Taking a look back into the archives, this story deserves another moment in the spotlight.
A Huge kudos to Jay Salser for his work on this article. It was crafted by Ken Yeo in his own words. Our growth has been amazing, and the fact that these great cars keep surfacing. Slowly, we’re connecting ’67 owners globally.
Ken, tell the Readers of 1967Beetle.com a bit about yourself and where you are located.
I’m 40 this year, from Singapore. I’ve owned 4 bugs over the last 20 years, and my current 1967 for the last 15. I’ve had a ’71 1302, ’67 1300, another ’67 1300 and a ’66 1300.
How did you become interested in Volkswagens.
It was my 4 years at the University of Miami, Florida where I first was exposed to beautiful cars and fell for vintages almost immediately. Upon graduation and return to Singapore in 1995, I set out looking for a classic and found the VW bug most affordable, since I was conscripted into the Army and wasn’t paid well. Interest became passion, then obsession, and I’ve always owned at least one ever since.
Your car differs in some respects from those which were directly imported from Germany into the USA. Tell us about some of those differences.
Our ’67s are available only with 1300cc ‘F’ engines (much like the ’66), and retain the sloping headlights. As an ex-British colony, we are right hand drive (RHD). Our bumpers come with over-riders. Rear turn signal lamps are in orange instead of red, and reverse lights are excluded. A little mix-and-match of the US and European models, I would say.
Did you find your Beetle in Singapore or did you have to import it?
My beetle has been registered in Singapore since day one. According to records, it was registered on 7 July 1967, and had only 2 owners before me.
You told me that there are few VWs in Singapore. How do you access parts when you need them?
While only around 250 remain, they were really popular in the 60’s and 70’s. When I first got into the scene, parts were easy to find at scrap yards but that source has dried out. Today, most of us buy parts when we travel, or source them off the Web.
How many 1967 Beetles do you see there?
I have seen around 6, but only 4 remain as daily drivers.
Are there VW clubs or other VW affiliations in Singapore?
Official clubs no. But we have good friends who meet occasionally to ‘reinfect’ each other or to trade parts. Some also travel to VW shows in neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand every year.
What has been your biggest challenge while owning this vehicle?
I would say the general cost and complexity of car ownership in Singapore. Also, we often get bullied on the roads due to our Asian culture due to the lack of appreciation for old things.
You told me that there is a limit to who can own and drive a car there. Can you explain?
Due to limited land size, the Singapore Government tries to limit car ownership. Limited numbers of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) are released every month, and potential car buyers have to bid for these titles to own a car. The number of COEs released is tied to the number of cars de-registered to prevent over-population. These COEs are valid only for 10 years, after which car owners can choose to scrap the car, or pay the prevailing COE for extension for another 10 years.
Once de-registered, a car may not be re-registered. At this writing, a COE is approximately USD $60,000 on top of the purchase price of a car.
There also is a “Classic Car” scheme you may opt for when a car hits 35 years of age. Under this scheme, you pay only 10% of the prevailing COE, but you are limited to a maximum of 28 days of driving per year. The pity is that this scheme is irreversible and the car cannot be fully registered again. A “death sentence” as we call it.
Usage brings about more costs. Gas is approximately USD$6.50 per US gallon, road tax is USD $650/year (extra 50% for cars over 10 years of age), and toll prices to use city roads are USD $0.50 to USD $2 per entry.
The Readers will be interested in knowing about the practice of renting vintage vehicles. Tell us about that and how often you rent your Volkswagen.
I started renting out my bugs for 2 simple reasons: to help buffer the cost of car ownership, but really more to spread the joy and experience of riding in one. At first, many potential clients are doubtful about the car’s comfort and reliability, but once they have taken a spin in it, the take-up rate is around 90%!
Outside of weddings, I also rent it for photo-shoots and filming. To date, my ’67 has been in 3 movies, 2 commercials and countless photo-shoots. Pre-68 bugs are really rare in Singapore (fewer than 10?) so there is quite a demand!
Thanks, Ken, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.
nice one Ken
Thanks my brother from north of the border!
This is Norsham from Malaysia. I am restoring my 67 bug now. Long way to go. Anyway would like to know whether your wheels come with a four or five lug nuts.
Hey Norsham, the wheels are in a wide-5 pattern similar to ’66 and before. However, according to what I’ve read; the ’67 wheels, although visually similar to the ’66 wheels, have an extra lip as a safety feature. This apparently holds on to the tyres better. Anyone else here can testify to this? Thanks!
Hello, Ken and Norsham…
Beetles which were imported directly from the Wolfsburg factory into the USA in ’66 and ’67 had identical 5-lug (wide-fives) non-safety rims. We in the USA were not yet really using radial tires on a wide-scale. However, in 1968, VW introduced the “safety rim”. For instance, on my ’68 Karmann Ghia I have this factory safety rim. It could be that elsewhere VW introduced the safety rims prior to 1968 because in Europe and other countries, the radial tire already was being used. The rims for 1968 which came on ’68 and later cars were 4-lug rims. The use of 4 lug safety rims elsewhere than in the USA is a topic which I have not seen discussed–yet.
Good info, Jay!
Hence my earlier question, if birth cert would record such details…?
Nice Ken, I’m helping a friend in msia restore one too… But I’m based in singapore. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to meet the gang!
Hey it was nice meeting you. I will contact you should we have a veedub meetup in SG!
A comment about safety beaded rims: It’s my understanding that ’67 came both with and without safe beaded rims (5-Lug). We ran across this when we were widening some ’67 rims for a custom application. We had both types of rims and had to hunt down additional safety beaded rims so we would have a matched set.
Rick…With regards to the Safety Rims, please see and compare the following two Links taken from the 1967 Owner’s Manual and the 1968 Owner’s Manual. Note the Wheel Information on each:
fantastic Ken, great to see another RHD that is similar to my Australian 67 version, I fully understand the serious and costly difficulty in keeping a car on the road in Singapore especially the old cars such as yours. This only goes to show you passion and drive. Well done mate
Hello, Graham! I haven’t heard from you in some time. How is the restoration going? Well, I trust! Thanks for staying in touch! jay
all well down here. My car is on go slow at the moment, all the guards, door, bonnet and engine lid are sprayed as well as all the small bits, but have to get down to the main body work spray, engine, gear box and assoc parts complete carried out and sourced all new pieces I need from Gmy – USA and Aust. just need a bit of cool weather and some motivation to get the spray complete and then assembly. Not a small job when having a family and full time job, but I will win. thanks for asking and remembering
Yes…I have a photo stored in my head–I remember the basket ball sitting in the car, and laughingly asked you what part of the car it was? LOL Yes…having a family and a job certainly puts restoring a car in its place. I admire you and others who have such responsibilities, yet manage to get a car done. Keep up the good work and thanks for staying with 1967beetle.com!
Thanks Graham! Yea RHD can be a little bit of a pain for parts sourcing.. like the rear view mirror for one! :D
Ken, with regards to the RHD interior mirror, are you in need of one? I can keep my eyes on any parts you need from Western Australia. I had the same issue with that one too by the way.
Hey Graham, thanks in advance for any assistance. I am looking for a good used rear view mirror and fuel gauge. Let me know if you happen to chance upon these!
ok Ken, I have posted an Ad in the area for any parts available and will let you know what comes back
Love those Black plates.
Good looking ride.
Hi, Mike…I agree with you about that license plate! Very unusual (for us here). I wonder about the rear bumper over riders–just like ours in the USA yet no reverse lamps. jay
Thanks Guys! Bought the car with its original license number, registered on the same day as the car. At the moment, I am sourcing for “Ace plates” to get the correct fonts from the 60’s.
That’s fantastic! The ’67 community is loving this story.
Absolutely shocking what it takes to own a car there! I was blown away by this post, and I do have friends in Singapore! They would tell me about the taxes, the fees, but never revealed the actual amounts. Now I know why they have only one, modern, cheap car. It is truly amazing how blessed we are to be able to have our vintage, and modern cars here in the U.S. This article should be an eye opener. I have friends in Finland as well and they tell me similar stories!
Hey Greg, I’ve seen the COE go as high as USD$100K. Right now, a basic Japanese car could cost as much as an apartment; pretty shocking when put in that perspective!
$60,000 EVERY 10 YEARS!!??
That is crazy. It would great if classic car owners formed a lobby group to get the laws fixed.
Your dedication is making me rethink selling my car (we are moving to a new house with a 1 car garage…).
I feel that we never really own our cars.. we merely lease them for 10 years at a time :/
A fantastic looking 67. Thanks for sharing your story – very interesting!
Thanks Larry, nice to be part of this great community!
Right…we in the USA do whine a lot about the prices of parts, maintenance and registration. I, for one, agree with sdguero (above)–Ken’s story gives me an even greater appreciation of my own Volkswagens. jay
Kenneth! The lighting in your photos is fantastic! What is your secret? Time of day? Shade? Overcast? Whatever your secret, it is ever so enticing. I’m glad she has you.
I noticed that. *Designer, geek observation.
Hey Neva, I have the great fortune of having a colleague who’s a professional photog; who combined the blazing hot Singapore sun and a little Lightroom magic! :D
What dedication and sacrifice! Speechless!
This is the best vintage VW site on the planet. Much better than the junk on The Samba.
Hello, Jason..thanks for being a supporter of 1967beetle.com. I’ll have to say, in defense of TheSamba.com, that it serves a lot of us in a different way–and, I speak to selling. A lot of us post parts for sale or buy parts through that venue. But, you are right–in that it can’t be so focused as 1967beetle.com. That’s the genius of this Site. Eric Shoemaker must have eaten the right thing when he went to bed that night and got up the next day to create this amazing venue! Long live 1967beetle.com and its Readers and Supporters! jay
Thanks, guys. I’ll keep working hard for the ’67 community. Jay, your check is in the mail.
Promises, promises! LOL Well…I think that I’ll just cash in my “happiness chips” and keep enjoying 1967beetle.com and all of the wonderful articles and Readers! jay
Oh, Jay… Our efforts would be nothing without your dedication. Here’s a 1500 CC high 5 your way. (NOS, of course)
Very nice restoration. I’m from Singapore as well. Could you email me to let me know where all the work was done?
Seems like we south East Asians have a completely different grouping of 67 specs compared to the US. Good to note all these little details down, thanks to this great site! I’m still baffled to see some 67s with 4 lug wheels while others are 5. Is it possible to know if these details are recorded somewhere?
How about yours mark? Hope to catch you one of these days in singapore!
Hello, EVel…I agree with you regarding the diversity of parts and applications in different parts of the VW Community. The simple answer is that VW designated specifics to fit each market destination–because of the regulations of each country. We, today, don’t have a concise record of these differences, unfortunately. This leads to a lot of speculation. Generally, when a Beetle here is discovered to have certain features uncommon to the USA designated cars, it is called a “Euro” Beetle (from Europe). This may or may not be true. For instance, an imported Beetle from Australia will have some features similar to those of England. But, since it was manufactured in Australia, certainly is not a “Euro” Beetle. We see today Beetles that have come to the USA under private importations from England, Germany, France, Canada, Puerto Rico, etc. All having their sets of unique features.
Thanks for commenting. I hope that you can get together with Mark. Also, with Kenneth, who lives in Singapore. There’s quite the VW Community in Singapore, I understand.
4 years on the 67 is still waiting for parts. Got the rims specs sorted, but 1. now the finer details of seats. Any idea how different the seats of a 67 can be compared to other year models?
2.The engine is supposed to be an M240 low compression engine, and the Engine Number starts with an E followed by numbers. Anyone, where can i get such an engine? :-(
Hello, Evel…You will need to determine the origin of y our Beetle. In other words–at which factory was it produced–Wolfsburg, Germany, or at some other facility. Parts such as engines varied by Model and by Country. The E0 was a 1300 engine but I am uncertain of its country of destination–Europe? If you can, determine the origin of your Beetle. That will serve you best in your quest to locate the correct parts. jay
I’m from Singapore and my dad has a ’67 beetle which we use daily. It’s been with us since 1988!
Would love to get in touch to find out where to source parts and stuff like that. And for my car to meet his friends!
You can reach me at email@example.com.
Thanks for getting in touch. Would be great to meet some time. We just had a little gathering today at Dempsey with around 20 cars. We’ll probably have another one at the end of the year.
Would love to see your 67. Share some pics!
Parts wise, Old Volks Place can provide engine parts and work, and most of us source for other bits online.
If you like, please join the community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/10542072692/
See you around!
wow those laws suck!
I continue to have contact with Ken in Singapore. A few months ago, he and another VW friend from Vietnam got together and drove in Ken’s ’67 to Malaysia to an all-day VW event. I was amazed to see how many enthusiastic VW Aficionados there are in this region of the World where strict automotive regulations are in force. Despite all odds, the Volkswagen Community continues to thrive there! My hat is off to these die-hard VW fans! jay
Nice story Ken, and beautiful beetle :)
Great looking Bug!
Great story. I often go through the archives and pull back out gems like this. The site has over 2,700 articles.
I’m Mathi from Seremban Malaysia, if any of you guys know anyone selling Classic Volkswagen Beetle please contact me via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you guys.
Hi…. I just bought 1967 beetle… interested please email me…. email@example.com
Hi Ken, nice write up on your beetle. I have a couple of questions regarding classic beetles, I am trying to acquire a 1974 beetle but after a test drive, I’ve found that I have to steer the steering left and right to keep the beetle running straight. Can this be fixed? I was told that inserting the white wall inserts affect the balancing of the tyre? Does installing aircon into a 1.2 beetle affect the car’s power? Thanks for your time.
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