Tim Mossman’s L639 Zenith Blue ’67 Beetle

Ever since my father bought my first Beetle back in 1981, a red 1971 standard I have loved classic VWs. My Beetle took me to university every day problem free, thanks to my father who fixed anything that needed fixing on it. I owned that car for about three years. After I graduated from the university, I left to teach English in Japan and the car was sold.

My passion for old VWs never went away. My second Beetle was a 1979 mars red convertible which I bought in 2006 and had restored. I only had it for a few years and then sold it. It was very nice but wasn’t the right bug for me.

I really wanted to try and find an original, stock, early sixties bug. Here here in rainy Vancouver, solid, rust free bugs are very hard to find. But, one day in late March, 2012, as I was surfing the Vancouver Craigslist for VW Beetles, there it was! I couldn’t believe the pictures and description—an original, low miles Zenith Blue 1967 Beetle in pristine shape, for a reasonable price. I immediately picked up the phone and we made arrangements to meet. But a day later, the owner e-mailed and told him he really wanted to keep the car since it was so nice. I didn’t blame him! I was disappointed, but with some persistence on my part, he finally agreed to sell the car to me. In my subsequent conversations with him, I found out that his father is the German pastor at a church my parents used to attend and that his father and my father were close.  In fact, during the days my father was battling cancer, pastor Schmidt spent many days counseling and ministering to him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he and even sang and played guitar at my father’s funeral.

The VIN of my bug is 117292991 (an early ’67—October ’66 build) and the engine number is HO475668, making it a numbers matching car.  It was purchased new from Imported Motors, 725 Wyoming N.E., in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 22, 1967, by Mr. Brian A. Young.

The bug came with binder of all the documentation on the car since new, including the original bill of sale, original keys, owner’s manual, rare, made in Germany factory headrests, and even original owners driving gloves! The original selling price was $1,797.00. Mr. Young also chose the following factory options: sunroof, Sapphire V AM radio, rear speaker, and 3 point seat belts.  As a way of saying thank-you for referring a friend to Imported Motors, the dealer offered Mr. Young an accessory for his 67 Beetle. He chose a chrome wind deflector for the sunroof. It’s still on the bug and works great! Thank you Mr. Young!

Mr. Young moved to West Vancouver, British Columbia in 1969 and brought the Beetle with him. It was registered in British Columbia on August 4, 1969. Mr. Young then moved to Victoria, British Columbia in the mid 80’s, insured the car for a few years, and then put it in storage until 2011, when its second owner (from Victoria, British Columbia) purchased it in June, 2011.  The second owner reupholstered the driver’s front driver’s seat (he owned an upholstery shop) and had some work done on the car to make it drivable—new battery, fuel hoses, fuel tank cleaned, new aftermarket fuel pump (the German one was seized), new brake lines, and an oil change. He then parked it inside his auto upholstery shop in Victoria and seldom drove it.

Owner three, a VW enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia, saw the car parked outside the auto upholstery shop one day during a visit to Victoria in November, 2011. He went inside the shop and offered to buy the car.  A deal was done and he drove it home from Victoria, and parked it in his garage until April, 2012.

I took possession of my 1967 Beetle on May 17, 2012. My first weekend with the bug I spent all day washing, waxing, and cleaning it and then took it for my first spin! I received numerous compliments!

My bug has not been restored. It is almost completely original, including the paint, except the rear fenders, which were repainted after a minor fender-bender on February 20, 1970 (Estimated damage: $110.62-I have the documentation).  As far as I can tell, only these items are not original: running boards (I have the original chrome strips for them), wiper blades, windshield (replaced in 1968), fuel filter, fuel lines, battery, tires, brake lines, window seals, sunroof seal, and front and rear shocks (recently replaced- I still have the original German ones). I hope to purchase a rebuilt 1500 Pierburg fuel pump (from Ed Fall of Vintage Werks) and stock wiper blades soon. I’m currently riding on Kelly Springfield whitewalls from 1976!  I plan to replace them with radial whitewalls from Coker tires.

I love my bug! It’s in amazing condition, rust free, and solid!  It’s got 124,000 original miles and is still running strong! The fact that it comes with a complete history and cool stories, and unique items like factory headrests and Mr. Young’s driving gloves, makes this a truly great find!

So, is it mere coincidence that I found such an amazing bug? Well, according to pastor John Snyder, “God just loves coincidences. He seems to thrive on creating circumstances that cause people to say, “Wow, that was too amazing to be just chance.” He places these mind-teasers along our pathway just to entice us into thinking about him.” It’s something to think about.

— Tim Mossman. North Vancouver, BC

Thanks Tim for sharing your story with 1967beetle.com.

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. Mike Buettell May 28, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Wonderful story ! Love it.

    1. Me too, thank Eric.

    2. Thanks Mike! And thank-you for Eric of asking me to share my story on your way cool web site!

  2. Thanks Mike. More are in the works.

  3. Thanks John!

  4. Way cool car. The Zenith Blue ’67’s are just the BEST in my opinion! The Pastor is right, you are blessed.

  5. I gotta come back and say something about the original Zenith Blue fender welting. Wish I could get my hands on some. Correct always looks good!

    1. Guess what? This ’67 is about to be listed for sale. Watch the site, it’s coming in the next few days. This one will sell fast!

  6. Thanks For putting this ad up Eric. You are a true friend!

    1. Sure man! Whatever I can do to help…

  7. Hi: My wife and I are the original owners of Tim’s ’67. What a surprise we received this morning after Tim tracked us down and phoned us. We loved the bug and pampered it but my wife wasn’t happy that it was in dry storage-where it rested for 20 plus years . It is not a shrine, she once said, and should be driven. But I worried that it might be hit or worse yet stolen so in storage it stayed until we moved to Powell River in 2011.
    We are so glad that our old cream puff is back on the road and in loving hands. Thanks Tim.

    1. Very cool!

  8. I applaud Tim’s efforts at tracking the history of his Beetle. This is as rewarding a discovery process as is the restoration process. I encourage every serious air cooled VW owner to discover the history of his car. Not only is it rewarding to the latest owner, it always is exciting for the previous owners to learn what has happened to their pampered VW. Stories begin to emerge and soon, the latest owner finds himself becoming a part of the larger VW Family! The old VW motto, “Happy Motoring”, takes on a personal meaning.

    1. I second that! Kudos.

  9. Dear Brian: Great to talk with you today! I hope I got the history of the car right. If not please feel to correct me. I was just going by what the previous owner passed on to me. I am especially interested in the story of the wind deflector!

    1. It’s so cool you guys connected.

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