Vintage VW Crayon Markings

Crayon Markings--What Do They Mean?

Tim Mossman’s L339 Zenith Blue ’67 Beetle is outstanding. With all original paint, there were some revelations to come that, once unraveled, have proven to be much more than “interesting”.

In the beginning…Tim’s ’67 came from the paint booth, making its way along the assembly line at Wolfsburg. Somewhere there, a workman—someone with knowledge of the destinations of these cars–took a black crayon and began marking on the trunk floor. Now, almost 47 years later, Tim notices the markings and messages about them. “What do these markings mean?”

Eric copied to me and I copied to researching friend, Louis Harris in Dallas, Texas. Lou has done much digging through the annals of VW History for me over the years. He’s a computer person. He’s just the one that I needed! Indeed, within hours, Lou had answers.

The crayon markings are known as “M Codes”. Take a look at the crayon markings inside Tim’s trunk.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Crayon Markings

Beginning at the top (area nearest the wiring cover)

  • 2.137 -2 indicates USA equipment. -137 indicates dual circuit brakes (first delivered in 1967 to the USA) and drum brakes—from Chassis 117-000-001 up to 117-999-000
  • 20 M indicates speedometer in miles
  • 27.47 -27 indicates retractable seat belts from Chassis 117-000-001 up to 117-999-000 for USA and Canada. -47 indicates reverse lamps
  • The numeral 8 to the right of 27.47 remains unknown.
  • 89.6M -89 indicates laminated windshield glass. -6M appears to indicate type of suspension (?)

Although some markings are not clearly identified, thanks to Tim and the previous owners of Tim’s car who preserved these markings, we have yet another glimpse into some of the daily assignments at Wolfsburg.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Crayon Markings

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Crayon Markings

Some of you are going to begin looking into your cars for similar markings. Let the readers at know what you find. Your comments will be valuable to all of us for history’s sake and for practicality.

Many thanks to Everett Barnes of for his careful attention to detail and conservation of myriad technical aspects of Volkswagens. Learn more about M Codes.

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. When reading the codes in this article, please omit the final entry (2.137 -2, again, indication of USA equipment. -137 possibly indicates chrome bumpers, hub caps, tail pipes, front flashing indicators, hood and door handles; additionally with moldings and passenger sun visor up to Chassis 117-999-000.) I had made some notations to see if there was an alternate to 2.137 and forgot to delete those notations. I apologize if this has confused anyone. jay

    1. ADMIN NOTE: No problem, Jay. I’ve made the edit.

  2. Big Thank You for the article on Tim Mossmans L339. I recently purchased a L282 67 from the original owner delivered in San Diego. The car is very original, matching #s, origianl motor and was well maintained for its 46 years.

    It has had a re-spray on the exterior but the interior, trunk and
    engine compartment are original. Upon removing the old falling apart trunk liner found markings similar to Tim’s and thought some mechanic along the way had placed the markings in the trunk. I had no idea the mechanic was on the manufacturing line in Germany.

    Was thinking these got go and I would remove them at some point – I
    will definitely be leaving them now after reading your article.

    Eric Thank You For Your Site – Very Helpful – Keep up the Great Work.

    Clyde R. LaGue

  3. Hello, Clyde…Thank you for commenting! Most of us in the Vintage Car World have seen the markings. The Big Car guys try to duplicate these markings once they have restored their cars. I think that we in the Volkswagen Community are behind the times. We’ve a lot of catching up to do. I am glad that you have saved the markings on your car. History is very important with vintage vehicles! Stay tuned to! jay

  4. Thanks, this is awesome. I’ve also noticed grease pen/crayon markings (in red) on the door panel inner skin on Felix the Beetle, and darned if it doesn’t look like the same handwriting. Anyone else noticed those?

    1. Hello, Marius…I expect that a lot of us will be examining our cars more closely. After lunch today, I stopped by a body shop to say hello to the owner. I sold him a ’67 Beetle Sedan sometime ago–he’s working on it in his spare time. He walked me to the back of the shop where he had the hood raised on the Bug. “Look at what I discovered today,” he said. He had read the post on He told me that he will be taking photos of the markings. While I was there, I poked around further and discovered yet more crayon marks. The person who made these marks didn’t put a period between sets of numbers–he used an X. Served the same purpose. It’s all interesting, isn’t it. If only we could journey back in time…………. Happy Motoring, Marius! jay

    2. Thanks, Marius! Jay gets all the credit, of course.

  5. The “M” codes referred to factory-fitted optional equipment on our VW’s, but why the letter M? In German, the word “extra” translates as mehr, hence the “M” code. That is your German lesson for the day.

    As for M codes on my 67, mine has a code of M350 which covers all of the USA equipment that is listed separately on Tim Mossman’s car. I wonder at what point M350 superseded the individual numbers. I also have M93 for hinged quarter windows.

    1. Ha! I knew it! That…this little exercise was going to draw you guys out of the “woodwork”. Thanks, Jody, for coming to the rescue! jay

  6. This is so cool! I dig it!

  7. Thank-you Jay for writing this up!

    1. This article, like so many others, is meant to draw VW people into the discussion. There is so much knowledge scattered across the VW Community–it needs to be brought together for our common knowledge. accomplishes this goal! Thank you, Tom, for posing the question that started the discussion. jay

    2. Tim…I misspelled you name as “Tom”. Sorry about that! jay

  8. No worries Jay!

  9. Great work Jay!
    I too have some mysterious crayon markings on my car.
    However, I suspect they originated from my granddaughter rather than the factory.

    1. Hello, Mike…

      I had to chuckle over the “strange markings on your Beetle”! But, of course, you are going to leave them, aren’t you? They should furnish a subsequent owner with some head-scratching as he attempts to learn their values from the M-Code Charts! Think about it!

      Have a great weekend!


      1. Great work, Jay!

  10. Eric has added a pair of photos (see article above) from a black Beetle with a marking also on the trunk floor. This comes to us from one of our readers, Jody Sauvageau. Jody challenged us to guess what the marking meant. I admit that I was stumped and had to ask. Jody believes that the marking is VOA–Volkswagen of America–designating the vehicle as destined for USA consumption. That sounds good to me. Do any of you out there have a different feeling about this marking? jay

  11. Hmmmmm! I’m stumped. This is a great article.

  12. In segment 2- “markings”- One of the responders, Jody, correctly mentions that “M” stands for “mehr” (rhymes with “rare”) in German. Since I worked at Volkswagenwerk in the early ’80’s (offices, not the production line) and this abbreviation was commonplace, the actual full word is “Mehrausstattung”- additional equipment.

    Great to see such a well-preserved ’67! My ’77 std. Beetle bahama blue metallic (dormant project) also has some crayon markings, these in the front wheelwell.


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