¾ inch radial whitewall tires on June 6, 2012.  My original German fuel pump had been replaced by Ellice Automotive in 2011, so Tim contacted Ed from Vintage Werks and he sent Tim a restored Pierburg dual diaphragm fuel pump, just like the original. I felt great to to get that German fuel pump back inside me. Then, before I new it, I had special

Collectors plates, number B12 663. I was tuned up and regularly serviced by Hans of Hansig Automotive Center and Miller Auto in North Vancouver.

So I wouldn’t get stolen, Tim fitted me with a shifter lock from Wolfsburg West. He also replaced some of my parts that were getting old: tie rods, fuel lines, gas tank, axle boots, NOS flasher relay, starter, oil sensor, front and rear shocks, brake lines, brakes, fuel lines, window seals, sunroof seal, steering damper, transmission mounts, and front wheel bearings, new battery and horn!  I felt like my old self again. Tim sent my wiper arms to Eric Shoemaker of 1967 Beetle and Eric sanded and repainted them in my original silver.  However, despite this refresh, I soon began feeling tired. It was time to rebuild my engine.

New Life

When Tim brought me in for serving at Hansig Motors on July 26, 2013, I has clocked 129,029 miles on the odometer. Tim put about 5,000 miles on me since he became my third owner. The compression check showed cylinder 1 at 120, 2 at 130, 3 at 0 and 40 at 80 PSI. After a valve adjustment my readings went up slightly to 50 PSI on cylinder 3 and 90 on cylinder 4.

When I learned that local VW guru Lanny Hussey was going to rebuild me, I was ecstatic. Work began on July 27, 2013. Lanny would do the pull and install and restoration work while his good friend and renowned VW engine rebuilder Darren Krewenchuk would do the rebuild of my 1500cc single port.

On October 4, 2013, Lanny pulled my engine was out for the first time in 47 years. The next day he took my long block over to Darren. Tim I wanted keep my engine stock. That meant locating a complete matching set of NOS 1500cc 83 mm cylinders, pistons, and rings. Tim spent the next few weeks scouring the classified on the Samba, and on September 28th located just what I needed!

Lanny began disassembling and cleaning my tin and on October 11th, Tim drove out to Port Kellis in Surrey to drop my tin off with Russ at Francis Andrew Site Furnishings. Russ  sandblasted and painted my tin pieces semi-gloss black. Tim also also took 66 individual metal pieces from my engine to Hudson Plating in Vancouver to have them

plated in dull silver cadmium. Tim picked up the cad-plated bits on October 16th.

On November 5th, after a tear down, initial cleaning, measuring, bead blast, compete rebuild of heads with 3 angle valve job, alignment of bore, reassembly of engine, test run and cam break-in, I was ready to roll.  I also got a new clutch, throw out bearing, front hood seal, muffler (Dansk), heater boxes, tail pipes, a defrost vent, heater hoses, gaskets, a bowden tube, and a genuine 12 volt black bosch coil.

Tim also purchased new beige running boards from Wolfsburg West and had them delivered to Lesandre at Rub and Restore in Running Springs, CA to be dyed to match my original Zeith Blue finish.

Hollywood North

I have starred in several Hollywood movies during Tim’s ownership. My biggest role was In Steven Spielberg’s Disney movie, “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant).

I  spent a week in a Vancouver set and appeared in a scene designed to look like a Copenhagen Street. You can see me now on Netflix.

In October, 2015, I appeared in scene from the TV series Legends of Tomorrow. I appeared in a scene made to look like a train station in the USSR in the 80s.

In December 2015, I also appeared in the Bruce Lee movie Birth of the Dragon filmed in Vancouver’s Chinatown directed by George Nolfi and written by Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele. The true story revolves around the young martial artist Bruce Lee, who challenges Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man in 1965 in San Francisco.

In September 2016, I played a role in Season 1 episode 6 of the NBC TV series Timeless: The Watergate Tapes.  And January 2017, I was on the screen again for Legends of Tomorrow in a scene filmed at the former RCMP building in Vancouver.

My last on screen appearance was a recreated Woodstock scene in Season 4 Episode 1 of The Legends of Tomorrow, entitled “The Virgin Gary.” That’s me sitting pretty in the background!

A New Chapter

I will turn 54 in October this year.  But my story is far from over. I am beginning a new chapter.  Soon, I will be back on a ship for a month-long voyage to Yokohama, Japan, where I will greet my fifth owner.  I have traveled From Wolfburgh, Germany, to Alberquerque, New Mexico, USA, to Vancouver, BC, Canada, to Victoria, BC, and back to Vancouver, I have seen many roads and met many wonderful people along the way. And now, I await more adventures in the land of the rising sun.

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started 1967beetle.com. I also own Lane Russell, a leading supplier of VW parts for your classic Volkswagen restoration. I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Jay Grabowski June 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Why not keep this VW local, here in the United States?. Why ship to Japan? I might be interested.

    Reply

  2. Frank Connolly June 22, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    WOW! , what a historical write up. All the details, names, numbers etc. I am sad to see you go overseas again, but you have been a good international traveler. Hollywood has been your love but I hope your fifth owner loves you as much as the past four have.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: