Eric Shoemaker’s Vintage Volkswagen Story

Hi. I’m Eric Shoemaker. I created and manage 1967beetle.comAmanda Shoemaker helps with programming, photography, and writing. Timm Eubanks is a contributing photographer, along with Jay Salser who’s a huge influence on the ’67 Beetle community. Many other great folks around the world contribute their ’67 restoration stories.

The photo above is of me and my grandfather. He gave me the ’67 and purchased it new. I love him dearly, and my restoration efforts reflect the passion I have for these old cars, which has now grown into a business. Here’s a bit of background on myself and

How long have you been into vintage Volkswagens? When did it become an obsession?
About 9 years. To get a better idea of the infant stages, read my ’67 restoration story. I can’t say it’s an “obsession.” Ok, it might be… My good friend Timm and I call it the “VW sickness.” It’s just something I’ve become very passionate about. I’ve worked as a visual designer / art director for the last 11 years. Over the last 9, I’ve been working on my ’67. During that time, I fell in love with creating real tangible objects and working with my hands. I’m obsessed with small details and the idea of bringing something old back to its former glory. I’m even offering restoration services on a few one year only parts for the ’67 Volkswagen Beetle.

You established the #vintageVW hashtag on Twitter. How does the online community matter to the Volkswagen community as a whole?
The web is just another medium; a place where people can share their content, stories and ideas. It’s an amazing distribution vehicle and has made it a lot easier to find NOS parts. It’s also given companies a business platform where they are able to offer services with a global reach. Lastly, I’ve been able to connect with SO many fantastic enthusiasts. The VW community is a breed all their own; always willing to lend a hand, advice, or even NOS parts. Not too long ago a box with free NOS German Hella tail light lenses showed up at my door. (Thank you!)

The #VintageVW hashtag seemed like a good (fun) idea to tag content on a social level. It’s grown organically. Little by little, more people are starting to use it who are sharing vintage Volkswagen related content. I’ve even seen it on Instagram.

Why vintage Volkswagens?
It just happened. As I might have mentioned in the history article, my grandfather purchased the ’67 new. I have fond memories of riding around with him as a child. When I first got the car, I had no intentions of doing a restoration. The interest and passion came out of pure necessity to keep the car on the road. Bobby at Advanced VW in Decatur, GA rebuilt the engine. After that, I’ve tried to learn as much as possible myself. Little by little, it became somewhat clear that I’m actually pretty good with my hands. The connection between visual design and restoration is there for sure.  For any issues I can’t handle, Sean and the good folks at The Buggy House are always there to help. Ron Bengry and I have also become a good friends. He’s a fantastic resource for ’67 parts knowledge over the years. I take a lot of pride in knowing that my grandfather’s old Volkswagen was very close to being sent to a junkyard, and I saved it with my own two hands.

You seem to have lucked out in owning what many think is the best year for a VW Beetle. We all agree about what makes VWs great, but name one thing you wish the VW designers had designed differently?
I’d say all the one year only parts that have been really hard to find. I do believe that the Beetle is a brilliant example of design done well. It is the “longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform.”

So, you have the ’67 and are known for that. Any plans for another vintage Volkswagen anytime soon?
My wife, Amanda, and I often joke about the idea of a bus. Currently, I have more than enough to keep me busy with the ’67. We’ll see.

What would you like to accomplish with your website and Volkswagen communication in the next year?
I’d love to become a true resource for people who are aiming to do a stock restoration on a ’67 Beetle. I’m a firm believer that the continuation of great content can achieve this. The bigger idea behind the site is to connect ’67 Beetle owners globally. Most importantly, I’d love to find a way to combine my visual design, marketing, and vintage Volkswagen restoration skills into something full-time as our business grows. I plan to continue featuring other ’67 restoration stories and grow tips and tutorials.

Tell us about your business
Lane Russell is family-owned business located in Decatur, Georgia and operated by us! — Eric and Amanda Shoemaker. We have a background in visual design, photography, and technology… and a passion (some call it an obsession) for the vintage Volkswagen.

The early stages of our company began when we set out to help fellow vintage VW owners by creating After several years of writing and connecting with Volkswagen enthusiasts around the world, we realized the demand for quality parts & accessories. With a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for hands-on craftsmanship, Lane Russell was founded.

We offer only the highest quality products available — including OEM, German, and NOS, with a focus on unique accessories. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you complete your restoration!

How can you be reached?

Thanks for supporting

Lane Russell

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. I am very glad your Grandpa didn’t give you a Volvo or Jeep or I wouldn’t have met a great addition to the VW world! Write on!

  2. Thanks Timm! Yeah, imagine that…

  3. I wish that one of my daughters drive my ’73 vert one day. Anyway, I can sell any other cars I owned, but they never agree when I tell them, I will sell my vert…
    You lucky guy Eric!

  4. I think tour Grandfather would be proud of you keeping and restoring this car. He must have loved it or why would he have bought it in the first place. I’m glad,like Timm implied, there would be no Great site!

  5. Oops. I’m really “good” at making typos. It’s “your” grandfather, not “tour”…
    My son and I, for years now, have talked about a VW cable TV show. It could be like “Muscle Cars”, “Trucks” or “Overhaulin” and show restoration procedures such as you have done that people could accomplish on their own. With editing, you could show quite a bit in a half-hour show. We’ve always thought it would be a hit, what with all of us with the “VW sickness” out there..

    1. Ha. I have the sickness too. You’re in good company.

  6. When Eric Shoemaker caught his “falling star”, he didn’t put it into his pocket to save for a rainy day! No, sir! He put it right out front for the entire World to see and to enjoy. Thank you, Eric and Amanda for making a way for the 1967 Beetle Community to join in this passion for a particular Volkswagen. jay

  7. Eric, Is there a “67 VW registary out there someplace? Somebody said The Samba might
    have one. Be nice to see how many ’67’s are still out there on the road.

    Thank You!

  8. Bobb…Try this Link:

    I do not know whether or not Scott still works with this Site. Try it, though.

    Otherwise–I bet that Donna Fischer (a constant Reader of will contact you through this Forum. She is compiling a very nice “registry/record”.



  9. Hello Eric will a 1968 door fit on a 1967 beetle im having a little trouble finding the correct doors and when I do they want an arm and leg for them this car will not be original do to the front end was smashed up and was cut off and a 1 piece frontend was fitted on. Thanks for any help. Roger cook

    1. Hello, Roger…1968 and later Beetle doors will fit the 1967 car. There will be major differences, however. The door handles will be completely different–they are trigger style rather than push-button. The key cut is also different. The door panel, arm rest, window crank and vent window latch–all are distinct from the ’67 equipment. Also, the exterior rear view mirror attaches to the door rather than at the hinge. You say that the front of the car was “clipped’ following an accident. Unless someone did a drastic thing, the replacement front clip which was welded onto the ’67 must be from another ’67 Bug (or earlier). For 1968, the front hood, apron and mounts for the bumper were completely changed. If the tire well was part of the replacement clip, the brake fluid reservoir also had to be mounted elsewhere. I strongly suspect that your car has had a ’67 replacement clip. Maybe you aren’t suggesting that the front clip on your car is from another year–I am only interpreting what you say when you tell us that your car “will not be original”. I could be reading too much into what you are saying. I apologize if that is the case. Can you tell me what is “an arm and a leg” price of the ’67 doors which you have researched? Why do you want to replace the doors? Lots of questions here. What is a “one-piece-front-end”? jay salser

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