Beetle Sedan Changes

This information was provided by a reader of, Jay Salser. The ’67 Volkswagen Beetle community thanks you!

What’s different about the ’67 Beetle?
This information applies only to Beetles destined for import into the Continental USA.

The 1967 model of the Beetle Sedan (non Convertible) heralded several changes. Most of these changes are subtle and go unnoticed. I will attempt to point out those of which I am aware. A lot of the changes continued to be incorporated into later years as well.

First and foremost was the change from 6 volts to 12 volts. This is the most talked-about change and resulted in a significant, new direction for the Beetle both in physical capability (of the car) and in popularity. Note: silver 12 volt sticker on driver’s door hinge pillar.

Front fenders: change from covered headlights to open sealed beam headlamps with no parking light inside the headlight housing. The front parking light was incorporated into the top-of-the-fender-mounted turn signal housing. This particular fender was used only for the ‘67 year cars. A new type of headlamp ring began to be used.

Reverse or back-up lamps: A switch was installed on the transmission so that when the car was placed into reverse, rear bumper-mounted lamps lighted. This was a one-year-only lamp since in ‘68 and later years the reverse lamps were incorporated into the taillight housing.

Front seat knob: About mid-year, ‘67 models were fitted with a knob on the side of the seatback rather than the previously used handle at the seat base.

Radio knobs: During the manufacturing year, rubber knobs began to be used. This was a new trend to accede to US “soft dash” standards. All ‘67 Beetles came equipped with rubber knobs for the emergency signal and headlight and wiper switches but the rubber radio knobs appeared during the production year.

Sapphire V: A one-year-only Sapphire V radio, AM only, with the antenna now mounted at the driver’s side just shy of the windshield.

12 V: 12 volt two-speed wiper motor and switch.12 volt generator/coil/carburetor choke heater, of course for the new 12 volt system.

Seat belts: One-year-only seat belts. These belts mounted on the B pillar and could be latched into place when not in use. The belt was housed in a sheath that pivoted downward beside the driver or front passenger so that the belt could be pulled from its sheath, over the person’s lap and the snap end clamped to a tunnel-mounted, chromed bracket. I am told that the belts were dealer-installed since USA requirements for mandatory seatbelts did not occur until 1968.

The black box: A “black box” under the hood now housed major electrical components. Sometimes the box was other colors, I have seen blue and aluminum as well as black. This box, I am told, persisted for years ’67 and ’68.

Window cranks: The knobs were a one-year-only black plastic and highly unreliable. The plastic backs consistantly split at the weak point and became useless.

Decklid and rear apron The apron was changed. This one-year-only apron now featured a latch hole that had a rubber seal to prevent road dust and moisture from entering the engine compartment. The new latch was a low-profile bar secured by two bolts used only in that application. The decklid was changed to conform to the new apron. On the decklid was the new script which read “VOLKSWAGEN”.

Rear bumper over-riders: A one-year-only design that shortened the middle legs to give added clearance to the newly designed decklid.

Body, running board trim and hood trim: This was a new slimmed design that set the trend for all succeeding Beetles. This necessitated smaller holes in the body and hood with redesigned plastic trim clips and new trim clips for the running boards.

Exterior rearview mirror A one-year-only redesigned ovoid (pear-shaped) style.

Engine: 1500cc displacement of about 53 Hp. That began the “H” series engine case to run for 3 years.

Oil bath air cleaner: Greatly enlarged with dual air-intake. The size increase mirrored the larger engine displacement. The size and weight of this one-year-only air cleaner/breather necessitated a one-year-only stabilizing bracket that mounted on the front manifold bolt and held the airbreather firmly in position. The dual intakes also necessitated a small diameter paper hose on either side that dropped through small holes in the one-year-only breastplate. Beneath the breastplate were right and left deflector plates, each with a hole. Behind each of these plates was mounted a tube, mounted to the exhaust stud on either side of the engine. The breather hoses dropped through the breastplate, passed through the holes in the deflector plates and mounted over the metal stabilizing tubes.

Pilot jet valve: An “anti-dieseling” device was added to the generator side of the carburetor. This was an electro-magnetic valve that closed the gas supply as soon as the ignition switch was shut off.

Regulator: The regulator was placed beneath the rear seat.

Axle tube: A lengthened one-year-only axle and axle tube was used on the ‘67 models. The axle tube continued through the 1968 production year (however, axles for ‘68 models had longer splines).

Transmission: A one-year-only transmission with a 4.125 gear ratio. This transmission remained the Beetle tranny through ‘72 ½ when the ratio was changed to 3.88 with the advent of the “single-side-plate” transmission.

Brake cylinder: Dual master brake cylinder with two brake-light switches and a one-year-only brake fluid reservoir. There were two metal tubes between the master cylinder and the brake fluid reservoir for this year only.

Door handles: One-year-only exterior door handles, doorlock pulls (buttons), mounted on the door frame, and new, recessed interior door pulls as opposed to the former interior door handle locking capability. (formerly up to open and down to lock)

Fuses: Expanded fuse panel from 8 to 10 fuses.

Ash tray: Redesigned without a knob but with a “dimple” at the bottom edge for pulling the tray with the fingers.

Technical changes:

  1. 180 mm to 200 mm wide clutch.
  2. New oil breather/filler unit with water condensation tube.
  3. New cooling fan inner and outer cover plates to hold the new 105mm diameter generator.
  4. New crank pulley and shroud plate.
  5. Mid-year change from smooth type to Type III annular groove oil pressure relief piston.
  6. Mid-year change to pinch-type hose clamps on the fuel pump and carburetor inlet.
  7. Mid-year strengthening of crankcase near oil pump mounting.
  8. Mid-year introduction of 8mm oil pump mounting studs/holes replacing 6mm.
  9. Mid-year change to crankshaft adding oil pockets and “X” drillings.
  10. New rubber seals added to the front and rear portion of each rear seat  kick-panel.
  11. Revised left and right quarter panels introduced; quickly replaced with revised types.
  12. Revised left and right rear cross members introduced.
  13. New left and right roof support members introduced.
  14. Re-designed firewall compartment panel in front of engine introduced to make room for 1500cc engine.
  15. Revised lower firewall plate and front engine cover plate weatherstrip.
  16. New sedan and sunroof deluxe model roof stampings.
  17. Elongated hole now cut in left side cowl at corner of windshield for optional retractable antenna, sealed with aluminum cap and black packing.
  18. New double-sided “K” profile lock cylinders and ignition locks.
  19. New cloud white vinyl headliner section with black dots surrounding back window.
  20. Rear luggage compartment carpet replaced with pvc lining along with left and right wheel house linings.
  21. New door and rear quarter panels introduced.
  22. Driver’s door armrest now standard.
  23. New passenger door armrest.
  24. Door and quarter panel interior moldings removed.
  25. New leatherette seat upholstery with smooth backs and sides; faces received perforated basket-weave covering the entire area, instead of center portions only; now seven heat pleats.
  26. Mid-year new cloud-white rear seat grab handle straps.
  27. Mid-year new cloud-white visors.
  28. Mid-year slightly larger rear view mirror introduced.
  29. Mid-year new left and right door hinges installed.
  30. Mid-year new center defroster vent under dashboard.
  31. Mid-year new front passenger grab handle with different mounting angle.
  32. Mid-year new rear seats installed.
  33. Headlamp switch and wiper switch swapped locations.
  34. New main wire harness, left and right front section wire harness.
  35. New starter/battery positive cable.
  36. Two Bosch distributors available; condensers were not shared.
  37. One VW distributor available; it had unique points, rotor, cap, condenser, vacuum advance.
  38. Mid-year new clutch pedal with 25mm offset to left of brake pedal (short lived).
  39. Mid-year new brake pedal/master cylinder clevis rod introduced.
  40. Mid-year old style clutch pedal returned, but with new stop bracket to limit pedal travel.
  41. Mid-year right tie rod inner clamp nut and bolt deleted.
  42. Mid-year changes to brake line diameters and routing up front.
  43. New transaxle casing and differential unit; rear axle, ring and pinion.
  44. Gear-set, and 3rd gear ratio changes; new gearshift fork housing nose cone; new reverse gear shaft.
  45. Mid-year changes to first/second gear shift mechanism, increasing shift travel; new reverse gear.
  46. New rear axle shafts, wheel bearing housings and covers.
  47. New rear axle shaft nuts; torqued to 217 ft/lbs.
  48. Side rear torsion bars narrowed from 22mm to 21 mm.
  49. New equalizer spring mounted on inner and outer supports with rubber bushing between each.
  50. New side levers and hardware introduced to work with narrowed torsion bars.
  51. Side radius arm/spring plate support inclination angle change to 20 deg/30 min from 17 deg/30 min.
  52. New rear shock absorbers.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Also Sapphire VI radio AM/FM radio
    Sapphire VII radio& 8 track player

  2. Nice – thanks for sharing with us Jay!

  3. Thank You, Jay.
    I know it’s not a ’67 (deck-lid and hub-caps obviously), but I LOVE the picture! Is it every single part of a VW? I wish a large poster of it was available.
    Could you expound on change No.10? What are the front and rear portion of the back seat kick-panel rubber seals?
    Thanks, again.

    1. I’ll follow up on that!

  4. it would be rad to have a database of VIN numbers and what of the before/after each car has.. nice to figure out when things flipped.

    1. I agree! What can we do to make this happen?!

      1. Hmmmmmm. Let me see what I can do….. :)

  5. i need a pic of the stock 12 volt 2 speed one year only wiper motor… a pic??

    1. You know, I think I do. Email me directly!

  6. This is a picture of an unassembled1966 VW’s components. Does a picture exist of an unassembled 1967 VW like this one? I would LOVE to have a poster-sized copy of EITHER one, or ANY year VW, for that matter. Any leads where I could get one?
    Don Barker
    ps, I’ve touched every single part of my ’67 shown in the picture.

  7. I just acquired a 1967 Beetle one family owned from new original 49k survivor. Enjoying learning about it.

    1. What a wonderful find, Bob! 49K miles! Very rare these days to see such low mileage. Please consider writing Your Story about your Beetle, how you found it and how you intend to use it. Eric and I will help you get onto the World Map of ’67 Beetles! jay

  8. Just completed the restoration of. 1967 Beetle VIN 117438500, and during the course of the project I found a couple of other anomalies. The coat hook mounting brackets changes at mid year from two horizontal mounting screws to vertical. The body trim holes are inconsistent with the thinner stainless strips associated with the ‘67. However, the body holes were consistent with the wider trim pieces associated with ‘66 and earlier year bugs. I had the choice of either drilling new, smaller holes in the body, or mounting the earlier year trim pieces. I went with the latter.

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