28 September 2018
Why pre '67? - Whats wrong with 70's Beetles?
I often get asked - Why pre 1967? What do I have against later VW's?
Back in 1998/1999 there was a great site on the Internet called Kabriolett.com which was known as Strictly Vintage VWs. The site catered for VWs made from 1938-1953. It was a fantastic collection of period photos and info about these rare cars. The problem as I saw it was that this wasn't a wide enough time period, it didn't include Ovals made up to 1957, or even 60's VWs. There was already TheSamba that catered for everything, but nothing that catered for the VW's I was really interested in - so I decided to build a site.
In Europe, 1967 saw a considerable number of changes to the Beetle in order to make it appear more modern. Upright headlights, shorter front bonnet, shorter rear engine lid, bigger tail lights, which led the way into the big bumper era of 70's Beetles which were intentionally looking less and less like their war time predecessors, with more and more plastic being used throughout.
When I launched the site, I knew that there were some 1967 Beetles with sloping headlights and I knew that the US model had upright headlights but still had the longer front bonnet, so I knew it was a tricky year. Since launching the site I've had emails from various people around the world confused as to why I picked 1967, as the sloping headlight model was made after this time in their country. I suppose I never thought that pre67vw.com would be visited by anyone outside of the UK when it launched!
One of my favourite models that I have discovered since the site was launched, is the South African 1600s 'Funbug' Beetle. Such a weird mix of parts, but made and sold this way. Only 1600 funbugs were made, but take a look and see what you can notice...
Here's the main things to notice - it has the early 'wide 5' wheel pattern, not the later 4 stud - I believe it actually had a link-pin front beam too, not a balljoint beam. It came with Rostyle wheels as standard. Also, in order to fit the big 'elephant foot' tail lights to the older style rear wing, an adaptor piece (the black part) was used. This is a cool car to me because of those crazy mix of parts.
So to sum up, no I don't dislike VWs made after 1967, and as time goes on, 19 years after the site's launch - the '70's Beetles are becoming rarer and a much less common site on todays roads. Maybe pre67vw should re-brand as pre '98 vw? Oh but wait, I have a New Beetle too, so that wouldn't work...