I began my affinity for VW Beetles as a little kid—I had Hot Wheels and Matchbox Beetles, as well as the metal Tonka Beetles. When I got my driver’s license, I looked and test drove only potential Beetles.
Then, I was lucky to find a 1969 that had been recently restored by a fellow who collected cars. He had all of these exotics, except for the little Bug. Of course, the ’69 was only about 15 years old then, but it seemed much more classic at that time. I ended up selling that car, since it was not practical or safe driving back and forth to Chapel Hill for college. It was replaced with a VW Fox. While, the Fox was pretty “bare bones”, it was an upgrade from the Beetle in comfort and drivability on the highways. I also was the owner of 2000 and 2003 Passat Wagons, much later. Great cars!
In the ‘90s, I had the opportunity to buy a 1962 Beetle from a neighbor, who had bought it new. It had been continuously garaged. It was completely original, down to the factory paint. It was a nice second car but I sold it when I was relocating to another city. At that point, I knew that I would own another Beetle one day.
In 2014, I came across an ad in my local paper for a 1967 Beetle. I had admired a former co-worker’s 1967 Beetle years before, and while I did not really have a preference for that year of the Beetle at the time, I knew enough to know that 1967s were special, with all the one-year specific features.
The gentleman that was selling the car was aging out of the car collecting business, He had many magnificent cars from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. It was a treat to tour his warehouse and hear all the stories. Somehow, like my first car, this 1967 was purchased from a collector that just happened to have a token VW. The car was originally from Arizona, and the lack of rust is a testament to the dry climate. He told me that he never drove it in the rain, and I have followed his lead on that. It is amazing how clean a car will remain if you don’t drive in the rain, and keep it in a garage!
My Bug is pretty much stock-like, and I’ve prided myself in keeping it that way—much to the disappointment of my son, who was 14 when I bought it. He wanted me to hot rod it!! I recognize that the increase in value since 2014 is due to keeping it as stock as possible.
It is not perfect. I suspect the car was in a front end accident at some point, since one front fender has been replaced, and the windshield is not the original glass. The rest of the glass is original, and the tail lights are Hella. I have the Birth Certificate, and the VIN #’s match; however, the engine number on the Certificate is different from mine, but still the H code engine. I recently moved the fuel filter to under the car, which was solely based on Eric’s and Jay’s strong suggestions!
The car originally was Lotus White from the factory. My paint is very close, and it is definitely a match in the shade. But when the sun is on it, it seems to take on more of a “cream hue”. Or, maybe I’m a tad color blind? I pretty much just drive it on the weekends, and it has never left me stranded. The many looks and waves from other drivers are much appreciated. I’ve even had strangers follow me to my destination to talk old VWs, the fact that they “had one just like it”, etc. Hopefully, my ’67 will give me many more years of enjoyment!