Saturday, August 16, 2008

1961 Volkswagen 1500

Volkswagen Type 3

The Volkswagen Type 3, was originally launched in two varieties, the Notchback a saloon bodied version and the Squareback an estate bodied version in 1961. The Fastback a coupe styled version arrived as the 1966 addition to the range. This automobile was introduced in 1961 by Volkswagen to diversify its product range beyond the Type 1 (Beetle) and the Type 2 (Bus). The Type 3, officially the Volkswagen 1500, was designed to allow Volkswagen to make a more sophisticated car while maintaining much of the engineering from the Type 1.

The Type 3 was initially equipped with a 1.5 L (1493 cc) engine based on the aircooled flat-4 found in the Type 1. While the long block remained the same as the Type 1, the engine cooling was drastically changed to allow for a much lower engine profile. This resulted in increased area for cargo stowage and the so-called 'Pancake' or 'Suitcase' engine. This engine's displacement would later increase to 1600cc.

Originally a single or dual carbureted 1.5 L engine, (1500 N, 45 hp or 1500S, 54 hp) the Type 3 engine got a larger displacement (1.6l 1600 cc) and modified in 1968 to include fuel injection as an option, making it one of the first mass production consumer cars with such a feature (the first was the Type 4 VW 411).

The type 3 had four models:

+ Sedan or "notchback" — The VW 1500 and later VW 1600 (nicknamed "Zé do Caixão" in Brazil, translating to "Coffin Joe").
+ Fastback — The VW 1600 TL (in Brazil the Volkswagen TL), often mistaken for a hatchback due to its profile.
+ Wagon or "squareback" — The Volkswagen Variant.
+ Type 34 Karmann Ghia - AKA Grosse Ghia or Razor Edge Ghia. A larger more squared version of the Karmann Ghia based on the Type 3 platform.


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