Jerry Longden’s 1967 Beetle Factory Inventory Key Tag

Folks—how I do love it when one article generates the next. Readers plumbing their own Volkswagen experiences—then recalling similar instances which help to add to our knowledge of the History of these Wonderful Little Cars!

Here’s yet another link in our understanding about the Key Tags which we’ve been discussing for a couple of weeks now.

Jerry Longden has an extensive love affair with the 1967 Beetle. In fact, he so enjoyed one particular ’67 that I am adding a “sequel” to this article.

But first…Jerry wanted us to know of his experience with a miniscule item he acquired in a not-so-long-ago purchase of yet another 1967 Bug.

Jerry relates his experience like this:

“Hello, fellow ‘67ers. Here’s my response to the recent Article regarding the Factory Inventory (Key) Tag.

“2001: I noticed this little 1-3/4″, aluminum tag on the key-ring and just assumed it was a Factory Inventory Tag to be used by dealers to match VIN Numbers to Keys for the Beetles on their lots. I thought it was pretty cool and had never seen one before. And, probably something most people just tossed, similar to (what happens to) those Carb Support Brackets.

“History: I purchased a Lotus White (L282),1967 Beetle in August of 2001, for $1500.00, from a car flipper friend in San Jose, CA. He came upon it from one of his associates. Neither one registered the car and it sat for awhile, but was in good running condition. So, I sort of consider myself the second owner, considering that they never registered it, and because I have owned it longer than any previous owner–22 years. This Bug was purchased new at Veale Porsche-Volkswagen in July of 1967 by a Nun of the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, California. She religiously kept up the dealer warranty service every 3000 miles to about 1971, at about 48k miles, according to the warranty/maintenance card. Not sure about the interim.

“She apparently was not the best driver as the body had several softball-sized dents and faded paint. Otherwise, it mostly was still all original, including the headliner.

“I spent about two years restoring it, including body, paint and interior, adding a trip speedo, ‘67 Karmann Ghia disc brake front-end and a Bendix Sapphire Vl, AM/FM mono radio. It already had the one-year-only (for early ’67 Beetles) Hella, SB-12, chrome plated brass headlight trim rings. It has the original, yellow over black, six character California license plates. A computer friend of mine pointed out that the first three letters are “USB”, as in USB port.

“My additions and upgrades do not affect the overall appearance of the car, which still looks completely stock, with the original HO engine case–1500cc, 53hp engine. It has that unmistakable sound upon pull-away. Also, the car has a bit of the “1967 Squat” typical of the ‘67 and ‘68 “Z” bar rear suspension Beetles. It drives and stops straight. All in all, it is a fine Beetle and a blast to drive. Kind regards, Jerry, Santa Rosa, CA

Then, Jerry recounts a notable part of his history with another Beetle:

“Hollywood, 1974: my Java Green, ‘67 SunRoof daily driver. Stolen twice from that very spot in front of my house (see photos). Restored twice, I still have it. I ran ‘68 front seats for a few years, but eventually returned to the original stock low-backs.”

Editor’s Notes:

Jerry explained, in other communications, that the second time the Java Green Beetle was stolen, after stripping the car, the thieves pushed the car off an embankment. Instead of flipping, the car simply rolled down the hill into the brush—thus escaping further damage. After much thought, Jerry made the decision to restore the car–again.

How many lives do Beetles have? That would make a great discussion topic!

I thank our son, John, who gave counsel regarding photos for the article, then spent time editing them so that they would fit the desired format. Since some of the photos revealed the complete 6 digits of the VIN of Jerry’s Savanna Beige Beetle, John removed the last 3 digits to protect against duplication of this VIN.

Posted by Jay Salser

My wife, Neva, and I have been driving and working on VWs since 1976. In fact, we raised our family in these cars. Now, we are retired and enjoy VWs as a hobby. The ’67 Beetle always has been our favorite year. We own a '67 Beetle and a '68 Karmann Ghia.

  1. Eric–thank you for posting this Article. Through, the ’67 Beetle Community is uncovering some of the mysteries surrounding these great vintage vehicles. jay

  2. You’re welcome!

  3. David Brown adds this note: “I have seen some variations of the Key Tags over the years. Most of the original tag variations have to do with the corner trimming, and hole position. The VW Werke must be the source of these Key Tags as who else could correlate the Lock-sets (Keys) to Chassis Numbers? All that I have seen are aluminum and about the same gauge and width but with varying lengths.”

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