Volkswagen 1500 and 1600 Type 3 (1961 – 1973) Review

Volkswagen 1500 and 1600 Type 3 (1961 – 1973) At A Glance


+All the Beetle's good points, such as brilliant parts and specialist support, good visibility, roomy interior

-Lost some of its design purity

Volkswagen management was well aware that despite the Beetle's huge popularity, it was a situation that would not continue indefinitely. The obvious solution was to broaden the range, and offer faithful buyers a new, more upmarket product to trade up to when the time came. And that's how the Type 3 came about.

It was a development of the Beetle, which was also intended to address some of its perceived shortcomings of being old-fashioned, cramped and having poor luggage capacity. And it was a more modern-looking machine, with extra space inside and a boot front and rear.

Initially available as a two-door 'notchback' saloon with a 1493cc engine, a two-door estate – known as the Variant – came along in 1962, with a fastback two-door following in 1965. By this time there was also a 1584cc engine - but despite improving on the Beetle in many ways, and selling almost two million copies, the original car managed to outlive the Type 3 by several years.