My name is Rebecca Maindonald. I live in Austin Texas with my husband Sam. This is me with GiGi, my 1967 beetle. I purchased her for my 31st birthday in January. GiGi comes from a line of ladies who owned and loved her and put some interesting feminine touches in over the years. What sold me on the car was the pink floral upholstery that the previous owner had put in.
I first got bit by the bug when I was 16 years old. My mom and I were driving home one day and we passed by our local greasy VW workshop and saw a bright yellow ’74 super beetle sitting out front for sale. We both fell head over heels in love with it, and after much convincing of my dad that night, we went and bought it the next day. I called that one Becs Bug and drove it religiously as my first car for about 4 years. As cute as it was, that car was a serious lemon. The reverse gear would regularly fail, forcing me to always park in a way that I could pull straight out from. No amount of idle or carb adjustment would make it run without stalling at stoplights in the winter. I’m convinced I was the most skillful 16-year old driver out there with the number of maneuvers I had to master to drive the thing.
My dad was a real worry-wort, and after four years of nail biting, huffing and puffing, and constant grumbling about ‘that bug’ he convinced me to sell it and buy something more reliable-a Chevy Cavalier. It was a mixture of sadness and relief when I watched it drive off with its new owners-a young couple who were going on a cross country road trip. They were going to tow it behind their RV and use it to drive around the town they stopped in. I never heard how they got on!
Flash forward to present day, and bugs had been on my mind for years. My husband and I were living in England where we couldn’t afford to own a car. My husband promised me that when we moved back to Austin, he would buy me a bug. After lots of research, I had my heart set on a ’67 as in my humble opinion, it was the zenith year for Volkswagens. Lots of searching later, I fell in love with GiGi.
She’s an absolute blast to drive, and gratefully, doesn’t have any problems of my old bug. It’s been an adjustment though, getting used to these wonderful old cars. She is my daily driver, and my husband and I are slowly teaching ourselves to work on her. When I took her into the VW mechanic for a check over, he was astounded at the number of original mechanical parts (gulp!) including a completely original electrics system.
For me, Volkswagens are a way of life, and I am determined to keep this car a part of my life, no matter what. My project for this summer is to install 3-point seat belts in the front and lap belts in the back. We’re having a baby in November, so I’ll be researching what car seats fit into a beetle. I want to raise my children to appreciate these cars and learn to work on them and maintain them. Maybe one day they’ll want to drive GiGi as their own.
I’ll also be looking into replacing/updating the electrical system at some point soon, but that’s a job that Sam and I will have to do together after LOTS of research.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my story-and many thanks to Eric for this wonderful website. Keep the dream alive!!
Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your ’67 with 1967beetle.com.
Wow, what an awesome story Rebecca! Thank you for sharing your story with us, and welcome to the 67 beetle community. And congrats on your new baby! I have a three year old daughter who rides with me all the time in her car seat and she absolutely loves the roar of the engine! She calls the car “vroom”!
Great story, love the floral interior. personalizes the car for you.
What a great story! Once vaccinated with the “bug virus” it’s a never-ending Volkswagen Story, isn’t it!
Be very sure that the electrical system needs to be changed. Just because it is the original system isn’t cause for changing it. My ’67 is still original and works great. Some replacement systems aren’t too good. If you decide to replace, do some shopping for the best one possible.
Also, when you install the new seat belt system, be sure to save your original belt and related hardware–they are valuable one-year-only parts!
I hope that you will continue to enjoy your Beetle for many years to come. Thanks for sharing with us.
What Jay said!
Really nice story :) and beautiful bug.
What a great story, I was bit by the bug virus on my first duty station in Germany, it was our first car. I had to sell it but I swore I would get another. Since then I have had over 6 other bugs. My recent is a 68 that me and my son restored for his first car. It was a lot of work and I am still messing around with the little things but it’s a great car. I am on the search for another for me. The more I read these post the more I am leaning towards a 67. Once again great story and great looking car, even the seat covers. Congradulations on the baby also
I think many of us came back to the VW Bug because we have so many fond memories of them (including the breakdowns) and the great time we had driving them! Jay is correct in suggesting when you replace an original part to hang onto it because someone, if you dare, will want anything you held onto when you sell them your car! Great story!
Thanks Everyone! I’m learning every day with this car. I will most definitely take your advice with the seatbelts-I intend to go very easy on the modifications-mostly because the original VW parts are 10 times the quality of the newer stuff!
Jaime-I’m curious-you said your 3 year old rides in your bug all the time-what car seat do you use? And where/how do you secure it? There isn’t much out there on this subject-I’d love to talk to someone who’s successfully done it! Vroom!
You want my honest opinion…… A ’67 Beetle isn’t safe for a child.. Not these days when huge cars are on the roads.. I don’t know.. It’s just something I’d not do.
Come on Eric, were still alive! When I was growing up in the during the 60’s, we didn’t have seat belts! It’s true yesterday’s equipment doesn’t even come close to today’s technology but then again my car is made out of metal and not fiberglass!
Eah… Sorry, I just don’t think Milo & Olive will ever be in my ’67. It’s a tin can when compared to modern cars today. One big accident would probably be fatal. That’s just the truth of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I STILL love the Vintage Volkswagen!
Yes, I’m at work now and get off late, but I’m off tomorrow and I will send you pics and info on everything, very simple fix for you and your husband!
Awesome! Thanks so much!
Hi Rebecca, sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you, but if you want to shoot me an email I will send you some pics of Sophia’s car seat. The seat belts are easy to install, there are holes already in the body specifically for this. I can also send you pics of that as well. Jaime
firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 931-1967
I saw your story today while looking at old VW stuff. I am working on a 1966 in Round Rock. You should look into a group called aircoolers.org They have members in Austin, and all over Texas. Good place to get tips on care and working on mechanical issues. You have a great looking car!
Nice Beetle! It’s nice to have original upholstery but I actually think the interior is groovy and is part of the history of this car. Love the interior. Enjoy! We tooled my son around in a 66 Bug and he loved it. I was driven around in a 1958, 50 years ago. A little VW smell is still embedded in my skin. :-)
I love the interior! Back when it was 10yo I owned a 63, then in 74 I splurged and bought a new one. In the winter my 74 died at idle too. The dealer could not fix it. I fixed it this way; I added a little can of “dry gas” at every winter fill up, never died after that.
I am currently on the hunt for a 58-67 right now!
Let us know if we can help in the ’67 search!
If you know of anyone selling one that is nice looking and mechanically sound let me know. I am in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
Here are a few.
Great story. Great comments. Thanks Rebecca for sharing.
Good advice from Eric.
Yeah, not to hijack the thread but I feel strongly about that.
Loved your story – thank you for sharing. I have a white 67 Beetle that is a twin sister to yours (minus the groovy seat covers), and I’ve owned it since I was in high school in 1970. It was vandalized some years ago and I kept it in storage for several years until a friend with great restoration talent undertook the project. It’s not finished yet, but is in reassembly stage. Check out the thread on TheSamba.com. In the Search window enter “Larry’s 67” and you can see where it started and the many challenges. I’m in St. Louis but am originally from Texas. If I ever have it back there on a family visit I may contact you. Would be a great photo op!
P.S. I drove my two daughters in the Bug many miles after installing seat belts in the back. We were fortunate to never have an accident. I have a grandson now that I intend to take with me on the streets but will probably try and keep off the highways. The only thing more precious than a Bug is your little one.
That is so true Larry, I totally agree with you! I have a three year old that goes with me everywhere in my 67! But then again, I usually drive the streets as opposed to the freeways and I know Eric has a point when comparing size and technology in today’s vehicles but I also want my daughter to experience the smell and nostalgia of riding in a Vintage Volkswagen but from her car seat obviously!
Yeah let me know the next time you’re in Austin-a photo shoot would be great! Funnily enough, all my family is in St. Louis, so if I ever decide to venture up there with my Bug-I’ll be the one contacting you!
Now that is Beetle Karma right there :-)
Hey Rebecca, are you still in Austin? I’ll be at a conference there in late April, and am thinking of towing my Bug along. My brother in Temple, Tx with a ’62 Chevy, and another brother in Houston with an ’89 Porsche and I would like to do a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot with our cool cars. I may leave my regular car in Temple and drive the VW to Austin. It would be fun to visit. My email is email@example.com.
Effective and dramatic portrait of you with Gigi! Thank you for your heartwarming article.
It makes me happy that so many people around the world enjoy these unique ’67 Beetle stories.
greetings from Perth – Australia, your car is great looking, so fresh and clean for her age, whilst the upholstery is not standard it does somehow fit her lady driver style, so well done, wish mine was ready to go on the road and I am green with envy that your is driving around
One of the best stories yet.
I love your car. I had a brand-new Zenith blue ’67 that my girlfriend, at the time, loved so much that she coaxed her parents into buying her one just like yours for her 1969 HS graduation.
My current zenith blue ’67 has 3 point belts that I installed from Mid-America. They mount to original threaded holes in the body. Might want to check them out. Makes me feel safer with them on.
Wow.. A lot of beautifully done beetles in here. I love the story’s, and the flowered seats are amazingly a great match.
I am in Alberta, Canada, and we have two 67s. One purple my oldest girl drives all summer, and a light green 67 for me. Custom steering wheel, wheels, seat belts, and sterio. But other than this it is restored original for the. Most part. I do the mechanical repairs, and keep them in driver condition. We find it very difficult to source decent parts. New or used is tough. Used is overused, and new is as bad ..lol
Anyway. Love the site
Thanks for stopping in! We’re here for you, if you ever need help. We’d also love to feature you ’67 Beetle. Please email me, if interested.
Also.. We’re a small company now, if you have quality parts needs.
Hello, Richard-in-Canada! Someone told me a while back that “…you can’t trust a person who has only one VW!” So, you pass that test with your two Beetles. LOL
As for used parts: If I am buying OnLine, I do a LOT of careful shopping with LOTS of questions. If the seller refuses to answer questions or can’t or doesn’t have photos, maybe it’s best to move along. Don’t get in a hurry. When you begin to think that you’ll never find the right part–then buy because you think it may not be available later–you may have shot yourself in the foot. Don’t get in a hurry. And…read Feedback on sellers–often that tells enough to let you know whether to buy, or not.
For new parts: Again, do your shopping. If you are on a tight budget, maybe it would be better to save your money, then buy quality parts. Buying cheaper, lower quality parts usually results in frustration and the spending of extra bucks to fix the problems caused.
Listen to satisfied customers for their recommendations of where to buy quality new parts.
Eric Shoemaker keeps his ear to the subject of parts–feel free to pick his brain.
Oh…and don’t forget…if you receive a poor quality or non-working part, return it for your money back. This usually gets the seller’s attention.
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