One Year Only – 1967 Volkswagen Beetle (Plus Bonus Hot Rod!)

Perhaps it is their lingering ubiquity that makes Beetles less interesting to some classic car enthusiasts, but there’s really something to be said for all their different permutations, easy-peasy parts availability, and manifold options for modification. And, of course, you get to repair a car using a book for the Compleat Idiot before the “for Idiots” series existed, and what’s more, it’s written by John Muir. Okay, not that John Muir, but hey… anyhow, while a standard Bug does not sound too exciting, going through the process of selecting modifications and making your own to surprise the odd Alfa or BMW sounds like a lot of fun. On the theme of modifications, isn’t it interesting how owners of other modified people’s cars, namely Fiat 500/600s and Minis, are part of a broader car culture while the air-cooled VW nuts split off into their own subculture? Anyway, enough rambling – take a look at this 1967 Volkswagen Beetle for sale in Canby, OR (near Portland), for $3200.

1964 Volkswagen Beetle right front

Like with Datsun roadsters, 1967 was an interesting year in the world of the Beetle. It’s a transition year, considered the most desirable by some VW enthusiasts, the first year for the 1500 engine, 12 volt electrics, and “modern” upright headlights. There are apparently many more minor details specific to this year, particularly among US-market cars. This particular car retains most of its 1967-specific parts, except the engine, which has been upgraded to a dual-port 1600. The paint color was changed from white at some point in its life, but the color change looks to be fairly thorough, and this shade of gold works well on a Beetle.

1964 Volkswagen Beetle left rear

The car does have its share of dents – would a paintless dent remover help here? It’s also got a bit of a high-water stance, which the seller does not address. Is this just the photography, or is it some sign that something is wrong with the suspension? The smaller tail lights and bumpers definitely look a lot better, more in keeping with the original 1938 design. Just think, by the time this car was sold new, its design was already 29 years old! Would anyone buy a 30-year-old new car in this country nowadays?

1964 Volkswagen Beetle interior

The interior looks clean and serviceable, though it could probably use some detail attention in the near future. The seat upholstery looks a little loose, and while there are plenty of good reasons to have a modern radio in your car (like the dash was cut by the previous owner), modern radios with their blue LCD screens and silver faces look horrible in a classic car. Perhaps a block-off plate and under-dash mounting are the solution here?

1964 Volkswagen Beetle engine

The engine compartment looks decent, and the car is said to start, stop, run, and drive well. What’s your preferred position for working on these? Standing with the rear up on jackstands? Sitting on a stool? Squatting? Whatever it is, you have a different perspective working on your car than on front-engine vehicles. Looks like the distributor, carburetor, belt and air filter are all quite accessible.

If the unusual 1967 doesn’t push your buttons, how about this 1972 Volkswagen Beetle with a 1700 engine from a Porsche 914? Said to have twice the power and 30% more torque than stock, with a Weber carb and dual exhausts, this car has had some serious improvements. When thinking of utilitarian haulers, this might not be the first car that comes to mind, but this one has a strong roof rack, a trailer hitch, and rear coilover shocks. With the 2-tone paint and standard steel wheels with chrome caps, it’s a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What’s your flavor of Bug?

1972 Volkswagen Beetle 914 engine

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3 Responses to “One Year Only – 1967 Volkswagen Beetle (Plus Bonus Hot Rod!)”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    Good deals both, the 1st one’s ad seems to have expired already

  2. Rob Says:

    1972 is a transition year for the Convertible Beetle. The beetle is half standard bug and half Superbeetle.

    In 1971 the nose was shorter and the spare tire stood up. this changed in 73 to a longer nose and a lay down tire. This transition year includes the longer nose. As well as the new suspension modifications applied to the 73 Superbeetle allowing it to handle better.

    Classic Beetle had a flat windscreen, Super went to a bowed rounded windscreen. The 72 transition Beetle retained the flat screen, which required a one year transition convertible top. The 72 has the smallest most compact top profile of all convertibles due to the wider body and flat windscreen. 71 and 73 both have different and larger tops.

    The 72 kept the classic dash but went with wider seats.

    Tail lights and front fender marker lights are also transition specifically used only on the 72. Super beetle went to a round tail light and a larger front marker. 71 had smaller tail and marker lights.

    The 72 also went to the 1600 CC 4 cyl giving it plenty of poop to get up the hills.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Thanks, very informative… as much as I hate to admit it, I love these little details, especially when they relate to transitions from one model year to the next. Alfa did a lot of similarly weird stuff that results in cars not having the “right” parts.

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