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Leap of Faith
The Saga of "Ruby," Kris and Laura Hallett's '67


Kris and Laura Hallett, of Lyons, Ohio, used to lead separate lives, until they met, fell in love, got married and had children. Somewhere along the line, Kris mentioned to Laura that he had once owned a 1971 Beetle, which he had in high school. Laura replied that when she was a young girl, her friend used to have a Beetle, and she had many fond memories of that car. They began to talk, and dream, of finding another nice Beetle that they could call their own. A few years ago, Kris bought another 1971 Beetle, but, after a while, they decided that the '71 just wasn't the car for them. They wanted an earlier car, with all the charm associated with the 1967 and earlier models, with the low-back seats, early style bumpers, and other things that make an early Beetle so desirable. Kris began the search, looking at quite a few VWs, and bidding on them on the ebay auction website, only to be outbid at the last second. Laura wanted an early Beetle, and her only requirements were that it have a gas gauge, and be earlier than a Super Beetle (1970 and earlier). Kris kept looking, determined to fulfill Laura's dream.

One Saturday evening, Kris was surfing the Internet and happened upon The West Coast Classic Restoration site (www.classicvws.com). To Kris' surprise, there it was--a Ruby Red (L-456) 1967 Beetle, restored and ready for a new owner. Kris looked the car over and knew that this was as good as it was going to get. He made contact with Lenny Copp, the proprietor of West Coast Classic Restoration, the following Monday morning. After a lengthy discussion, Kris asked Lenny to hold the car until Laura got home from work, and Kris could show her what he had found.

Later that afternoon, Lenny received a call from a very excited Kris and Laura, telling him that they would take the car. Lenny provided the information that this car had been purchased new by a Frederick Bryson, when he was 18-years old. When the time came to sell the car, Mr. Bryson had asked Lenny to sell it for him. And, Kris was just fortunate enough to be one of the first people to see it for sale on the West Coast Classic Web Site.

Kris and Laura admit that they didn't know Lenny's reputation for top- quality Volkswagen restorations when they agreed to purchase the car, and that it was quite a "leap of faith" to send so much money to a perfect stranger for something they had never even seen yet. Now, they faced the interminable wait for the car to be shipped to Ohio so they could see what their hard-earned money had acquired.

Finally, the day came. Kris and Laura got a call from the truck driver on a Saturday evening, three days late, at about 9:30pm, saying that he was just a few miles away. Kris and Laura agreed to meet at a roadside rest area about one mile from the Hallett homestead. They met and the truck driver unloaded the car, telling them they were lucky to even get the car; that he had had a front tire blow out, and it was all he could do to keep the truck upright and going straight down the road. He had the tire replaced, and some front end damage fixed which was why he was a few days late.

Kris and Laura took possession of the car, and drove it home, and they were ecstatic about the condition of the '67. However, it was dark when they had picked the car up, and, as most of you know, darkness can hide many flaws on a car.

Laura says there wasn't a lot of sleep in the Hallett household that night, waiting for daylight to really assess what they had gotten themselves into. Dawn came, and they were even more ecstatic to see that, true to Lenny's reputation, it was every bit as good as he had promised.

Laura drives this car every day now, weather permitting, and uses it to shuffle the little Halletts around to school, going grocery shopping, and just general daily driving.

The Halletts have become members of the Central Ohio Vintage Volkswagen Club, and have only just begun to enjoy their new (to them) pride and joy. They have taken some long trips with the car, the first one being to Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side, for the June Jitter Bug, where they received a 2nd place award in their category. As well, the car took the Mayor's Choice Award at the Delta (OH) Chicken Festival, and Third Place at the Central Ohio Vintage VW Club's Volksfest, in August of 2001, against some very stiff competition.

Kris and Laura would like to thank Lenny Copp, and the whole crew at West Coast Classic Restoration, not only for the terrific job in restoring this '67, but also their honesty in describing the car, and patience, holding the car while Kris and Laura decided to purchase it.

What was a "Leap of Faith" has turned out for the best, for the Hallett family. If you are at a show in the Midwest area, and see this pristine '67, make sure you stop by and give it a good once-over. Kris and Laura love to talk VWs, and rumor has it that Kris just picked up a 1957 Oval window. Perhaps there is another car that will be sharing garage space with "Ruby" as they affectionately call this '67...

 











 

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