Recently, fellow creator of 1967beetle.com, Eric Shoemaker showed me the Magura Gas Gauge from his 1967 Beetle. He has cleaned it to look like new. He reports that his sender unit (in the gas tank) as well as the cover for the sender, are a coordinated set from Magura.
Through production year 1967, Beetles in the USA came with a “grill” to the right of the speedometer on the dash. The mechanical gauge was located there.
My experience with VWs has been limited to living in Texas—mostly in the Dallas, TX area. I have seen Magura gas gauges but never fully investigated them. Most cars which I have seen had the VDO gas Gauge and related parts.
Frankly, I believed that Magura was a replacement gauge. End of story. That “story” now has been shown NOT to be ended! We need Reader response and input about the gas gauge and related parts in your 1967 Beetles! Let’s see what our combined experience tells us.
Here’s some more information to put into the hopper.
The VDO gas gauge for 1967 part number is 113-919-031A (the one which I am looking at is date-stamped 12/66). The cable is always silver colored. The VDO gauge is clearly marked on the face as VDO. The country of origin also is clearly marked as being Germany.
The VDO sender cover plate part number is 113-919-137A. The cover has the VW Logo and a raised VDO. This cover is probably a zinc coating.
I do not have a part number of the VDO sender itself.
The Magura gas gauge (this one date-stamped 6/66) part number is 113-919-031. The cable always is black in color. The Magura gauge face is clearly marked Magura.
The Magura sender cover plate is stamped with the VW Logo and the part number 113-919-137. The Magura crest-logo also is stamped into the cover. The cover is a gold colored coating—possibly cadmium.
No country of origin is given for Magura products—that I have observed.
In my many VW contacts, I ran into David Brown of Pennsylvania. David was trained by VW in their Parts Business and ran a VW Parts Department for some time before launching his own business for the following 30+ years. One of the side benefits for David was being able to replicate and retain all of the parts references for all models of VWs—including all years. Thus, I have enjoyed Dave’s expertise and call upon him for advice and information. Hey—it takes all of us to put this huge VW puzzle together!
“Hello Jay , I have always had in mind that the Magura Gas Gauge was another German-made Original Production Part. I base this on having seen some among my stuff which, given the time that I’ve had my stuff laying around, precludes most re-popped parts because they simply weren’t around back then. Add to this that I also have seen Magura Tank Sender Covers as well, so I suspect there are Original Production Magura Senders as well. I think that in the later years (‘66-’67) the production numbers were so high that VDO couldn’t produce enough to keep up.”
After some searching of his parts bins, Dave wrote again:
“I have gone digging in my boxes of Fuel Gauge stuff and find Maguras that are date coded from late ‘65 thru mid ‘67. I also find that the Brackets are stamped Magura. On the Tank end, I find the same date range of Maguras as well as Magura embossed Covers. Have you ever seen a Magura offered with a Date Code prior to ‘65?”
More information soon was coming from David. He says, “After looking at how different the Magura bits are from the VDO parts, it leaves me wondering if Magura wasn’t an early maker of Accessory Gas Gauges tapped in later years for VWs production needs. My Magura Sender has an aluminum can Float while the VDO has had the Plastic ones for ages. The VW Parts Department Books do not offer a choice ( nor mention ) of Manufacturer. Instead, Volkswagen AG specified that the UNITS of different makes must work with each other. Think Hella / Hassia, Bosch / Motorola. SWF / Kloster,etc. I will be very interested in what you find out. Thanks your interest, Dave Brown”
David further posits:
“VW approved them (Magura) for production–what can I say? For VW, then, that was the final word !! Hard to say which was available in the VW Dealer Parts at that time but I’d bet it was VDO except for that slice of time in ‘66-‘67.”
My (Jay Salser) personal feeling is that VDO probably WAS the main supplier of gauges in general. Looking at the vehicles (all models including T-1, T-2, T-3, Ghia, etc., etc.) VDO certainly has the overwhelming representation.
I have tried to find any reference to who manufactured Magura–no luck, so far. No help, either from the gauges themselves (from the ones which I have here), for no country of origin is given on them.
To be truthful, over the years I thought that Magura was a Brazilian company. Now–I have not a clue!
This is where you, The readers, come into the picture. Let’s get your responses and information. I bet that some knowledge and wisdom will be forthcoming with your comments. Join the conversation below.