Jump to content

Question concerning a VW Bug


real61ss
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm restoring a 1969 Bug and I'm having a little difficulty finding some answers. I spent some time at the library when we were in Hershey last month but didn't find the answers. The car is black, what color should the wheels be? Also, were radial tires available on a '69 VW, I'm guessing not. Thanks in advance<o:p></o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a body off resto 20 years ago. Had many bugs. Super cars. There is a guy in Mohnton, PA. He is the owner of Ulrich's vw. His name is Gene. He is the man when it comes to bugs. He has a lot of old stuff. Builds motors. Has ghia that does 9 second quarter mile at Maple Grove. Call him he has parts and knowledge and reasonable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe '69 was the last year for the two-tone black & white wheels on Bug Sedans (black inners, white outers), and in '70 they went to all-silver.

I believe a '69 Bug Convertible would have all-black wheels, with slotted trim rings added (that the Sedans didn't come standard with).

Like Ron says, thesamba.com contains a wealth of info.

Also suggest your checking out the Vintage VW Club of America: Welcome to the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America

Happy Volkswagening!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve,

Thanks for that link, from what I could find on the Samba site it appears that you are correct on the two tone wheels, I believe mine should have black centers with a greyish white outer rim. Today all of the vendors sell a chrome wheel that looks just like the stock wheel but I have yet to find any infomation that would indicate chrome wheels were an option back then. I bought a new '69 Bug but I can't remember the details now. I do remember that I took the car straight from the dealer to a tire store and had radials put on it. That was the first car I ever had with radial tires but apparently they were not available from the factory becasue I remember having them installed. Any thoughts on the tires?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve,

Thanks for that link, from what I could find on the Samba site it appears that you are correct on the two tone wheels, I believe mine should have black centers with a greyish white outer rim. Today all of the vendors sell a chrome wheel that looks just like the stock wheel but I have yet to find any infomation that would indicate chrome wheels were an option back then. I bought a new '69 Bug but I can't remember the details now. I do remember that I took the car straight from the dealer to a tire store and had radials put on it. That was the first car I ever had with radial tires but apparently they were not available from the factory becasue I remember having them installed. Any thoughts on the tires?

When I re-did stock wheels for my stock 1968 Bug I believe I used L87 Pearl White for the rim outers, and was able to buy Dupont Centary Acrylic Enamel in that exact color.

I do not believe that chrome wheels were ever originally available on 1969 Bugs (or any year air cooled Bug for that matter). Some times you can find good used stock wheels in the classifieds section of thesamba.com - I think there is a specific wheels/tires section where you can browse for them.

I believe on a '69 Bug, they would be 4" wide (not 4.5" wide). It seems like most of the used ones you see are 4.5" wide, so that would be something to pay attention to. Oh, and Type III wheels *may* possibly have a slightly different offset than Bug wheels, but sorry I am not totally knowledgeable about that.

I believe that all '69 Bugs would've come new from the factory with bias ply tires. I imagine that it's *possible* that radials might've been available, perhaps as a dealer-installed option(?). But again, that's just speculation on my part.

Another possible wrinkle is whether or not whitewall bias ply tires ever came factory installed on '69 Bugs--my guess is no, but rather that it would have been a dealer-installed item.

That famous '69 or so picture of the Karmann assembly line (Bug Convertibles and Karmann Ghias) shows whitewalls on the cars (hopefully the link below works...)--but, again, that's Karmann/Osnabruck, and not Wolfsburg where the Bug Sedans were built...

http://home.comcast.net/~shorelinesteve/KarmannAssemblyLineLate60s1k.jpg

Edited by stock_steve (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info, it has been really helpful. So.....you don't think whitwalls came on '69 Bugs, that's interesting, like I said i bought a new in '69 but can't remeber and don't have any old pictures that i know of. As for checking the stickers in the glove box.....no such luck, they are long gone!! Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

Tommy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My '69 had blackwalls, Tommy. I never saw a whitewalled bug in those days. She was bought new from Hawthorne Motors on Broad Street. Even spent big bucks on chromed wheel rings, and bumper guards, Think the guards were about $15.00 on each end. The car was dark green in color-non metallic. 80 miles an hour wide open, took a while to get there too.:o

The big thing just coming out then was A/C and a sunroof!!:eek:

Wayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My '69 had blackwalls, Tommy. I never saw a whitewalled bug in those days. She was bought new from Hawthorne Motors on Broad Street. Even spent big bucks on chromed wheel rings, and bumper guards, Think the guards were about $15.00 on each end. The car was dark green in color-non metallic. 80 miles an hour wide open, took a while to get there too.:o

The big thing just coming out then was A/C and a sunroof!!:eek:

Wayne

I think that green was called Java Green, Wayne. Fun reading of your recollections. I don't think I've ever done 80 in any Beetle of any year, period.

Enthusiasts of the current day love to put whitewalls on VWs, but I definitely agree with you that they were extremely un-common back in the day. I would still bet money that whitewalls on a newly-purchased '69 Bug *Sedan*would have been a *dealer-installed* item.

I re-read Tommy's original post and saw that his '69 is black (that seems to be a fairly unusual color for Bugs of that era--I seem to see a lot more black Bugs from the late '50s/early '60s). It is my understanding that the previously described two-tone black & white wheels were standard on *any color* Beetle from around that era (definitely including '69s--but also, as previously noted, the wheels turned all-silver for the '70 model year). My '68 Sedan (sold a few years back) was Savannah Beige, and I now have a '70 Convertible that is also Savannah Beige.

Edited by stock_steve (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My '69 had blackwalls, Tommy. I never saw a whitewalled bug in those days. She was bought new from Hawthorne Motors on Broad Street. Even spent big bucks on chromed wheel rings, and bumper guards, Think the guards were about $15.00 on each end. The car was dark green in color-non metallic. 80 miles an hour wide open, took a while to get there too.:o

The big thing just coming out then was A/C and a sunroof!!:eek:

Wayne

Wayne,

I bought my '69 from Hawthorne on Broad St also. I don't remember much about it because we only had it a couple of months at the most, my wife was coming from work in it and was re-ended and the car was total losted. I took the insurance money and bought an Opel. I do remember that it had a AM/FM radio, first car I ever had with a FM radio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our first new car was a '68 Bug. Light blue. Still have the invoice $1801 plus $125 for the radio. What were we thinking spending 7% of the purchase price on a radio? Sadly it wasn't a very reliable car. One of the difficulties in restoring a VW is finding correct info to help you sort what was original from the thousands and thousands of "repro" and dress up parts available. Personally I have yet to see a bone stock VW at an AACA show though I'm sure there must be some around. Those who "restore" big trucks seem to have the same problem when faced with the temptation to add non factory accessories and trim. Chrome wheels seem to be a particular fetish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wayne,

I bought my '69 from Hawthorne on Broad St also......

By the way, I'm pretty sure the wheels were painted black behind the "bling". My wife at the time drove 60 miles each day to work. The bug developed a small oil leak at some point. She was driving home from work one day when the "little red light" started flashing, then it seemed be less flash and more on. By the time she had gotten home, the engine was not hitting on a whole lot, burnt the valves, and screwed up something else internally.

"Well, it was a little light!??"

I had the engine fixed, but gosh, I can not remember what I bought next??? Some things, old cars and first wives, are sometimes best not remembered??:)

Wayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...One of the difficulties in restoring a VW is finding correct info to help you sort what was original from the thousands and thousands of "repro" and dress up parts available...

Definitely agree.

...Personally I have yet to see a bone stock VW at an AACA show though I'm sure there must be some around...

There are a few--not many to my observation--but a few. If you happened to get lost and wander mistakenly over to class 04b at Hershey this year, for example, you saw a super-correct restored mid-'60s Bug, looking "as it should."

...Chrome wheels seem to be a particular fetish...

Agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...There are a few--not many to my observation--but a few. If you happened to get lost and wander mistakenly over to class 04b at Hershey this year, for example, you saw a super-correct restored mid-'60s Bug, looking "as it should."...

post-34222-14313927847_thumb.jpg

It was a '65 by the way, and I took a couple of pictures of it. Nice car! There's those two-tone black & white wheels again...

post-34222-143139278461_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ATTACH=CONFIG]165496[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]165497[/ATTACH]

It was a '65 by the way, and I took a couple of pictures of it. Nice car! There's those two-tone black & white wheels again...

I did go there and looked at that car, very nice but it has whitewall tires. I'm trying to restore this one as correctly as possible, I've had pretty good success with my other projects, I've just never done a Bug before so I'm kinda lost. I'm doing this car for my wife and she plans to show it at some National Meets so we'll see what happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beetles were sold new with whitewall tires, for sure in '69. Wheels were still black and cream, as has been stated. If the car had trim rings from the factory the wheels were black, but this mostly was done on type III's. The '65 Steve mentions is excellant. 5.60 X 15 would be the original size, no radials in '69. Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, and Goodyear all were factory tires, might be others.

Edited by nearchoclatetown (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beetles were sold new with whitewall tires, for sure in '69. Wheels were still black and cream, as has been stated. If the car had trim rings from the factory the wheels were black, but this mostly was done on type III's. .

I think this was my case Doug. I know they were one color and pretty sure it was black. With trim rings, no one actually noticed what color showed from the rims.

Wayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went and pulled out my old copies of Garwood to look up what he says. Volume 2 covers Bugs '61 thru '80:

post-34222-143139281226_thumb.jpg

Not saying that Garwood is necessarily the ultimate authority, but for '69 Bugs, he has L581 Cloud White for wheel outers on a black '69 Sedan (I was incorrect with the previous L87 Pearl White suggestion):

post-34222-143139281234_thumb.jpg

Edited by stock_steve (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought mine in 1987 (Vol. 1) and 1988 (Vol. 2), Tommy, direct from Garwood.

I googled and found what appears to be "one copy" (?) available at Amazon: Amazon.com: Volkswagen Beetle: The car of the century: J. T Garwood: Books

And there appears also to be a web site now also(?): Volkswagen Beetle The Car Of The Century

Here are also two Garwood-related thesamba.com discussion threads:

TheSamba.com :: View topic - J. T. Garwood's Book

TheSamba.com :: View topic - JT Garwood "The Car of the Century"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve, I'll check those sites out. This is an adventure to say the least, last night I replaced the weatherstripping on one of the push out rear side windows. That was fun!!! but I don't think the other one will be as difficult now that I've done one. And...the wiring, what a nightmare!!! American cars are wired so that when replacing an entire wiring harness it's difficult to plug the wrong two ends together but this Bug wiring harness has dozens of spades that could plug into anything!!! The directions basicly say unplug the old wire and plug in the new wire, well that's great if you had the old wire but in the case of this old car the wiring was such a mess that I just removed everything and started over and where the car has been repainted over the years the wires were painted so you can't tell what color anything originally was. I have gotten it to the point that I started the engine and nothing went up in smoke!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

I know this thread was from a year ago but I would recomend one more thing if you want to learn more about your particular Beetle. Invest the $50 and get a Birth Certificate from Wolfsburg Germany. I know on the older VW's the birth certificate will say weather the car had white walls. Also they will send you a seperate letter at the same time as the Birth Certificate if the motor is correct/original. I hope this helps!

Mike Klem

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

My parents 1961 VW had white walls when purchased new.

My 66 VW had them too, at a cost of $18.00.

The VW was the ultimate natural cool car. Dual exhausts, 4 on the floor and if you added fender skirts they were really special!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...