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9,248 Mile People’s Car: 1967 Volkswagen Beetle

Roll the clock back to the mid 1970s.  American highways were flooded with two things: large American cars and Volkswagen Beetles.  If you played punch buggy back in the day, your arm was 100% guaranteed to be bruised up for a long while.  Now, seeing an original Beetle on the road is a rare sight. Want to experience what having a nearly new version of one of the world’s most popular cars is like?  If you do, then open your wallet and whip out your smart phone to call on this 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.  It has just 9,248 miles and is for sale on craigslist in mile high Denver, Colorado.  Is a $10,000 price tag too high to relive the glory days of the Beetle?  Thanks to T.J. for the amazing find!

They say that the buffalo were so numerous on the Great Plains that they were uncountable.  Today you would need some Hollywood magic to recreate that or buy your own buffalo to get a taste of the experience.  It was the same for Volkswagen Beetles.  They were slow, noisy, and a handful at highway speeds.  At least in comparison to economy cars we have now.  The thing is people loved them for their innate simplicity.  No power steering, no power brakes, hand crank windows, a complete absence of air conditioning, and an engine that could be dropped out of the rear in less than one hour.  Purchasing one was not out of the question for millions of people around the world, and they were reliable and well built.

Even when they broke down, it was not unheard of for an owner to fix the car with a handful of those weird metric Craftsman tools that came in a kit from Sears.  Books such as “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive” and the ubiquitous Chilton’s manual were guides to home mechanics everywhere.  If you wanted to hot rod and/or customize your Beetle, then a whole cottage industry of aftermarket suppliers was available.  You could find them all in the magazine “VW & Porsche, and European Automobiles.”  I won’t even mention J.C. Whitney.

Sadly, like its spiritual forebearer the Model T Ford, the competition began offering more refined vehicles at prices that became very competitive.  The Japanese inroads into the American market were largely at the expense of VW’s market share.  Just like no particular car brought down the Model T (though Chevrolet helped a lot), all the attributes that drew people to the Beetle were ultimately its demise when customers were able to purchase a more refined automobile at near the same cost.  As time went on, the once dominant Beetle slowly faded from the scene.  Now seeing one is a rarity.

So, what was owning a new Beetle like?  Either find someone who actually has been there and done that or search out one that is completely restored to perfection and drive it for a bit.  However, there may be a different option.  This 1967 version of the Beetle is advertised as having just 9,248 miles on the odometer and that figure may be accurate.  A look at the car gives us a few clues.  The paint appears to be original, and the front seat upholstery is in great shape.  The car is covered in the usual heavy coating of dust and it is, of course, in a messy garage that it shares with what looks to be a motorcycle of some type and a late 1960s GM vehicle.  Anyone know what the car in the background is?

Then you get to things like the backseat and the headliner material.  What happened there to make this relatively unused section of the car look so disheveled?  Was it used for storage?  Did it sit outside to the point that the gasket around the back glass leaked?  There is some fading of the paint on the exterior of the car.  While it is advertised as a garage kept car, was it always garage kept?  The ad doesn’t help us much with this mystery.  People really need to embrace the concept that words are free in craigslist ads.  I am sure that frustration over ads like this drive a number of potential customers away.

We really don’t even know why this Beetle is off the road.  One look at the engine compartment greatly strengthens the argument that this is a very low mileage automobile.  If you did the minimum of detailing in the engine bay the area would look fresh off the showroom floor.  I would be interested to see if the alternator belt, distributor cap, and rotor are all original to the car.  It is hard to believe, but this once mainstream car’s engine put out a meager 53 horsepower.  Name one car on the market today with that little power.  Most motorcycles have that much or more at this point.

Yet that was enough back in the day.  Cars were generally looked at as basic transportation and were treated as such.  Many buyers saw power accessories as just more things to go wrong.  The basic simplicity of the Beetle was just fine for the average American at the time.  It wasn’t a Cadillac, but it also didn’t cost near as much and sure wasn’t as expensive to feed or maintain.  This Beetle could be the ticket for someone who wants to step back and time to relive the transportation aspect of a simpler time.  It will likely need some work and the seller will have to come down on the price a bit, but there is an opportunity here to experience this important vehicle at a level few will ever get to experience again.

Have you ever owned a Beetle?  What was the experience like?  Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments.


  1. numskal Member

    I think the mystery car is an Olds 442 (looks like there’s a badge on the front fender). Hate to nitpick but I don’t remember the original VW fan shroud, crank pulley or head covers being painted to match the exterior, the original ones I’ve seen have seen the engine parts were black (google 1967 VW engine, there’s a great website with all things related to 1967 vw’s). Was it taken apart or rebuilt with less than 10,000 miles on it? (it does have the 5 digit odometer….just sayin) I have a 67 bug (replica of my first car in high school) with original 98000 miles and it gets thumbs up whenever I take it out (55-60 is about max before the car starts to wander on the freeway despite a rebuilt front end). Working on VW’s are pretty straightforward; 4 bolts hold the engine to the transaxle and dropping the engine in the driveway to replace the clutch was about a 3 hour job for my buddy and I with rudimentary mechanic skills.

    Like 26
    • Steve RM

      Hey numskal,
      I have a 67 Bug that I bought in 82 and now has over 300,000 miles on it. It runs a pretty much stock 1600DP. This car drives nice and straight and will cruise at 65 -70 no sweat. Do you run good radials? Makes a hugh difference. I also installed drop spindles which really helped. 67s have that tendency to sit high in the front end and catch an up force. Lowering the front end helps a lot. I’m still running stock wheels. It’s only a 2″ drop and not really noticeable.
      You can also buy a brand new (not rebuilt) steering box for about $100. They are made by TRW in Brazil and is the exact part a dealer would sell you. VW built a lot of cars in Brazil and if I can’t find a German part I, look for OEM parts from brazil.
      I agree that working on old VWs is fun. Keep enjoying yours.

      Like 10
  2. Johnny Cuda

    I agree with numskal on the Olds 442. Looks like a 1967.

    Like 4
  3. LCL

    That looks like a Bosch light-brown distributor cap. How say ye?
    Is that an oil bath air cleaner? Ugh. With two inlets, nice, but are some kind of pre-heater hoses missing? That heater hose material eventually became very brittle.
    The interior bits look just like my 1967 Type III’s. That car also had heater outlets in the kick panels under the rear seat. A Great Leap Forward.
    Do sealed beams mark the switch to 12 volt electrics?
    I like the windshield washer fluid tank that you pressurize via a Schrader valve. No little pump built into the windshield wiper switch. And a gas gauge!
    This looks like a year of many evolutionary changes.
    My family went through a lot a used Beetles, and some even passed inspection. The others became organ donors. We owned our own pan jack to swap motors.
    This is an awesome car.
    It has back up lights, and the rear windows open at the back.
    Were those options?

    Like 6
    • angliagt angliagt

      ’67 was the first year with backup lights.

      Like 6
    • Bob S

      The back open up windows were optional, but 67 was the first year for standard backup lights, as was 1st year for the 12 volt system.

      Like 8
    • Clariece Riley

      Yes pop out rear side windows were an option.
      I have the first VW beetle I bought and it’s a 1967, Java green. Drove 100 miles a day for 30 years in this beetle ( officially type 1) and now it has over 500,000 miles. All original body panels, never in any kind of wreck also has original head liner that still looks great!

      Like 14
      • Clariece Riley

        A couple of correct comments but some are off.
        I’m a semi retired VW Tec instructor. Trained many technicians and I was one of the first to be trained on VWs electronic fuel injection systems and had many classes on the AutoScan diagnostic equipment and other VW & Porsche classes.
        I am also a court recognized expert witness and have been in several case where I was called to testify about various issues. Was also trained by GM and Bosch to diagnose issues with the 1970s and up Corvettes, VW & Porsches, 67 VW was a great little car and had many improvements from ‘66s. Loved my times teaching, repairing and restoring many vehicles. Am presently restoring a ‘67 VW, ‘71 Porsche and a 500SL M B.
        AGEEE THAT MILAGE probably not correct unless you add 100,000 to odometer. If anyone has questions, contact me. Thanks

        Like 3
  4. Doug Smedbron

    Long tern Malamute back seat passenger,

    Like 2
  5. Harry Allen

    I liked the Beetle and still do! I grew up with none of the creature comforts and built a traditional Hot Rod (no creature comforts) so I never missed these. Just by appearances other than the interior issues I would love to have this. As a Body and Fender man when you actually repaired vehicles this one does not exhibit any of the normal bruising one would normally find. It is quite a straight and clean vehicle, interior repair and TLC and I would assume it would serve anyone well. Hope the inactivity did not have any ill affects on the engine is my only thought of course they have the wrong enjacked up if they are changing the oil.

    Like 5
  6. Doug Walters

    I don’t believe the mileage for a minute. The engine has been out and many things changed, dist, gen, red fan shroud. I’m calling BS. Besides if it was real miles it would be 20,000.

    Like 29
  7. rosseaux

    My 1963 taught me a valuable lesson in oversteer when I severed a brake line on a rock, deployed the parking brake and then did a nice 360 in a farmer’s field. I also learned that you can drive brakeless VW to a garage as long as you use your parking brake judiciously at traffic lights.

    I’ll never forget that distinctive VW interior smell. Sort of horsehair plus vinyl with notes of cardboard and engine oil.

    I, too, am skeptical of the mileage on this one but if the body is in good shape, who cares? Drop the cost about $3000 and you’d have a fun daily driver.

    Like 19
  8. Mark

    Colour coded engine tinware and accessories is not stock. Interior doesn’t look ultra low mileage either. Looks like a 80s resto more like !

    Like 0
  9. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    If you follow the other site you will see the Beetles don’t bring much money at all.

    Also if you want 1968 Beetles, I can send you one from Mexico. They finished production in 2003 of the 1968 Beetle here. Prices are going up though.

    Like 9
    • Robert Carroll

      Tanks Miguel…I bought a new VW in 1968..It was $1795 and lots of fun..
      .but traded in later for used Square back and drove that car all the way to Disneyworld from Fairfax with a baby. My family really enjoyed it…Through the years I’ve had many different VWs, All body styles except the pickup including three 914s (yes, I know)and 4 campers.

      Like 1
  10. numskal Member

    I use the brake handle rather than roll backwards before engaging first gear or ride the clutch when I’m waiting at an uphill red light. Bill Cosby did a comedy album years ago where he talked about driving a stick shift in San Francisco. 67 VWs had something like 75 one year only parts before the the 68 redesign came out.

    Like 3
  11. Danny Strickland

    I have an original 67, missing one hubcap and needs the new brake lines (which I have) installed along with the fuel tank. It’s sitting under my pole barn in north Florida. 4 new tires installed in 2021. If part ways for a $7500 bill !!!

    Like 0
  12. Derek

    ’67 must be what my pal’s beach buggy’s based on, then – he’s in Finland and it’s an inbetween-y kind of a car.

    Like 2
  13. jamesalanray

    I have owned many bugs, I used to pick up a 68 model, get the fiberglass baja kit, front and rear air shocks, holley bugspray, hurst shifter with reverse lock out, hot dist, headers with heater connections, tube bumpers, offroad tread front and rear, fenders off and cut down front, rear body, remove running boards and in one weekend you had yourself a ride fit for the magazine “Dunebuggies & Hot VW’s”. Something about the 68, I think first 12 volt and when you aired up the rear the tires would not turn in…….it would be a shame to cut this one down but what the hell.

    Like 1
  14. Greg Gustafson

    If you need a little car bad…have we got a bad little car.

    Like 4
  15. Bob McK

    I would love to own this car. But I don’t believe the mileage. Maybe 109,000. There are too many things that are not correct. However, if the price were right, I would consider it and fix the incorrect things.

    Like 11
  16. Bob

    On return from Vietnam in the fall of 1967, I bought 2 new Beetles, one for my wife and one for myself. An accident took her’s in 2 weeks. Mine lasted a couple of years before I traded for the VW station
    wagon. Loved them both, but the wagon suited my situation better.

    Like 9
    • Johnny Cuda

      Thank you for your service to this great country.

      Like 12
  17. Jerry Baldwin Member

    The distributor has been changed out to an 009, very popular and trendy thing to do, even though the old vacum advanced actually worked better when properly tuned. All the engine tin has been painted, telling us the miles just need to add 100,000 to them! 1967 is a rare bug and the first with 12 volt. Not worth this money. Thanks,

    Like 8
  18. Lothar... of the Hill People

    Jeff Bennett- Great write up! I like the comparison between Beetles and buffalo…

    My first car was a 1973 Beetle. I enjoyed it and maybe it was slow enough to keep me out of some trouble at that age.


    Like 5
  19. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    The one year only parts of a 1967 Beetle are in demand, as are the cars, not really sure why other than it’s somewhat unique in being different from the 1966, and the 1968 Beetle. Most for sale have an inflated asking price for this reason. I have one I will be selling; a VW fan friend tells me I should keep it.

    Like 3
    • Derek G.

      The 67 is unique. Last year of the low back seats, last year of the metal dash, last year of the old style bumpers, but t first year of the 12 volt system. I had a 67 briefly, but they roll over real easily.

      Like 0
  20. RexFox Member

    That background car does appear to be an Oldsmobile, but it’s more likely a Cutlass than a 442. although a 442 would be the fun one. Comfort and luxury features available on other small cars cut into VW sales, but the difficulty of complying with ever stricter air pollution rules is what really did in the air cooled VWs. I just bought a Super Beetle to use as my main alternate vehicle (sometimes 2 wheels just don’t cut it, and there’s room on my side of the garage for the VW, 3 motorcycles and 2 bicycles), The reasons for selling my very comfortable and useful truck were: I longed for the simplicity of a low option VW, my wife loves our 2 car garage house and now I don’t have to leave any vehicles outside, I wanted a semi-practical collector car, and finally, I had an opportunity to relive an experience from my youth of owning and driving a red sunroof VW bug. So far I have been able to haul lumber and other big items by temporarily installing a roof rack. Only time will tell if I’ll be okay with driving at 65 on Interstate 5 when I have a need to head out of town without my wife (swapping cars with her is not an option). For now, I love looking at, working on and driving my little red bug; only time will tell if this is just a phase. All the smiles, thumbs-ups and impromptu conversations are a real plus. Oh yeah, the 67: I don’t believe the miles, but a like others have mentioned, this 67 has a lot of potential.

    Like 4
  21. Graham Line

    Never owned one but spent many hours delivering pizza and sandwiches in Angelo’s ’68. The front end got pretty involving around 55 or 60. The mileage claim is hard to believe.

    Like 4
  22. Dennis Young

    My first car was a 1960 VW type 1 (beetle). It had a 36 horsepower engine, would do 80 MPH (on a long straight stretch of highway) and never got less than 30 MPG. Fun car which I wish I another of but I think I would opt for a slightly newer one with a 12 volt system, a real fuel gauge and a somewhat larger engine. Those were the days…and dating/drive ins got interesting, and creative.

    Like 6
    • Cdice

      “Real fuel gauge”. I forgot that the “fuel gauge” was when you ran the tank dry and then flipped the lever to the reserve tank. Somewhat of a challenge at 60mph on the interstate.

      Like 2
  23. Noel Del Rosario

    When I arrived in Panama in 1980 I bought a 1971 from another soldier for $1500.Used it for 3 years and sold it for$1500.The only issue I had was the gas was bad and would rust the exhaust every year.

    Like 1
  24. bull


    1967 was an unusual year for Bugs.

    Lot’s of one year only items on a 67 Bug.

    Like 4
  25. dr fine

    Those seats look exactly like the ones in my ’66 911. I hated the scrunched driving position, the lack of foot room, (I’m 5’10”), and the worn out recliner gears. I threw them in my crawlspace, thinking I would probably want them someday, as the value of air cooled 911’s was already climbing in 1982. I replaced them with Dodge Colt recliners, and mounted them about five inches rearward. Very comfortable, and I let the old seats go with the sale of the house. I just sold the car as a project car for $10,000, and the buyer didn’t care about the seats. He plans to buy all new parts, including main body pieces.

    Like 1
    • Derek G.

      If the seats were nice with original vinyl, you should have hung on to them. They would probably be worth more than you think now. However, air cooled 911s weren’t accelerating much until the late ’90s, early 2000s. I bought my 72 911T in 1993 for $2,300 because they couldn’t get the MFI to run correctly. I’m being told it might be worth a few dollars more now.

      Like 0
  26. Basic Bob

    Reproduction left front fender for sure – the horn grille should be approximately 2 fingers width from the fender inside edge where the fender welting is located. All re-pop front fenders for a ’67 has the horn grille spacing approximately 4 fingers width away from this edge.

    This car also is missing the aluminum windshield gasket trim that surrounds the windshield for the “Cal-Look”. The rear window on this car has the correct trim.

    Like mentioned by other comments left – the ’67 has many “one year only” parts. I know all about this as I am restoring a ’67 right now.

    Correct miles? I wouldn’t bet any amount of $$ on that.

    Also, lets see some pictures of the floor pan.

    Like 0
    • Steve RM

      I had to put a repro right front fender on my 67 back in 1989 after I hit a deer and couldn’t find a German one. It was my daily driver then and pre internet so I couldn’t wait until I could find a German one. The horn grille was the most obvious difference. Also was a very poor fit to the running board and I think I had to drill a hole. Also thinner gauge metal. I think it was a repop for 68 and later with the horn grille stamp instead of the bumper bracket hole.
      There are also some that were made in Italy which aren’t too bad. I finally found an original German fender but it needed work.

      Like 0
  27. Gordo

    What is that thing screwed to the passenger door just above the door pull?

    ashtray? flower vase?

    Did the 67s still have swing axles in the rear and valves that needed adjustment every 3,000 miles?

    Like 0
    • dr fine

      It looks like a canvas bag the perfect size to slip a beverage can into.

      Like 0
  28. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    I’m a court recognized vehicle appraiser and forensic mechanic. I have serious doubts as to that claim of low mileage. First of all, the engine air cowlings should be black, not body color [as someone mentioned above], and even if the car was stored outside for a while, the various items in the front trunk should be in near mint condition. And as I recall, the small lever to fold the seat back to gain entry to the rear seat should be on the outer edge of the seat frame, not located between the seats as seen on this car. I suspect the seats were switched when they were re-installed.

    Nope, it’s had a lot of work done, but as for under 10,000 miles, I don’t believe it. Perhaps the odometer was reset after the car was “restored”.

    Titles are required to show mileage* and how many previous titles have been issued [it’s a code number on the title], and with a little letter writing to state DMVs one can often find the mileage listing on previous titles.

    *Mileage statements: Some states no longer list the mileage once the car is titled as an antique car, however all the prior [non antique] titles would have the mileage info listed.

    Years ago I was involved in a court case over a Mercedes 280sl that was claimed to be an original 20,000 mile car. It was clear from my inspection the car had well over 100,000 miles. It took me a little detective work, but I found previous DMV records showing [if I remember correctly] 70,000 miles and 95,000 miles, as stated each time a subsequent owner’s title was issued.

    Like 5
  29. Johnny

    I know where their is a beetle like this.Only green and in perfect shape. A early 50 Jeep station wagon and a earl 60s 4 door Olds–all look like new. The people passed away and I keep watching for a estate sale. They had no kids. I also have been watching this banker–seems like people always leaves him everything and he is a first class crook. If he makes a move on this place. I,m gonna make a move on him and bring him down. This is a nice car,but not worth they are asking.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


      Having worked with estate agents, attorneys, and family member in need of selling off their deceased family member’s things, if you are interested in the cars, you should consider taking pre-emptive action now.

      If everything has been sitting untouched for a long time, it’s possible that the people who owned the property may be in a nursing facility. Or possibly the other family members don’t reside in the area, and have no idea of what is happening to the property and it’s contents. I’ve actually met with family members who thought everything was fine, only to have me explain how the house had been looted, and the police never notified.

      If you are reasonably sure the owners are deceased, I suggest you send a letter by USPS to the address, addressed to “The estate of” and include the names of the people as it’s listed in the county property records [often available online free]. Explain how you have an interest in the cars and related items, and as you are local, you might be able to assist them in disposing of the contents should they need the help. If you can’t do it yourself, let them know you are familiar with local people who can help.

      If the cars are outside and unlocked, I have sometimes created a sign on white cardboard that says [using a sharpie or other similar pen] I am interested in the car[s], and I leave ALL my contact information on the sign. I set the sign upright on the driver’s seat and close the door. If the car is locked but you can approach it, I would suggest leaving your business card pushed in thru the vent window, with the same comment on how you are interested in the car.

      I have been contacted YEARS later when the sign or card was found by family members. In 3 separate situations, I was actually given a car w/title because family members needed it gone ASAP.

      In 1968 I was in high school and helped an elderly lady get her 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 60s running, back home, and back into the garage. I gave her my name & contact info and let her know I would like to buy the car someday. About 20 years later I get a letter from an attorney asking if I had helped Mrs. X with her car. He had tracked me down because she had left the car to me in her will!

      Like 5
      • Gordo

        Bill, this has to be the best story of the day, a good deed remembered!

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


        What I didn’t mention was the attorney had called my parents as I no longer lived in the immediate vicinity. He explained he was an attorney and needed to contact me about a personal matter.

        Minutes later I get a call from my dad wanting to know why an attorney was calling & looking for me! A few days later I got the attorney’s letter, and I sent my dad a copy!

        I had pretty much forgotten about the Cadillac, and when I met the attorney at the same house his client had lived in 20 years earlier, the Caddy was still in the garage, licensed and running. I drove it home later that day!

        And what a car it was! It was indeed a 1-owner, always garaged, low mileage example of Cadillac’s finest for ’55. It was a Fleetwood 60s sedan, and factory painted bright red! It also had factory A/C and the dual carb Eldorado V8! The only options it didn’t have was a continental tire kit and wire wheels.

        I kept it for about 10 years, finally selling it to a good friend of mine in Philly who kept it until his death. Wish I knew where it is today.

        Like 3
  30. Joe

    The motor looks nice. The body looks descent. But 10k? I’ve seen better bugaboo for half that price even in california.

    Like 0
  31. Jeremy Epstein

    As an 18 year old unlicensed driver, I *almost* lost control of a Beetle with a few friends inside, changing lanes at a “normal highway speed.” Swerved alarmingly and got it back under control.

    All these years I thought it was my fault! I have never had the chance to drive one since and I had no idea it might have been the car’s fault – I’ve always chalked it up to my own lack of driving experience. Reading the comments section here, I’m going to give my younger self the benefit of the doubt now.

    Like 0

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