California Classic: 1967 Volkswagen Beetle

Everyone seems to like the Volkswagen Type 1, better known as the Beetle. Ask anyone of a certain age, and older, and they’ll have a funny story involving a VW Bug. I even have a few and I never owned one, I was just a “participant” in some VW-inspired hijinx. Anyway, today we have a 1967 variety that the seller acquired from the original owner. This VW is a California classic, it’s located in Chico, California and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $5,100 with 53 bids tendered so far.

Purchased in Sacramento, CA in 1967, this Bug has experienced 129K miles on its rebuilt four-cylinder engine. The seller doesn’t elaborate whether it’s a 50 HP 1300 CC motor or the larger 53 HP 1500 version that motivates this Bettle, but the seller does claim, “This car starts, runs, idles, drives, shifts, accelerates, steers, handles, and brakes very well, as expected for a 67 Beetle“. It is believed that the mileage accumulated since the rebuild is only about 20K miles. Other mechanical improvements include recently redone brakes with all new hardware kits, new shoes, and all four new wheel cylinders, a new master cylinder, and all new rubber brake hoses.

Originally finished in white, this Volkswagen is now covered in a thin layer of primer. The body is claimed to be original with zero rust though the images clearly show surface rust blooming on the bonnet – it doesn’t look serious, but it is there. The battery tray under the back seat is referenced as “clean”, and that’s good news as this is a problem area where battery acid/gas will have a tendency to rot it out. Interestingly, this Bug is equipped with a sliding sunroof but the seller adds, “Haven’t tried to open it, due to it being winter, and just in case, I don’t want it to leak“.  As I recall, these can be problematic in terms of maintaining a tight fit. Obviously, the running boards are missing.

As for the interior, it is described as, “(being) completely done years ago, in a professional red cloth, red carpeting, and a white headliner. The interior upholstery/carpeting is still in remarkably good condition. Some fading, but no rips, tears, or stains“. Overall, it doesn’t look bad though some of the carpeting may be missing and the door cards have been recovered in a non-original style material. It works – they match the seat upholstery, it’s just a bit different. Not surprisingly, the original radio has been replaced with a non-OEM radio/cassette player.

This 1967 Volkswagen is a work in progress, and it’s a good basis for a start – it seems that cosmetics are its only real needs. So one of my VW stories entails that battery tray referenced above. One day, I was riding along with a good friend that had a ’60 bug and we were cruising at expressway speed when we suddenly heard a crash, then a thud, and finally all kinds of a “banging” commotion. As it turns out, the battery tray/floor rotted through and let go. And with it, went the battery, right into the concrete at 60 MPH. All that was left were the two cables with battery terminal remnants attached to them. With a new battery and an underlying piece of wood, we were back in business! So, what’s your VW Beetle story?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    This should have a 1500cc engine if it was rebuilt to spec. Often times a 1600cc kit is used when engine is gone through. This one doesn’t look recent so 20K ago might have been 20+ years ago. Push and pull on the crank pulley and make sure there is no in-out play which would indicate a proper rebuild is around the corner. Also start the engine cold and listen for chirping noises from the cylinder heads suggesting loose or broken head studs and again engine needs rebuilt again. Car looks to be a solid restoration contender and the factory sunroof is a plus.

    Like 2
  2. Rabbit

    As I recall, ’67 was the single best selling year of Beetle in the US. Good thing, as there are a LOT of ’67 only parts. That being said, shame it’s a west-coast car. If it were closer, it might be worth a look.

    Like 2
  3. Howard A Member

    The ’67 Bug, as said before, was the most refined Bug to come down the pike. For many, it wasn’t that we actually liked the Bug, it’s just, an older VW was the only car you could afford on “grass cutting” wages. THAT’S where the “stories” come in. Most of us were growing up, and all the stuff that involves, if you were a red blooded American teenager, a bicycle just didn’t cut it anymore, and for $50 bucks, motorized wheels could be had. We didn’t care what it was, that came later. Most put up with the VW’s shortcomings, because memories of bicycle rides in the rain weren’t that far off. The VW had the long time honor of being the least expensive car sold in America. $1,799 for years, until the Gremlin undercut it by $100 bucks( VW was $1,999 by then,still the cheapest) in 1970. The ’67 had real headlights, ( a little) more power, but still lacked many of the comforts, that were standard on the Gremlin,,,like a working heater, for one.
    I too, never had a Bug of my own, friend had a ’58 right after HS(’73), ( yep, $50 bucks) that we had the engine removal down to a science, and a lot of cruisin’, including stuff that may or may not be appropriate here, but it was the 70’s, and VW’s were a HUGE part of that. Don’t judge unless you’ve been there,,,

    Like 13
  4. 4 Quarts

    Over the years I owned a ’65, ’68 and a ’69 Beetle. While these make for good project cars, with parts available everywhere, I’d take a hard pass on this one because there just aren’t enough pictures showing any weak spots like the chassis. Noting the Running Boards are missing, stains on the carpet especially around the Driver side foot well suggests there is too much rot all around.

  5. Mike Rhoades

    I was drafted into the US Army in 1966 and subsequently sent to Vietnam as an infantryman in the 25th Infantry Division at Pleiku. At that time I was the proud owner of a 1964 GTO convertible that I had purchased new. I was also engaged (to my current wife!) and decided to purchase a 1964 VW bug as a more practical (and hopefully less cost/maintenance) vehicle for her to use while I was gone, and sadly sell the GTO. There was an instance where she pulled into a full service gas stration (yes, they had those back then) and asked them to check the tire pressure, oil and coolant level. She was shocked and confused when they told her the VW didn’t have any “coolant”.
    Still miss that ‘64 GOAT…..but bought a new ‘67 Firebird 400 to celebrate my return from Vietnam.

    Like 4
  6. Gary

    I always wanted a wide eye Baja Bug, lifted with tires,cage and a big ol motor. We had a guy back in the early eighties with a bad ass Bug, all built up and very nasty. He was sitting at a light with a really nice 56 BelAir looking to race. I was across the intersection in my 68 Charger R/T. and I don’t know who was more surprised, me or the 56 when the Bug launched with the front wheels in the air well into the intersection. One very nasty Bug.

  7. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    Once per year I used to visit my in-laws in South Africa, 1000 miles away from my house in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). I did the trip in a VW Kombi 1200cc, an Austin Westminster 2.6L, an Austin Healey 100/4, a Ford Cortina Mk 1,1200cc, and the fastest time I ever did the trip was 20 hours door to door in a two year old ’62 VW 1200cc Beetle! This was because in all the other, faster cars, we would drive at 80+ mph and then stop for tea/breakfast/picnic etc. whereas with the Beetle I had my foot to the floor all the time and never stopped other than for petrol. When we arrived at the border post it was late at night and empty so we were through in ten minutes. Great little car and a vast improvement on my ’56 Beetle.

    Like 1
  8. Bruce

    Always love seeing Howard A’s comments. I had several bugs in my late high school/early college days. Couldn’t buy one for $50 but my first one cost me $260 due to a lot of oil leakage that I felt was the oil cooler seal (and it was). Easiest engine to remove ever created. Drove it for 2 years and sold it for $850 because I found a Datsun 710 that I thought would drive better. 6 months later a floor mate in the dorm couldn’t get his 71 SuperBeetle started from sitting in the car lot all spring (he lived out of state so caught a ride with another) and I bought it from him for $400, towed it home, replaced the gas filter, replaced the coil and put new points and condenser in it and it purred. So I said goodbye to the 710 and drove that puppy for a year. So easy to work on. Slowly trying to get the time to redo my father in law’s 68 VW convertible that he imported. But how is that primed 67 worth $5100 That is what seems crazy to me. Maybe more than $500 but not more than $5000. That just seems high to me.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Bruce, not everyone shares your thought’s, but thanks. I, like many, was just a kid that loved anything with a motor, and like many, just being interested in that stuff, you were bound to have adventures. Adventures you just can’t have today, possibly explaining my sour attitude, at times. We didn’t need no stinkin’ innernet[sic], we MADE our own fun, and for pennies. I feel a rich person having had those memories and BF’s and many folks here, help rekindle those memories. It was a fun time to be a young person.

      Like 2
  9. Maestro1 Member

    I owned a ’67, a repossession from a pizza delivery place in San Francisco and drove it forever. Absolutely wonderful car, a little hairy on first gear starts on San Francisco hills. Based on the currently inflamed market prices for these and everything else you can think of the price is probably right. The only annoyance I can think of was the lack of effective heater/defroster equipment.

    Like 1
  10. Michael L Gregory

    My dad was determined I would have a VW Beetle for my first car. He loved them since he was in Germany during WWII. He found a ’67 for me on a local car lot in a robin’s egg blue and I finally had the freedom I had always wanted. My best friend and I planned a “senior trip” that summer in the VW and all kinds of things happened, starting with the insides of the muffler all coming loose and eventually spraying all over the highway behind us. The fuel pump developed a pinhole leak so everywhere we went after that the car had to be started by popping the clutch on a hill. But there were lots of fun times, too. One of my favorite images was of that car with a pair of inner tubes roped to the top as we headed to the river for a tubing day. One was smaller than the other, so it made people laugh because it looked like one of those stacking donut toys little kids played with back in the day. I kept that car for less than year because I really wanted a convertible, but it will always shine as my first car.

    Like 1
  11. Brian

    I’ve owned three type ones, a 57, a 65 and a 66. If i were to get another, and who knows, it would be a 67. It still has the older body style, bumpers, etc but got the 1500 (did they ever put the 1300 in the 67?) and 12 volts. Id say the running boards on this one are missing for a reason. When my running boards started getting flimsy on the 66 i took them off to replace them and did that just in time as there was rust started where they mount that would have rusted through had I not taken preemptive action. I like the old VWs, they take me back to a simpler time when we could do just about any repair with onky a handful of tools.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The research that I did claimed that the 1200, 1300, and 1500 were all used, depending on country of destination/use but those countries, and which one got which, weren’t detailed. As for the U.S., it appears they were all, more than likely, 1500’s.

      JO

      Like 1
      • alphasud Member

        Yes, the US market got the 1500 in 67. 66 was the only year to have the 1300 and had the 1300 tag on the deck lid.

  12. Mountainwoodie

    In the late eighties we bought my stepson a cherry ’67 with a sunroof. I had a friend who owned a VW shop and bought the Bug from him…..I think it had a 1600 in it. Anyway, the kid was a knothead and lived in a then sketchy part of town. Predictably someone hot wired his Bug and drove off.
    The “always on it” local constabulary subsequently stopped two individuals, who addressed each other as “Ese”, driving down the street in the Bug. The perfect paint job had been covered up with rattle can grey and the wrong license plates were on the car.
    About a week later after the car had been returned to the kid, a number of wife beating T shirt clad individuals knocked at his door.
    “Hey man, we left some stuff on the floor of the VW, can we get it back?” they asked. My knothead kid, ever polite, gave them their stuff back.

    He then proceeded to wreck a number of other cars; an Audi 100, an MGB, and his grandfathers certified old man Buick Regal. He had more in common with the thieves than he did with me!

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