Thad Woodruff’s L282 Lotus White ’67 Beetle

From 1958 to 1978, I owned four different Beetles. I have lots of fond memories of traveling many miles in those Beetles, even a long vacation trip in a new 1971 Clementine Orange Super Beetle.

A few months ago, at age 82, I started thinking about maybe buying a vintage Beetle. I started watching eBay, bringatrailer, etc.

Along the way, I ran across 1967beetle.com which, in turn, put me in contact with Jay Salser.

Jay became an invaluable resource in my search for a Beetle. It was obvious from reading his many technical articles that he was a real Beetle expert.

When I first started looking, I had in mind to spend around $7000 for a Classic Beetle. It did not take too much looking to determine that there is considerable demand for Classic Beetles.

I looked at the sales history on 1967beetle.com for several nice cars and it became obvious that a nice 1967 Beetle would be in the $9-10k range, or more.

When I would find what I thought was an interesting Beetle, I would forward the information to Jay and he would critique the car. I learned quite a bit during this process.

On October 22, 2018, a white 1967 Beetle showed up on eBay. It was represented as all original except for one repaint, many years ago, in its original Lotus White color. I had previously seen this Beetle advertised on another web site for $14,900, which was more than I wanted to spend.

After this Beetle showed up on eBay, I sent the info on it to Jay. Jay immediately liked it. He even called the seller (a dealer with a used car sales business) and discussed it with him. Jay then told me that he liked the sound of the car and that it appeared to have its original engine.

I then started watching this Beetle on eBay.

In the meanwhile, I was considering a couple of other Beetles. Jay and I exchanged several more emails about those Beetles as well as about the white Beetle. Jay emphasized that everything about the white Beetle appeared to be correct. On the other cars, Jay would always end up comparing them to the white Beetle and he always pointed out how the white Beetle was so much better.

As I watched the white Beetle on eBay, it began to attract several bidders.

I also was watching another beetle on bringatrailer.com. It was a very nice car, but was not original. It had been restored and had a later engine. The auction for this car was scheduled to end two days after the eBay auction for the white Beetle.

One day before the eBay auction was to end, the bid on the white Beetle had reached $9100. I decided to call the seller, who was located 1000 miles away.

I had a good discussion with the seller and he did a walk-around of the car while I was on the phone with him. He also told me that I could buy the car for $10k.

I concluded that the Beetle on bringatrailer.com would most likely end up selling for well above $10k, when its auction ended two days later. (It did indeed sell two days later for almost $14k.)

I also concluded that, with one day to go, the eBay bidding on the white Beetle might well go beyond $10k. As a result, I called the dealer and told him that I would give $10k.

I definitely took a chance by buying the Beetle without personally inspecting it. However, I had checked the dealer’s BBB report and he had an A+ rating. I also had done an internet search for reviews on the dealer and he had hundreds of good reviews. He also had a permanent used car lot which I could view, using Google.

After I had wired the payment for the Beetle, the dealer promptly over-nighted the Title to me and I arranged to have the Beetle transported from Virginia to Texas. I used a broker who had transported other old cars for me.

The Beetle was delivered to me in good condition one week later.

As soon as I saw it in person I was very impressed.

87k miles was registered on the odometer. The car was incredibly original. I always have had much better luck with original cars–much more so than with restored cars. The 100% original interior was in near immaculate condition.

My Beetle came with very little history, but, based on its interior condition, my educated guess is that it almost has to have had a lady owner for a long period of time. The seller told me that it had been owned by the same person for the past eighteen years, and that the Beetle had been garaged in a hangar with the prior owner’s plane, and had been driven occasionally to car shows.

Except for the windshield, all glass is completely original, as are all the rubber moldings and all weatherstripping. Even the rubber floor coverings are factory original and are in great condition. My Beetle also has an original factory German FULDA brand tire as its spare.

The chrome bumpers, front and rear, are in exceedingly nice condition with lots of sparkle and shine and they both are original. Both door locks work and the factory headliner is in great shape. The back seat and the luggage area behind the back seat are in showroom condition and give the impression that no one ever has sat in the back seat.

Behind the wiring cover, everything is original and untouched.

My Beetle always starts instantly, even after sitting for several days. Just as the Owner’s Manual says, if the engine is cold, depress the accelerator once and release, then turn the ignition key.

It runs and drives just as I remember my much newer Beetles did back in the 1960s. It tracks straight, stops straight and there is no play in the steering. The little car just wants to get up and run. It shifts through each gear perfectly. It also sits very level.

When I received my Beetle, everything was working except the right tail light and the backup lights. I ended up replacing three light bulbs in order to fix these problems. Rather amazingly, the three bad bulbs were original “Made in Germany” bulbs and could well have been 51+ year old factory original bulbs.

I am having a lot of fun with my recently acquired Beetle. I am a firm believer that old cars help keep us young and active.

My wife’s name is Sue, so I named the Beetle “The SuzyBug”. She drove a Beetle while she was in college.

I am very appreciative of Jay’s help. Eric Shoemaker is to be commended for the 1967beetle.com web site. It is a wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in Classic Beetles.

Editor’s Note: Thad did his homework and was not satisfied with buying his car until he had researched every aspect. His diligence paid off! It was a pleasure to stand by as he researched.

The Finishing Touches for Your Vintage Volkswagen™

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. You’re very welcome! I too watched this car a bit. When a ’67 this correct comes on the market, you just have to grab it. Kudos for Jay for helping. We’re both proud that you are the new owner of this “one year only” ’67 Beetle.

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  2. Nice car.

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    1. Hello, David…I agree with you. Thad did his homework and did not jump into the first deal that he found. It paid off! jay

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  3. Nice one. Enjoy

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    1. Hello, “Straightime”…I got almost as excited as did Thad as he neared the buying point. The more he looked at it, the better it appeared. Happy ending! Thanks for reading! jay

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  4. Richard A (Dick) Diaz December 17, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Looks like you did well in your research Thad and especially in connecting with 1967beetle.com and contacting Jay! Enjoy!

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    1. Hello, Dick—I hope that you Folks are doing well. Christmas is around the corner–I know that your family will all be there for the event! Thad and I continue to correspond. He tells me that he really enjoys driving his “new” Beetle! It’s a friendly addiction, isn’t it. My warmest to Carolyn and Arron! jay

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    2. Jay has been a joy. He is such an expert on beetles and he is also a really good guy. Everybody needs to send him birthday wishes. Jay is 80 years old today (1-1-2019).

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      1. Happy birthday, Jay!

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  5. jgambleart@aol.com December 17, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Well done Jay, Kudo’s to you

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    1. My role as a facilitator places a certain amount of pressure upon my shoulders to carefully guide the potential ’67 Beetle owner to a good conclusion. We don’t always get there. There are many ramifications to be considered. For sure, economics plays a big part here. Sometimes a person has to pull back until he has more funding. Eric and I have been able to help several people to successful conclusions, thankfully. Thad was a diligent researcher. This made the job easier. We had to narrow the field of search. It is important to be focused. Once Thad became focused–all of the pieces fell into place. I might add that this process took about 2 weeks. But, Eric and I have guided people through months of searches until the right car was located. jay

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  6. Stephen L. Murray December 17, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Thad,
    You did very well with your purchase, much thanks to Mr. Jay Salser!
    I am the proud owner of an Early 1967 Beetle, that I’ve owned for 41 years (purchased when I was a Senior in High School). The car is in the process of receiving a Complete Restoration and am planning on spending $20K to put it back on the road. So, like I said,you did very well on the purchase of an Original 1967 VW Beetle.

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    1. Hello, Stephen! Congratulations on your lengthy ownership of a ’67 Beetle! We all are drooling over the thought. Your projection of the restoration leads me to believe that you have done a lot of planning. That’s great! My formula for restoration is threefold: Time, Space and Money. All three must be in place in order to successfully and “smoothly” complete a restoration. Please keep 1967beetle.com apprised of your progress! I smell a Feature Article in the making, Stephen! jay

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  7. I’ve had my beetle for a couple of months now.

    It seems to be a really nice and original example.

    I have given my beetle a thorough detailing and it shines like a new penny, both inside and outside.

    The 100% original interior looks like a ‘67 beetle would have looked in 1970. The interior paint is all factory original and there is hardly a single imperfection on any of it.

    My beetle has all its original factory rubber weather stripping which is all in truly remarkable condition.

    I ordered some Lotus White touch up paint from automotive touchup.com. It is a perfect match for my car so I have been able to touch up every single spot on my beetle.

    I bought my beetle from a dealer in Lynchburg, VA. It came with no history, but, after doing a little detective work, I have determined that my car spent the last 17 or 18 years in Johnstown, NY. I have reason to believe that my beetle may have been in Corning, NY before that.

    There are several old oil change stickers on the door jamb of my car. It looks like the original owner may have driven this beetle about 80000 or so miles from 1967 to 1985. It apparently has traveled only a few thousand miles in the past 35 years.

    Because of its remarkable originality, this beetle almost has to have an interesting story. I would love to find out more about my beetle’s history. Hopefully, someone on 1967beetle may ultimately shed some light on my car’s history. Because of the condition of the interior and the front luggage compartment, I still think there is a strong possibility that this beetle was owned for a long time by a lady.

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