Volkswagen Type 3 Notchback, Squareback and Fastback

The Volkswagen Type 3 also referred to as the Volkswagen 1500 and later the Volkswagen 1600, was a range of small cars from Volkswagen.  The range launched in August 1961 with two models: the Notchback and the Karmann Ghia 1500 (also known as the Type 34 Karmann Ghia).  The first Variant (known as the Squareback in the USA) with an estate body followed in 1962. The Fastback or TL version, a fastback coupe, arrived in August 1965.

The Type 3 was introduced to diversify Volkswagen's product range beyond the existing Type 1 (Beetle) the Karmann Ghia, and the Type 2 (Bus).  The Type 3 was designed as a more sophisticated car while retaining much of the engineering from the Type 1. Though available to much of the world, the Type 3 line was not exported to the United States through Volkswagen of America until the 1966 model year, when the Squareback and Fastback were added to their line-up.

The Type 3 was initially equipped with a 1.5 L (1493 cc) engine based on the air-cooled flat-4 found in the Type 1. While the long block remained the same as the Type 1, the engine cooling was redesigned specifically to provide a minimal engine profile. The resulting 'Pancake' or 'Suitcase' engine enabled an increased cargo volume. This engine's displacement would later increase to 1.6 L (1584 cc).

Originally a single side draft carburetor was used in the Volkswagen 1500 model. In August 1963, single- or dual-carbureted versions were introduced.  The Type 3 engine got a larger displacement (1.6 L) for 1966, and in 1968, it was the world's first volume produced car to feature electronic fuel injection pioneered by Bosch.

One notable advance from the Type 1 to the Type 3 was the front suspension. Although similar to the Type 1, it was the first Volkswagen system to incorporate transverse torsion bars, as opposed to the Type 1's torsion leaves. The Type 3's torsion bars are cross-mounted in the lower tube, so that each individual torsion bar spans the full width of the car, the upper tube containing an anti-roll bar which connects both upper trailing links to each other.


Please select from one of the following categories: