Matthew Cantelon


After some frustration with dealerships and the high payments for leasing vehicles, my wife and I decided that now was a good time to pick up one of our bucket-list cars as daily driver. After some searching, we happened to find and purchase a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle.

The ‘72 Beetle had the look we liked:

  • a flat windscreen
  • shallow dash
  • more compact than the later Super Beetles
  • the bumpers that we had planned on buying
  • eyelids
  • minimal rust

In addition, the engine seemed to be running strong, the brakes worked, and the suspension did not seem terrible.

Photo of the Beetle as of September 2019

If you want to follow this project along, you can do so by checking out the 72-beetle tag.

Sections on this page:


  • Year: 1972
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual
  • Engine: 1600cc
  • Odometer: 75, 763 miles
  • Purchased: June 14, 2019


Currently don’t know too much about the car except that all the work in the last five years has been done at one shop and that the previous owner made it to front page of a local newspaper with their Herbie vinyls.

I have a small collection of the service history. The folder had several other cars mixed in so I am not sure if this is all of the reciepts that the previous owner had. Below is a rough outline of what work I know has been done.

Date Odometer (in KM) Purchase or Shop Notes
2019-01-08 75, 248 Shop
  • fix driver side door
  • install driver side window regulator
  • replace drivers door latch
2018-01-08 74, 232 Shop
  • Wheel shakes at 50-60mph (wheels bent)
  • replace vapour barriers
  • replace driver/passenger door seals
  • replace front/rear wheel cylinders
  • replace front/rear brake shoes
  • replace driver rear brake drum
  • bleed brake system
  • rotate tires
  • re-machined passenger rear brake drum
  • repair rear driver/passenger rocker panel area
  • replace sealant
2017-10-10 73, 707 Shop
  • Adjust and free-up brake pedal push rod
  • replace clutch cable and sleeve
2017-08-03 N/A Purchase Ignition coil
2016-08-05 69, 714 Shop Mount and balance of four 165/80R15
2016-03-05 66, 039 Shop
  • replace clutch assembly
  • clean thread and install sender properly
  • free-up window regulator
  • clean/grease/install door panel
  • repair hazard lights
  • adjust brakes
2015-06-15 58, 756 Shop
  • adjust valves
  • replace broken rocker arm spring
  • repair #4 intake valve stem
  • install cap on #4 intake valve
  • adjust valves
  • service carb
  • replace vaccuum hoses
  • adjust dwell
  • adjust timing
  • replace generator pulley
2015-05-29 58, 262 Shop Oil service



  • remove Herbie vinyl
  • fix rust and paint
  • reduce gas fumes in cabin
  • get seats that are not broken
  • fix rear drivers side turn signal


  • disc brake conversion (don’t like the drum feeling)
  • push button start
  • immobilizer
  • redo interior (headliner, seats, floor, dash)
  • inside and out paint
  • electric engine conversion
  • birth certificate


Combo of receipts and things we need to get in the near future:

Item Cost Date Purchased
Ear Clamp Pliers
Oil $23.97 CAD 2019-09-15
Oil drain pan $6.99 CAD 2019-09-15
Black nitrite Gloves (50 pack) $20.99 CAD 2019-09-15
Feeler gauge
Oil drain gaskets (10 pack) $24.99 CAD 2019-09-10
Valve cover gaskets (4 pack) $6.29 CAD 2019-09-10
Aluminum fresh air heater hose $9.79 CAD 2019-09-10
Fresh air hose clamp $8.39 CAD 2019-09-10
Fuel tank rubber hose and clamp kit $81 USD 2019-07-05
Front license plate clamps $4.95 USD 2019-07-05
Rear license plate mounting braket $8 USD 2019-07-05

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You can follow on this site by checking out the 72-beetle tag.