octavious Dork
2/27/21 10:03 a.m.

My son (11) is saving for his first car project. Maybe I am rubbing off on him? We have a family member who has a 1973 VW standard beetle that I'm fairly certain he could get for free or cheap. I know the 73 well and have worked on it over the years, but I am by no means a VW expert. I know about rust areas (floor pans, battery tray, etc.) Mostly I have questions about model changes on trim and paint. Here are some things I don't know:

- Early beetles had seats with lower back rests, when did that stop?

- when did the uglier impact style bumpers, like on the 73 start?

- where they always available with two tone paint? Like where the doors below the chrome trim line are white and the rest of the body is a different color. 

- I've seen some work small chrome vents on the lower front bumper. How long did that last? 

- I vaguely remember reading that standards make better Bajas. Is that true? and vice versa, I know about front lowering beams, but that wouldn't apply to Super Beetles right? 

I assume most of these were related to earlier versions since the 73 doesn't have any of them. 

noddaz UltraDork
2/27/21 10:23 a.m.

1968 was a big change over year if I remeber correctly.  High back seats, bigger bumpers, sealed beam headlamps.

This says it is a 1967.  Maybe not the best picture because it has high back seats.

And this says it is a 1968.  Which looks like it has low back seats.

In that time frame was also the transition from swing axle to CV axle rear suspension.  Also from wide 5 lug to 4 lug wheels.

And the small chrome grills on the 1967 are for the single horn.

And you are correct, lowering beams are not for Super Beetles.  Super Beetles have Macpherson strut suspension in the front.


Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/27/21 11:06 a.m.
californiamilleghia SuperDork
2/27/21 11:27 a.m.

High back seats were 1968 , as were the start of the crash bumpers ,

73s had larger crash bumpers without shocks in the mounting brackets

73 front seats were a new 3 point design , the earlier  bug seats will not fit unless you weld in earlier tracks , 

Standard beetles always had the beam  ,  the Super Beetle had struts

VW never offered a 2 tone paint job , but 1000s of people have painted them 2 tone

A 73 standard is a good car ,  check around the side air vent behind the side windows , that seemed to be one of the rust points

Any more question ,  just ask


octavious Dork
2/27/21 11:39 a.m.

Thanks guys. 

Headlights on the 67 look way better to me, as do the bumpers. Bumpers too.

The family members 73 is one I haven't seen in a few years.  I don't have any pics of it at this time, but I had at my house a few years prior to my kids being born, so 11-12 years ago. During, that time I pulled the body off the pan and replaced all the floorboards. The heater channels were all good at that time. I remember one rear fender was messed up but don't remember why or which fender. It is yellow but it has a cheaper respray at some point. Seats were the standard seats. Engine ran and to my knowledge had never been rebuilt. I had ordered new running boards but never put them on. I have no idea how it has been stored or what it's condition might be right now.

It's not my favorite body style but I need to remember it's not my car, and the price might be right for my son it get it. I figured no matter what there would always be aircooled VW meets and drives since people tend to love them. 

rustyvw Dork
2/27/21 11:41 a.m.

The good thing is that most of the parts can be switched around to make a 70's car look like a 60's car and vice versa.  I've got a 74 Baja right now, and I've got a set of 1966 front and rear aprons to make it look like an earlier car.  If you are looking for rust, also check the lower A pillars and heater channels for rust.  

I wouldn't try to make a Baja out of a Super Beetle, I'm sure it can be done, but it is so much easier with a standard.

octavious Dork
2/27/21 11:52 a.m.

I'm glad to know he could do either a Baja or lower the standard. I also never liked the dash on the Supers. 

And you guys are saying paint like this we're never a factory option. I truly didn't know that, but really like it. 

aircooled MegaDork
2/27/21 12:31 p.m.

Pretty much any bug not completely rotted out bug is worth money these days (harder to find now), so definitely jump on it.  Don't worry about making it pretty or stock.  Rough is almost more cool now and non-stock has almost no affect on value (unless it's a super nice original)

No way the white bug above is a 67.  67 had the fuel filler in the trunk.  The changes from 64-69 are pretty crazy.  Generally the 66 is considered the "best of" old and new (old interior handles, headlight covers...).  

The non-super beetle is nice, much more classic.  The two tone was in most of the other VWs (generally older), the bus had it for a while, but was only in the very early Ghias.  Here is what mine would look like if I went back to the original colors:


noddaz UltraDork
2/27/21 1:40 p.m.

A popular bumper swap is to put Mexican beetle bumpers on a US car.

Looks a little bit smoother and has the front turn signals in the bumper instead of on top of the fender.

And instead of chrome, can be color matched to the car.



californiamilleghia SuperDork
2/27/21 3:14 p.m.

at one time Flat 4 in Japan were buying  new built Bugs in Mexico when they were still built and making them look "vintage" by  changing fenders and bumpers etc, this was in the 1990s.....

And the 1971-72 Super bugs had the same dash as the Standard bug.....

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