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1967 Volkswagen

By Vern Parker

For years after a Navy commander purchased a 1967 Volkswagen for his daughter he took the car to master technician Bob Burgess for regular maintenance and needed repairs.

In the spring of 1991, after 74,000 miles, a number of parts on the car simultaneously worn out.

When Burgess gave the Navy officer the bad news he recalls the commander said he did not want to spend any more money on the car and he was going to sell the VW.

That is when Burgess made him an offer to buy the car which was accepted.  Using his automotive skills Burgess knew he could bring the car back to running condition at a reasonable price.

The 13-foot, 4-inch-long car sat in his garage in Stafford, Virginia  untouched for several years before Burgess commenced the restoration.  Because of all the years that he had worked on the car for the original owner he was thoroughly familiar with the German car.

He was pleasantly surprised to find the floor pan was free of rust although the side rockers were rotted and needed to be replaced along with the running boards.

Burgess explains that the 1967 model VW is a one off vehicle.  It is different than the earlier ones and not as advanced as the later ones he says. The 1967 VW has no front seat headrests nor any red defrosting wires embedded in the rear window.

Prior to acquiring the car Burgess had replaced an axle as well as the left front fender.

There were dents all over the car, Burgess says.  After patiently working on his car the body once more was presentable.  That is when he had it resprayed to match the original red paint.

Burgess says the white headliner is original as is the black leatherette back seat.  The black front seat has been recovered and each door has a storage pocket.

At a hair more than five feet wide the 1,764-pound VW rolls along on 1.65x15-inch radial white sidewall tires mounted on a 94.5-inch wheelbase.  Trim rings on the wheels add sparkle to the VW.

Burgess has installed optional "pop out" windows to the rear of the doors.  At the hub of the two-spoke steering wheel is the Wolfsburg emblem.

The optimistic speedometer can record speeds up to 90 miles per hour.  "It can only go 90 downhill", Burgess says.

He has overhauled the original 1500 horizontally opposed air-cooled engine which came with no oil filter but has an oil strainer.

A single-barrel carburetor feeds fuel from the 10-gallon fuel tank in the front of the car to the engine in the rear.

The four-speed manual transmission is synchronized and is shifted with a floor-mounted lever between the front seats.

Beneath the left end of the back seat is the 12-volt battery.

Peeking out below the center of the rear bumper are the two exhaust pipes.  Above the rear bumper but beneath the chrome over riders are a pair of backup lights.

  Volkswagen 50 years ago was marketed as "The People's Car" and as far as Burgess is concerned, his little red bug still lives up to that claim.

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