Hermann Bonasch’s L456 Ruby Red ’67 Beetle

Hermann and Marcia at lunch Brittany garage with Carol

This is a special ’67 Beetle story from our good friend, Tom Griffin. But more importantly, it’s about Hermann Bonasch who was the original owner of this small wonder. Hermann recently made his journey home to heaven on July 6, 2015. I’d like everyone to pause for a moment of silence in his honor. The ’67 Beetle community around the world is thinking about you today.

Hermann was the original owner of the ’67 Beetle that sits in my garage. It was in that Beetle that his three kids learned to drive, learned how to experiment, and learned how many kids can fit into a Bug. Hermann Bonasch was a veterinarian when he purchased the car in 1967, and was soon to marry his dear wife, and lifelong champion, Marcia. At his memorial service, it was a treat to hear more about Hermann through the eyes of his friends, colleagues, and family. Many recalled how Hermann spoke clearly and directly; many more recalled how his actions were kind and purposeful. All told of a remarkable man.

Hermann 1960HermannHermann Bonasch in later years

The legacy of that ’67 Beetle was intertwined with memories recounted from the journals of Hermann’s life. It was touching to hear how that little car played a part in the bigger plan. After the memorial service, the “kids” and friends came out to see the Beetle, as it sat in the parking lot at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward. They touched it and posed for pictures with it. They looked at it for awhile, and we all saw that little car became a different kind of vehicle, transporting thoughts back to younger days.IMG_7635It’s my responsibility to be the steward of Hermann’s family car, and it’s the responsibility of Hermann’s children and grandchildren to carry forward his ideals. I hope that they will visit the little car that sits in my garage, and I hope that they will remind me of that good man.

VW Bug at Wedding in the 70s_cropped tight

Hermann obituary notice
Thank you, Tom, for sharing this touching story of Hermann’s life with 1967beetle.com.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, 1967beetle.com and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Stephen Jaeger August 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I’m glad his old VW was there to send him off. A great story.

  2. Eric , I am sure he was a real gentlemen.

  3. This guy has “Class Act” written all over him.
    I like to believe that Heaven is the place where all the pets you’ve ever owned rush to greet you, and all the cars you loved are waiting for road trips.

  4. its stories like this……..that just makes your day better.
    Thanks for sharing, Tom.

  5. Tom…This is a heart-warming story! Yes…you ARE the Conservator of this vintage vehicle. I tell more and more people that this is what we are doing–caring for these vehicles until it comes our time to pass them along to the next Conservator. I hope that the Blue ’67 (Bucky) is coming along well. jay

  6. How many people do you know that have a vw in there dinning room lol

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