Sapphire V Radio

Below is the complete owner’s manual for the ’67 Sapphire V AM Radio made by Bendix for Volkswagen. Bendix produced two Sapphire V AM Radios for ’67. The first was model number 7BV. The second was model number 7BVX which had a different type of output transistor to reduce failure. This manual is for the later model and has a date code of 11-66. You will notice a W after the 7BVX on the cover page. This W designates this as a Beetle radio. Bendix used letters to represent the different face plates needed for a particular VW. The list is as follows, G- Karmann Ghia, T-Transporter and a 3 for the Type 3’s.

Inside the manual you will find a parts list, installation instructions, a diagram, an electrical schematic as well as the operating instructions. Separate from the manual is a diagram and instruction sheet for mounting the antenna. One of the common 1967 one year only parts question is what knobs are correct for this radio. Well the answer is the plastic chrome knobs, or the black rubber safety knobs are both correct. The first model 7BV had the chrome knobs and the later 7BVX had the black rubber knobs to match the other dash knobs.

You will notice the drawing of the radio on the operating instructions in this manual shows the rubber knobs. You may hear and read that early ’67’s had chrome knobs and later ’67’s had rubber knobs, but these statements aren’t true. The VW factory never installed radios. They were a dealer installed extra. This means that the dealer installed whatever radio they had in stock at the time, so an early ’67 beetle may have the later version of the radio and vice versa. After 46 years though, you may find either model radio with either set of knobs.

'67 Beetle AM Sapphire V Radio

'67 Beetle AM Sapphire V Radio radio4 radio3 radio2 diagram2 '67 Beetle AM Sapphire V Radio antenna

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. Good read! I’m still searching for some safety knobs.

  2. Good Info Jody !
    Do you know why modern cars have such fancy sound systems?
    Because they are so boring to drive.
    Give me a ’67 Beetle with a Sapphire V, an open country road, and the wind at my back and I’m a happy man.

    1. This is amazing.

  3. Interesting Read.

    I am the second owner on a Black ’67 Sedan out of Masterson Motors in Ventura, California. The Old man that I purchased the car from in December ’77 ordered the car without any options (Radio Delete).

    In 1980, I was restoring a 1970 Beetle for my kid brother, and happend to come across a Brand New Saphire V Radio for sale at Vintage VW parts in Glendale California. They were selling then for $50.00 Dollars. Well, I bought one and still have it in the box. I’m holding it for when I fully restore my car.

    I was told last June that the radio (still in the box) is worth $750.00. This is more that what I paid for the car in December ’77.

    Stephen Murray

    1. You know, I honestly believe that. Those radios are worth a lot complete. Hold on to that thing! That is, unless you want to sell it to me. :)

  4. Denis Indelicato March 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I really enjoy all the 67 tidbits you guys supply and have a few questions. Currently I am restoring a 67 convertible from the ground up. It has been a twenty year project but I am at peace because It is down to the last month or two before the roll out.
    Questions: which fm radio was available for the car? I have the original sapphire with the chrome knobs along with the speaker which I have had re-coned but am considering an original FM. Also I would like to know if the rear overrides had more of a drop at the insides just over the tailpipes?

    1. Denis,
      Thanks! We enjoy running!
      The Sapphire V is correct for the year. The radio is no different from a sedan. The VI would be FM. From my knowledge, I don’t think an FM radio came from the factory. I’ll let Jay chime in on that. And yes, the rear overriders are the same as the sedan; one year only with a drop.

  5. You have caught me off-guard on radios for ‘Verts! Convertibles had some differences from Sedans. I cannot say if Convertibles had a different radio. It has been my experience, as well as affirmation from Richard Langewalter, the VW Radio Guru from Colorado, that odd -numbered radios were for Beetles and even-numbered were for Karmann Ghias. (Richard’s e-address is: For instance, I have had several 1967 Beetles–all with Sapphire V AM radios. My ’67 Ghia had a Sapphire VI with AM-FM (how that FM did wander).

    So, take my comments as tentative until you have consulted Richard, who has had bookoos of experience in this field.

    Eric is correct about the rear bumper over riders. As far as I have been able to discern–all sloped at the center of the bumper to deal with the new decklid profile.

    When you complete your ’67 Convertible, know that you have a truly rare vehicle. USA registration for 1967 Convertible Beetles was, get this…a scant 6,349. Given attrition through wrecks, rust, fire, flood and all of those other ungodly happenings, there may be as few as 30-’67 ‘Verts which have been restored to factory specs! I know that there are more than this :”on the road”–but not as classically restored vehicles. If anyone has better information, I’d certainly like to hear it. I hate to think that we are dealing with an endangered “species”, but I think that we are at that. (my information is from a source who has made a detailed and lengthy study of the attrition and survival of the Air Cooled Volkswagen).


  6. A 1967 Beetle sedan or convertible buyer would of had his or her choice of 3 radios to be installed as a dealer add on. The Sapphire V(AM), the SapphireVI(AM/FM) and the Sapphire VIII(AM 8Track). These radio were made by either Bendex or Motorolla specifically for VW of America. Or, they could choose to just listen to the sweet sound of the tailpipes without a radio as many people did.

    The rear overiders were slanted somewhere during the production year but no one seems to have a chassis number to pinpoint it. The early cars for the first 2-3 months had the same upright overriders as previous years.

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