Hella SB12 Headlight Ring

The Hella SB12 Headlight Ring

The Hella SB12 headlight ring is one of those pesky ’67 only parts that didn’t even make it onto all ’67’s. Only some ’67 Beetles (and Type III’s) have stamped into the top of the chrome ring; SB12. Hella was the company that produced many of the electrical components for VW.

First let’s start off with what the stamp means. As we all know by now, US spec ’67’s were the first Beetles to have sealed beam 12 volt headlights. So, SB meaning sealed beam and 12 for the voltage. Second, not all ’67 Beetles had them installed. Most were just the regular chrome ring without the stamping.

This item is a hot topic for ’67 Beetle owners. Most in the VW community state that these rings were on the early production ’67’s. This would make sense, with the new headlamps and electrics, but I’ve talked with some ’67 owners with original cars that don’t have them. My early ’67 (built the first month, August 1966), doesn’t have them. This may be one of those parts that varied with production days and or availability.

When I was restoring my VW Blue ’67, the car was missing its headlight assemblies, so I bought a nice complete set on EBay for $20. I was very surprised a week later when I opened the package to find that SB12 stamp staring at me. They are now on that car which was built in December 1966. Are they correct for the date? Who knows, but they sure look cool.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, 1967beetle.com and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Hella good info

    1. Hella yeah!

  2. I believe that the article is correct. Early ’67’s were more than likely fitted with the SB12 Head Light Rings. My Black ’67 was manufactured in October 1966, and came with them.

    Additionally, lake all other “Early ’67’s”, it has a lot of other unique items (Front Seat back release location; Door Hinges; etc..) that differentiate it from a “Late ’67”.

    Stephen Murray

  3. Good job, Jody. Information sure is scarce regarding these collectible pieces. I have a good pair of these but they need to be re-chromed. Paul’s in Pennsylvania can do the pair for $400. I am saving them until I feel that the cost is justified. Re-chroming can be delicate because the Hella SB-12 can be obliterated easily. Paul’s has the letters and numerals engraved a bit more deeply so that after re-chroming, they remain distinct. Keep these interesting and important articles coming, Jody! jay

    1. I second that. This is fantastic info to the vintage Volkswagen community. I’m not sure if my car ever had them. Currently, I don’t.

  4. Eric my May of 67 Zenith Blue has Hella SB12 headlight assemblies but only had one SB12 outer ring left when I purchased the car. I personally think the story that only early 67 beetles had them is a myth unless the factory had more than one maker besides Hella.

  5. Is there a difference in the SB12’s when someone is stating Type3 rings for the 67 beetle?

    1. Jeff,
      Here’s the info on the SB12 rings.

  6. chamley ranaweera April 18, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Dear, i want to buy headlight complte set. How it can buy

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