Laura & Greg Klausner’s L456 Ruby Red ’67 Beetle

In 1967 while living in NY, my dad bought a new ruby red Beetle convertible. We moved from NY to Los Angeles in 1972 where my dad drove his bug daily, commuting over 30 miles each way in LA traffic, until 1984 when he passed the car down to me. I drove that car, which was still in original, practically mint condition until it was stolen out of a parking structure in 1989, never to be seen again.

I loved that car, and 11 years ago, sought to buy a new one. Turns out the car was a Frankenbeetle with almost every 67 part swapped out with later model parts: doors, seats, engine (1974), axles, brakes, fenders, bumpers, lights, roof, wheels (4 lug), the rear apron had been replaced with an aftermarket one, etc. Luckily, the pan and frame numbers matched so I knew the guts were 67. The only things that were 67 original were the body, pan, hood, decklid and one fender. There was rust throughout with other metal parts just riveted on. After failing to be able to return the car, I decided it would be a fun project to restore to its full, original, stock glory, especially being a convertible. Little did I know that it would take 10+ years and $$$$$ dollars to accomplish, but it was worth it.

I spent the last decade finding the correct one-year only parts. I did as much of the cleanup as possible before sending it off to multiple shops for the body, mechanical and interior work. It was an “everything off” restoration/resurrection.

As it goes with this car, nothing was easy. There was an issue at every turn. As they stripped the paint, they uncovered shoddy past repairs where rust was painted/Bondo’d over. The entire car, 6” up on the bottom needing to be replaced due to rust. Side panels had been cut out and welded with a piece of sheet metal not fitted properly. All of this needed to be replaced including the floor panels, the rear luggage compartment, the rear apron, the heater tubes and reinforcement channels, etc. The roof frame had been cut and was 1” short. The hood latch tube and rear heater channel tubes were missing and had to be replaced.

After nearly two years in the shop, it’s back to original, stock condition. I have the VW birth certificate which shows the car was java green, but I painted it ruby red to match my car that was stolen. Every single part was replaced, rechromed or reconditioned. Every piece of rubber is new including all hoses and lines. Genuine original 67 parts on the car include:

  • Fenders (German w/drainage holes)
  • Doors/door handles
  • Windows (except for windshield that cracked during the process)
  • Low-back seats
  • Bumpers/bumper guards (VW original)
  • Roof frame/latches
  • Engine, heater boxes, etc.
  • Wheel rims
  • Front Seat belts, center chrome latch
  • Sapphire V radio
  • Window cranks
  • Mirrors (rear view, side)
  • Gas tank
  • Ash trays
  • Air cleaner
  • SB12 headlight rings (outer/inner), tail lights, reverse lights
  • Jack, tool kit

– Greg Klausner

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

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

  1. Laura and Greg—I was pleased to see the wheel rims painted the correct color and with the beauty rings! These are oft -missed details. jay

  2. Very nice resto, , gives me the courage to restore my 67 convert i have owned for 6 yrs.

  3. This is a very good job. You saved a life. She’s a beautiful lady.

  4. Hello,you have the little car (Vorky) number one that was my first car that I had a gift from my father at the age of 16 and it was from “1953” (Volkswagen Beettle) and to top off the owner had painted orange color and to top it off I paint it with a brush,if he had the money he asked him if one day you would think of selling it because it would be my best gift this “Christmas” and it would be left for ever and ever in his new home because if I miss one day he will leave me 2 well daugthers I wish you many congratulations and that you can enjoy a wonderful car that personally has benn the best car of all time when you drive it again let it be on a country road so that you can hear its magnificent engine noise and I assure you that yes he lets you take him he will lose you of place,Sincerely: 1953 VW

  5. Beautiful restoration. Admire you for your tenacity to search for original parts and bring this baby back.


  6. Wow, you did a lot of work on it and it looks fantastic!

  7. My grandfathers bug was this color… we had many adventures in that car- so many, in fact- that he removed the passenger side front seat to accomodate for my height and the cooler for the beers. Through time I would catch the carb on fire and burn the deck lid (and just snuck into someone’s garage one night and unbolted an exact match to swap it out) and I also managed to mangle the front end for which he refused payment other than parts and a bottle of Wild Turkey “for all the cuts and bruises.” He still had most of that bottle of whiskey on the shelf 30 years later when he died. I miss him. You’ve done a beautiful job on your rag top!

  8. Looks awesome! Love to see the Hella logo on the front lights!

  9. Laura and Greg, you did a great job on her! Extensive work, done in a relatively short period of time! Sad to think your dad’s original one got stolen so long ago. I also have a 67 convertible, and live in the LA area. (see my “story” from Jan. 2019 on this site). When they finally open up California again someday (Covid..) we should plan to meet up in our L456 1967 ‘verts!

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