Bob O

My Favorite Year

I've always loved VW's. I got my first old, air cooled 1956 Beetle when I was 15. The plan was to get it up and running in time for getting my official drivers license at 17. From there, let's just say the "bug" bit me - then ultimately bit my dad as well. I had a 1957 Rag Top Beetle for a while. Dad got a 1966 Karmann Ghia convertible. I then moved to a 1969 Karmann Ghia coupe, and dad got a 1968 Bus. Though each successive VW experience required significant tinkering to get the cars running (and to keep them running!!), and we had a lot of fun (and busted knuckles) for a number of years.

As time went on, I got away from the old air cooled VWs and moved through a number of more "current" cars. Air conditioning and a bit more room was a pretty big draw at the time. But, eventually, newer water cooled VW's found their way into my driveway. A Jetta, a New Beetle, and now, a wonderful GTI have kept me excited about even a simple commute to work. What wonderful cars to drive - if you like to drive.

During my early VW years, though, I always found the 1967 Beetle to be my favorite. Though I never owned one, I loved the modified "old" Beetle lines, increased glass area and the significant "first year" milestones associated with it. Things like the first year for a 12 volt electrical system. Dual master cylinder braking (for safety), 2 speed windshield wipers, sealed beam headlights, 4 way hazard lights and 53 horsepower to name a few!! What could be better?

Flash forward to 2013. After attending numerous car shows and air cooled VW shows, I decided to look into buying an old Beetle to work on. Perhaps a run down non driver that I could work on with my son-in-law (a very talented Porsche technician, by the way). Well, as it turns out, I really wanted something I could actually drive while I was working on it. So, after months of searching online and at car shows, I came across my holy grail. A 1967 Beetle. Rust free, complete and not too far away in a small town outside of Boston.

My wife and I took a day off from work and drove the 4 hours from NJ (home) up to the Boston area to see this car. The owner was a fascinating guy who bought the car from the original owner in San Francisco and drove it all the way home to the east coast on his 2 week vacation. Pretty cool. I test drove the car and as my wife says, the expression on my face said I had to buy it.

Since October of 2013, we've done a lot of work on the 67. My son-in-law and I pulled the motor and repaired some oil leaks and detailed the entire engine compartment. We replaced the shift rod bushing (after watching a how-to video on YouTube). We've cleaned, rubbed and polished virtually every square inch of this Beetle. And now, though never completed, I'm taking weekend drives, and attending car shows. Only now, I'm not looking at Beetles that I'd like to own. Now I own my favorite year. What could be better?

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