1961 VW Beetle

Paul Karssen

My parents bought this 1961 Beetle from their neighbor in So Cal in either 1967 or 1968, when my older sister was about to get either her permit or license to drive. We’re not certain of the price paid, other than that it definitely was less than $500. (The neighbor was also a good friend.)

It’s been in the family ever since. I drove it while in high school, college, and law school. Later, when my oldest daughter got her license, my dad handed it over to me (along with a very well-worn key).

It’s not gone through any sort of restoration per se, but has been lovingly cared for over the years – exterior paint on a few occasions, replacement of things that had worn out (headliner, seat covers, carpet, running board, chrome strips, headlamps, hub caps, bumpers, etc.)

My desire (dream) is to do a thorough restoration before transferring it to my son. For that purpose I’m grateful that the interior paint is original (Gulf Blue), as is some carpet behind the back seat. We also have all the annual registrations since 1968, the owner’s manual (albeit tattered and quite brittle), and a certificate from a museum in Germany specifying a manufacturing date of June 13 and delivery date of June 16, 1961. Here's a "clip" from the certificate.