Tell us about the history of your ’67 Beetle?
This is an interesting car as it’s a full RHD Australian spec which did not follow the USA or European cars changes to design and specification/components, hence as a ’67 car it still has sloped headlights and uses older spec equipment. As these VW’s started off being imported as knock down components and then assembled in Australia, they then moved to being completely manufactured in Australia and the older parts were still used that did not follow the changes to other countries upgrades.
It was in original form, a 1300 and has some interesting mods by previous owners. One being the inlet manifold, it has the pipes to the exhaust removed, Australia being a very hot climate reduced the need for heating the fuel for easy starts. It also has the USA bumpers and not the European single bar at the front and rear. Obtaining parts can be an issue as I need to be very sure of which year the original component was used. It can follow that either the 1966 – 1967 and earlier parts were used to make up the car, sort of bits and pieces approach. The old girl now has a 1600 motor which still started after years of neglect, a fresh battery and some juice was all it took to get a heartbeat going again.
I usually look only towards early English cars as a passion. The last model I restored was a 1956 split screen 850cc Morris Minor, but looking for a new project I found this VW just a few houses going for song of a price at $850. Really battered and bent, the upholstery a complete shambles and a lot of rust. The previous owner started rubbing it back to respray and then quit which caused a lot of damage as it rusted in the coastal conditions of Perth, Western Australia. The wife was distraught as the old girl was parked in the front garage for the world to witness but my little boy just loves her to death and is a great tool boy. My eldest daughter was not very complimentary of my purchase, but as I have made some inroads to restoring it she now demands ownership when the work is done, so much for first impressions. The middle girl also heaps love and attention on the car as she passes each day. There is little to salvage internally and requires a complete makeover. Hard work that requires a multitude of ability and skills, most of which is learnt in the process and intermingled with curses, blood, sweat and maybe a tear or two. Why do we gets these passions in the first place is quite beyond me, but off we go again, tools in hand.
When did you start the restoration?
How long did the restoration take?
Still in build and expect to take a year to complete, some parts are not available in Australia and requires supply out of Germany and the UK.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the process?
The rust damage to the pan, panels and doors, I cannot get new doors or good second hand parts so I have to cut and weld in plates which is a huge task.
In your opinion, what makes the ’67 Beetle so unique?
The sloped headlights is a compelling feature for me, not many on the roads here anymore and is a stand out car. But perhaps the very original VW Beetle splutter as it goes down the road and heads turn often with fond memories for the older folk and great amusement to the young.
What parts were the hardest to find?
Doors, interior controls and knobs, chrome parts…. well just about everything maybe is the correct answer. The only parts I absolutely cannot locate at all are the two front vent window latch plates, are they still produced? If you have any, please contact me!
What is your take on doing a 100% stock restoration VS non stock?
I believe is keeping to complete original specification, however I draw the line at the brakes. This needs to be upgraded to disc so the car is safe in modern traffic. Whilst this is a personal take on restoring cars, I do however admire those folk who create fancy cars, but this is not my passion.
Any ’67 Beetle specific tips or words of wisdom you would like to offer?
Fancy car colours are great, but prep the car correctly. Rub it back to bare metal if you can and have the time. Otherwise, all the effort to make a great car can be undone by a terrible paint job.
Thanks, Graham, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.