Vintage VW Engine Build

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Engine Build

A quick mention about this fantastic (and very correct) ’67 Beetle engine currently being built by Matthew Boyce. will be listing the engine for sale for Matthew in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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. Hi Eric,

    Have you heard about a rare “oddball” 67 called the “spakafer” or vw 1200a?

    It was primarily for European market but others were shipped in Canada with slight revisions (looks like 67 US spec but less bling) and with a 1200 engine.

    I actually bought one without knowing it. And mine is 85% unmolested but regularly used condition.

    Hope you can help shed light in these fine 67 bugs.

    More power to you and to

    Angelo – Cebu, Philippines

    1. Angelo,
      I have heard if it! I believe all of the Euro ’67 Beetles are in fact 1200 CC. In fact, they look a lot like a ’66. Kinda odd, don’t you think? I’ll ask Jay about this as well.

      1. The Standard Beetle also known as the Sparkafer which translates to Econobeetle was a stripped down version of the Deluxe Beetle which cost less money. Usually the first thing one would notice of a Standard was it had less chrome, but there were other things and they changed from year to year.

        Your car is indeed a Standard but if it was built for the Canadian market, it will have a little more chrome than usual. These cars are often called “Canadian Customs” by the VW community.

        I can send you an email with more info.

      2. Eric, 1300cc was an option.

        1. Hmmm

    1. Yes. There’s a super long build thread about this engine on TheSamba, I just didn’t link out to it.. This engine is about as perfect as I’ve seen in a build. And you know I’m a ’67 pervert!

  2. This engine is a beauty! Looks and sounds like it is fresh from the factory in 1967. So many Beetles don’t sound like this anymore (including mine). Nice to hear it run!

    1. Yeah, we all know what your engine sounds like… :-) J/K.

  3. A work of art, just as it sits.

  4. One of the things I always found fun was the similarity of the Beetle to the Porsche’s of the day. My Uncle Fred and myself were always exacting some sort of mischief out back under the rear deck: Porsche block, “Siamese’d” 2100 cc jugs and lightweight pistons, trick intake runners, dual carburetors, and punched out exhaust. This led to the interest in dune buggys, sand rails, and later Formula V. Can’t tell you the number of “muscle cars” I’ve seen in the rearview mirror! So while I understand your blog is mostly for purists, Eric, its important to give the venerable bug it’s hotrod nod- because they’ll do that too! The motor is a work of art… and engineering genius.

  5. Jason Davila May 7, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful!!! I have one just like it sitting on a piano dolly waiting to get the same treatment…nice work on that build Matt.

  6. I have been trying to accumulate good original parts to do a project like this. Found two HO blocks, which I will select the best of the two, and six nice looking heads with the same part number, and an intake manifold, 30 PICT-1 carb and a fuel pump (not certain period correct). I am not certain of the fan shroud, and a few other parts either. My question are German P&C sets still available as well as camshaft, and other internals?

    1. I think all of us have been loosing sleep over this motor. I have!

      I think your question would be a good one for Ron Bengry over at Wolfsburg West.

    2. I don’t know that anyone makes 83 mm pistons any more, German or otherwise. I had to use ‘Vicsa’ brand from Brazil, which I found on the Samba classifieds. You can find ‘NOS’ camshafts there quite often, but they all have gears that are ‘+3’ and ‘+4’ oversize. Some people drill the rivets and change the gear to use them.
      The only way I could get the right fan shroud was to buy a parts engine – I couldn’t properly identify any in the classifieds, and the sellers usually don’t know or care.

      1. Good t know. I did buy a parts engine out of a ’67 bug, but the block ID showed a early ’68, but that doesnt mean the shroud is, but highly likely it is. So are ’67 and ’68 shrouds the same?
        The engine featured in Erics post has been a big inspiration. Not that I didnt want to do it, but the time and effort to source the parts is always tough on schedules. The engine I will have built will go in my ’67 21 Wndw that I have owned since ’71. The original engine got away from me a long time ago. I also have a ’67 Bug owned the same period of time with the original Everything still in it. I use as my guide for correctness.

        1. I think the ’68 shroud won’t have a hole for the reverse light fuse clip.

          1. Talk about detail!! I will check that this evening.

  7. When I purchased my third 67, it was sans engine. I’ve started the restoration now, stripping the insides out, pulling the bumpers, lights, and fenders. One heater channel and the tray behind the back seat need to be replaced. I still don’t have an engine. I am VERY interested in this sweetheart of a mill. I’ll be looking forward to your post when it’s ready to be sold. Matt, please contact me, if you’re ready to sell it now!

    1. Earl,
      You got it! He’s making some minor adjustments. It will be ready soon! I’d buy it, just to have such a gem. All these one year only parts are so hard to find..

  8. Don’t I know it! Matt can contact me at my e-mail address. any time.

    1. Seeing your interest makes me happy, and know that is really reaching the audience it was intended to. I’ll keep digging in the barns, etc to bring these gems to the surface!

    2. E-mail sent.

  9. Estil Holliday May 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    This engine is beautiful. I plan on doing a semi-restoration on mine… mainly just take it apart, clean it really well, maybe repaint a few things, then put it back together.. I hope it comes out looking this good.

    Question… where did you get all of the parts for this? Was everything bought seperately and then assembled? Did some of it come pre-assembled? I could use a few parts and I could use some suggestions on the best places to look. I’ve been frequenting Wolfsburg West lately. They seem to have just about everything needed for VW rebuilds. I’m in the market for some of the pre-heater hoses and some exhaust components, along with some small things such as trim pieces and some gaskets and seals.

    Keep up the good work everyone! I visit the website just about every day and I just cant get enough. The beetle I bought was my first ever, but I’m feeling like I’ve already developed a strong lifelong bond and commitment to the wonders of the VW Beetle.

    1. Estil,
      I’d email Matthew directly.
      Thanks for the kind words about the site!

  10. Here’s a link to the build thread on the Samba, for those who are interested:

  11. I have tons of questions for you, but to make this simple I will start with I am working on a college project to build an engine from round up. This project only takes place on paper and is a major part of my grade. I have never built an engine or even rebuilt and engine but I am using my GI Bill from the USMC to get my education and having been a AAV operator for the Marines I found my love to get greasy and dirty working with engines. So I am looking for advice on where to start. I have picked the 1967 VW as my car because I love watching my uncle drag race his VW. I know that he has put a lot of money and time into his VW, but I am just learning the ropes going to college to get my ASE certifications in a couple different areas. Any advice that would point me in the right direction would be awesome. My uncle mentioned a couple sites one being but having skimmed through the forums a little most of the conversations seem above my current knowledge level.

    Thank you for your time -Donald Doubleday

    1. Donald,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’ve FWD-ed your question to Jay Salser who’s a part of Stand by for him to chime in.

    2. Good evening, Donald…

      Begin by finding some good books on VW engine building. Even beyond that, there are engine building videos available now. Look on for these. On eBay, there may also be some videos available. These will get you on your feet with understanding the terminology behind engine building and the philosophy involved.

      Next, find a VW mechanic who has experience in engine rebuilding. Look for someone close by with you you can develop a friendship. (Some of these guys really would like to share their ideas but probably have few outlets to the general public) He will be a source of lots of wisdom. If he is a machinist or can direct you to a machinist, this will give you a window into some of the fine aspects of rebuilding an engine correctly.

      Almost anyone can rebuild a VW engine. But there are those who really can do the right things to make these little engines not only purr but run and run and run. For example, my VW mechanic will take the flywheel, crankshaft and crank pulley and have them dynamically balanced for really smooth operation. So, ferret some “insider information” like that to make your paper really shine. Make your paper lure the reader into wanting to know more. It’s those details that can’t be found in any of the books that will make your paper soar above the rest. jay

  12. Please contact me. I would like to buy the engine. How much and where are you located? reach me at



    1. Hello,
      I don’t believe this engine is for sale anymore.

  13. Hi Eris, I just picked up a 67 VW don’t know anything about it. Num on the Motor w HO512294,… 117428579
    Can you tell me anything?

  14. How much price for these complete engine in picture

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