VW Type 3 Production Changes

1968 Type 3 Fastback

1968 Type 3 Fastback


September 1961: The VW 1500 (Type 3 Notchback) was put into production.

November 1961: Engine compartment cover installed with heat insulation

February 1962: The VW 1500 (Type 3 Squareback) was put into production

May 1962: Steel Sunroof available as an optional extra on the Notchback


August 1962: Engine modifications including larger exhaust valves, 2 extra cooling fins installed on each cylinder head (Now 14 per head), Compression raised from 7.2 to 7.8.  Clutch increased in size from 180mm to 200mm.

November 1962: New ‘VW 1500’ badge located on the boot lid.

January 1963: Smaller crankshaft pulley installed with new shorter fan belt.

March 1963: New style of maintenance free ball joint installed.

April 1963: Front seatback now locked in place.


August 1963: VW 1500 becomes VW 1500N with basic equipment installed including painted window frames instead of chrome, static rear windows installed in the rear quarters instead of pop-out windows.

The VW 1500N no longer included the following options:

  • Bumper Overiders
  • Parking Lights
  • Door lock on the passenger door
  • Side arm rests
  • Centre arm rest
  • Door pockets
  • Passenger sunvisor
  • Clock
  • Intermittent wipers
  • Chrome Sill Trims
  • Locking front seat back
  • Headlight Flasher
  • Switch Panel
  • Rear Ashtray
  • Lighting for rear cargo area

All of these options would be fitted as standard to the new VW 1500S as well as the following standard options:

  • Dual Carburettors
  • Chrome Bonnet Handle
  • Wheel Trims
  • Partially chrome plated number plate light

1972 White Squareback

1972 White Squareback


April 1965: Slightly larger wheel arches


August 1965: VW 1500S (Notchback) replaced by the VW 1600TL (Fastback) and VW1500N becomes the VW 1500A.


August 1966: VW 1500A replaced by VW 1600A.  All models now produced with a 12 Volt electrical system with a larger 105mm diameter dynamo (instead of the 6 Volt 90mm diameter dynamo).  Brand new 12 pole fuse box fitted (6 volt versions only had 10 fuses)


August 1967: The first Automatic gearbox was available as an optional extra.  Automatic models as standard were now installed with Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with longer torsion bars and modified rear shock absorbers.  Manual models would still have Swing Axle rear suspension.  Dual circuit brakes were installed as standard on all models.  The fuel filler cap was located on the front quarter panel.  New door handle design with trigger release.  New front quarter light lock design with rotary knobs.  Bosch fuel injection system available to US Spec models.

May 1968: Bosch fuel injection available to all models as an optional extra.


August 1968: IRS rear suspension installed as standard on all manual models.


August 1969:  Front of the car was extended by 120mm.  New taller rear tail lights installed as standard.  New reinforced bumpers installed both fornt and rear.

March 1970: Laminated windscreen installed as standard.


August 1970:  Parking light switch connected to the ignition switch.  Diagnostic connector installed in the engine compartment.  Larger Brake Lights.  L models installed with two-speed electric ventilation fan, reverse lights and lockable glovebox.


August 1971: Disc brakes installed on the front from the Type 411.  Larger door handle depression in door panel.  New steering wheel design.  Wiper switch located on steering column.  Fuel cap design changed to a screw in version.


August 1972: Arm rests modified.

July 1973: Production of all Type 3 models ends.

1973 Fastback

1973 Fastback