﹒Recent restoration, documented on USB flash drive
﹒Twin Webber carb conversion
﹒Subtle lowering still suits daily driving
﹒Historic vehicle status, VED and MOT exempt
While Volkswagen had already struck gold with the Type 1 - or Beetle - and the Type 2 van (especially in camper form), it needed a third model line.
Though perhaps not the most imaginative of names, the Type 3 was a marked departure from previous Volkswagen models. The Karmann Ghia, combining the Type 1 floorpan with a body designed by Italian styling house Carrozzeria Ghia proved there was room for something with a little more flair.
The Type 3 stuck to that formula, with a body-on-frame design using the Type 1’s platform. Instead of the Beetle’s 1.1-litre engine, Volkswagen used a stroked 1.5-litre version. That gave the car its original name, the Volkswagen 1500.
Initially the car was available as a notchback, a two-door saloon, in 1961. This was soon followed in 1962 with the “Variant”, also known as a Squareback, which was a three-door estate. Last of all was the Fastback, a two-door coupe, in 1965. This also coincided with the updated 1.6-litre engine, with around 41hp.
A facelift model arrived in 1970 but, despite 2.5 million examples sold in total, the Type 3 didn’t last quite so long as its stablemates. Volkswagen phased the car out in 1973.
This 1600TE Fastback was first registered in February 1972, marking it out as a very late model. Its age means it’s crossed the threshold required by the DVLA to become a Historic Vehicle - exempt from both VED and MOTs (though it was last tested in 2018).
Since then it’s covered some 102,000 miles, though the five-digit odometer only reads just over 2,000 as it’s been once around! That broadly equates to 2,000 miles a year.
As we haven’t seen the V5C, it’s not clear how many owners the Type 3 has had, but the most recent owner picked it up in September 2019, and has been running it as a daily driver since.
From what we’ve seen of the Type 3’s documentation, it’s a pretty impressive collection. There’s a veritable ream of receipts dating back several years, and that takes in not only parts and maintenance but a restoration too.
You’ll also find some paperwork of a different form too: a USB flash drive. This contains hundreds of photographs relating to the vehicle’s restoration, around three years ago.
There’s some older documentation too. A further folder contains a tax disc dating to February 1972, and an instruction manual and a service record from the period too - along with some older receipts.
On the inside, the Type 3 is a pretty smart place to be. The dash consists of two sections, one body colour and an upper black section, separated by a chrome strip. Much of the rest of the interior is tan, encompassing the carpets, door cards, and seating.
Some of this is new with the restoration, and this is reflected in the condition. None of the seats, front or rear, show any signs of damage or marking. Naturally the carpets show a little more age, particularly in the driver’s footwell, but there’s no obvious damage.
The instrument panel features three large chrome-rimmed dials. One - the clock - doesn’t function, but otherwise it’s all in working order. You’ll also find two further dials in the centre console for the oil temperature and battery condition.
Like many other cars of this layout, the Type 3 features two boots, with one up front and one in the rear. As you’ll see from the images, there’s plenty of room in both - despite one also covering the engine and the other over the fuel tank, and holding the spare wheel.
The restoration also covered work to the outside of the car, and it obviously presents well. Most of the bodywork is in desirable condition, but there are a couple of patches that are less ideal. There’s a small rust spot on the offside front wing, and another on the nearside C-pillar, but otherwise it’s a smart-looking thing.
Further down you’ll find a few more areas of rust, where that stylish body meets the floor pan. However the car is generally clean underneath too, with a few areas of surface rust on exposed components. The owner notes that the car is treated with waxoyl underseal every three months, helping keep the structure in top condition.
There’s plenty of chrome on the exterior too, and all of this is in excellent condition. The headlights and tail lights are clear and clean too.
The Type 3 has factory original steel wheels. These are powder coated white, and complemented by chrome hub caps.
Like so many early Volkswagen products, the Type 3 came with an air-cooled flat-four - initially a 1.5, then later a 1.6 as with this car.
While largely original, the current owner rebuilt the top end a year ago, and fixed some oil leaks more recently. There’s also been a conversion from fuel injection - the Type 3 1600 famously debuted electronic fuel injection in production cars - to twin Webber carbs. Complementing that is a stainless steel exhaust.
This Type 3 has also been lowered. According to the owner, this can make the car a little bumpier over rough ground, but doesn’t cause any particular issues like grounding.
Though the car is MOT exempt, it has had recent tests, in 2017 and 2018. These didn’t bring up any mechanical issues, save for misaligned headlights and worn rear brake hoses - now corrected. The owner does note a current issue with the fuel sender too, but there’s no reliability issues; it’s even used as a daily driver!
There’s always been a bustling Volkswagen scene in the UK, and the Type 3 Fastback is probably the most stylish way to get involved. Even without that, the car is as cool as they come, and pretty rare. This is a well cared for example in fine condition.
** The photos in this listing have been provided by the seller **
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