When searching for a Vintage Volkswagen to purchase, the comment I hear from people over and over is the importance of proper documentation.
“How many owners has the vehicle had?”
“Do you have any service records?”
These are important questions to ask; it’s the cars narrative from rolling off the assembly line in Germany to present day. The life of any car, especially one as old as a vintage Volkswagen has a unique story.
This L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle is a fine example of a well documented, honest vehicle. I love seeing the uncut dash, German running boards in the correct color, one year only H0 engine case and the very specific sloping overriders in the rear as it should be. It would not take much to make this car perfect.
Who’s going to bump the key and take this one home? Here’s the info we have from our seller.
It is time for me to allow this L620 Savanna Beige ’67 beetle to move on. I bought it in June 2016, have enjoyed it, have fixed it up a bit, have a list of projects to do on it, but will have to let the next owner get the satisfaction of completing them.
The car lived for about 16 years in southern Minnesota, but before that spent the first 33 years of its life in sunny San Bernadino, California. The car’s original owner was a Colonel in the Air Force, and the car has a Norton AFB sticker on its front bumper (Norton is now closed, which makes this a neat memento from the time and place). The Colonel was a good record keeper of the work performed on the car, and I have a manila folder with about an inch of documentation of it all. I think he stopped driving the bug in 1992 or so, but from the records, I think he put on over 10k miles a year while it was active, going thru at least 3 speedometers and countless other parts and services. This car was well used and well maintained! By my evaluation of the records, it may have 300k+ miles on it.
I suspect it sat until 2000, when it was brought to southern MN, and was registered here in 2002. There are many other service records from the 2nd owner, but I don’t think it was driven much at all. I heard that this owner became too big for the car, which I can’t verify, because she had a friend of hers represent the car to me. Regardless, when I saw it, I liked it very much and brought it home to the Minneapolis area.
I had the front seats rebuilt, as the frame of the driver’s seat had broken. I also put coilovers on the back to fix a saggy rear, as I didn’t want to figure out the torsion bar mysteries. I replaced at least one front ball joint, and had a leaky brake fluid reservoir fixed (which explains the rust around it). I believe the car was hit on the driver front corner at some point long past, judging by some ripples in the spare tire well and the rust on those ripples.
The car had a cheap repaint done at some point in its life, which pretty much painted everything that wasn’t glass. I scraped paint off some pieces, replaced the fender beading, bumper bracket seals, turn signal seals, license plate cover, etc. I argued with my mechanic that the running boards were originally tan, and not painted, which he claimed they were. In order to make the running boards agree with the fender beading, I suppose the beading can be switched back to tan, but I admit I like the contrast with the body color that the black beading brings. The original patina of the car is visible here and there (rear apron, for one), and I am miserable thinking about how lovely it would’ve been over the whole car without the respray.
The car has all the 1967 special bits, as far I can tell. The seatbelts, the reverse lights, and so on. The dash has an aftermarket radio, but is uncut. I am sure that an expert could point out other modifications that could be made right.
The pics show some dings, scuffs, worn spots, and some rust, but I haven’t seen anything but surface rust underneath. The car is solid, in my opinion, or I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place. I had a 1973 beetle in my high school days which rusted right out from under me (hello, ground!), and I certainly didn’t want to relive that experience. Heat doesn’t flow thru non-existent heater channels, I learned.
There is a dime-sized hole under the battery tray, I imagine caused by a leaky battery at some point. I replaced the battery in 2019, trying to solve a sticky starter problem that seems to happen when the air gets humid.
About a year after I bought the 67, I found a ‘65 beetle which has captured my heart a bit more than the ’67, and so I will keep that one to keep my bug fix going. They fit so nicely together in my little heated garage … but now I will fill the space with bicycles. In many ways, the 67 drives better than the 65 — with the bigger engine, the ’67 feels like a sports car compared to its older brother, but there’s a MN hometown connection to the ’65 that can’t be beat.
I have a driver and passenger door and window rubber kit to be installed, and will include it with the car, along with the folder of the car’s history and best wishes to the new owner.