Thursday, June 7, 2012

Car Of The Day: June 7, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is Hot Wheels' 1969 Volkswagen Type 3 (Squareback).

The Volkswagen Type 3 (sold as the Volkswagen 1500 and later the Volkswagen 1600) was a compact car manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen (VW), introduced at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) and ultimately available in two-door notchback, fastback and station wagon variants.

The Type 3 diversified Volkswagen's product range beyond the existing models — the Type 1 (Beetle), Type 14 Karmann Ghia, Type 2 (Bus) — while retaining their engineering principles, notably the air-cooled engine and the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Volkswagen Type 3

The Type 3 followed the Type 1, utilizing a low-profile version of Volkswagen's rear-engined, 4-cylinder air-cooled engine as well as body on chassis construction while featuring ponton in contrast to the Type 1's articulated fender and running board styling. VW finalized the design by 1959 with prototypes ready for testing by 1960. Secrecy was such at even at the 1960 Geneva Auto Show, VW denied they were readying a new design. In 1961, VW announced the new line as the "VW1500".
The range launched in August 1961 with two models: the Notchback, three-box styling in a notchback saloon body, and the Karmann Ghia 1500 (also known as the Type 34 Karmann Ghia) with a coupé body. The first Variant (known as the Squareback in the USA) with an estate body followed in 1962. The Chevrolet Corvair had been previously introduced in the United States in 1960 which incorporated a 6-cylinder rear-mounted air-cooled engine in notchback, station wagon, and compact-van body styles.
The Fastback, or TL version, a fastback coupé, arrived in August 1965, at the same time the 1600 engine was introduced. Two convertibles were announced with the original models, but did not enter production. Volkswagen of America began importing the Type 3 beginning for model year 1966 in the "Squareback" ('Variant' badges were not used in the US market) and "Fastback" but not the Notchback configurations.

At the end of 1967, the Type 3 'E' (Einspritzung) became the first German automobile in series production with electronic fuel injection (Bosch D-Jetronic) as standard equipment. The larger Volkswagen Type 4 was introduced in 1968 which had a similar mechanical layout with further engineering refinements.
For the 1968 model year, 1969 in the USA, a three speed fully automatic transaxle became available, noted for extremely low internal friction. With the automatic came completely independent rear suspension, replacing the swing axle set up. For 1969, the irs rear axle was standard with manual and automatic transmissions.

The model received a facelift in 1970, when a 115 mm (4.5 in) nose-lengthening added 1.5 cu ft (42 L) to the luggage capacity.

Volkswagen offered the Type 3 in a lower trim level in Europe, marketed as the 1600A trim level. In the US, and for 1973 only, Volkswagen offered two trim levels of the Type 3 Fastback in the USA, marketed as the Type 3 Sedan and Type 3 Basic Compact. The Basic Compact featured reduced content, including limited color and upholstery availability and without belt line chrome, clock, electric rear window defogger — and with painted frames around the vent windows, a black cardboard front trunk liner over the gas tank without a liner on the sides of the trunk or over the firewall, plain vinyl door panels without door pockets and rubber mats in lieu of interior carpet.

While the Type 3 was a more modern design, it never reached the same level of popularity as the Beetle. As Volkswagen started to produce front-wheel-drive water-cooled designs, production ended in 1973 at the Wolfsburg plant, with production moving to VW's new Emden plant, which was later retooled in 1973 to build the first generation Passat (marketed variously, also as the "Dasher"). The Wolfsburg plant was retooled to build the Golf, which eventually replaced the Type 1 as Volkswagen's best selling sedan.

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