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Type 34 Registry member blogs and build threads

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Posted by on in Uncategorized
I guess no ones around anymore... not too many posts. I know I haven't been around for a while. I thought this place would have a lot of people on it. well just taking a look to see whats new around here. Keep me posted. hehehehe   Einstein...

Posted by on in Uncategorized
  I joined the type 34 registry years ago, like maybe around 1993 or there about. I found and purchased my type in 1978, prior to 99% of the VW dealerships knowing this model existed. I found one person in the Chico Dealership who took the time to examine old "Micro fishes" and located many NOS parts across the USA. I purchased a LOT of these NOS parts, including the LAST NOS PADDED DASH, which I had to drive from Lacy Washington to Chico to pick up because the dealership was afraid to ship it to me. I had my Type 34 looking really PRIMO by 1984. I quit working on it about that time, and drove it almost daily until 1987. From this date until now it hasn't been driven more than maybe 1500 miles. I am now interested in completing it's restoration, so am back into dressing her back...

Posted by on in NOS parts
It's been a long time since I've made any progress on the Ghia. 2012 has been an overwhelming year — turned 50, got married, started a new job, currently in the 9th month of what was supposed to be a 5-month house addition/renovation project — so the car (and blog) have had to take a back seat. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Ghia soon, but in the meantime I've been picking up some NOS parts occasionally, including this collection of bearings, bushings, and seals for early Type 3 front beams. Many of the front beam parts for my Ghia are unique to the first year or so of production (of course), so later Type 3 parts won't fit. Because of their scarcity I've been wanting to acquire NOS front beam parts for a long time, so when Bert van der Jeught offered a set on The Samba I...

Posted by on in Events
Some highlights from this year's Classic Weekend. The usual great events, cool cars and people, 58 barndoor buses, Snorkelstang, and a bottle of Patrón courtesy of 1500 Club member Dave Whittick of Canada. Not too shabby. [gallery] ...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
It's the Ghia's 50th birthday today. I bought it a gift -- a reproduction '62 Ghia badge -- and toasted the occasion with a glass of Duvel. Yes, I know it's not a German beer, but the brewery is less than 200 miles from Osnabrück, so that's close enough for me. This summer the restoration project will continue. ...

Posted by on in Events
On Sunday morning we all met again at the Borradori Garage for breakfast. A casual observer would assume this had been planned all along, but Terri Reay only came up with the idea of a tri-tip and egg burrito breakfast at about 10pm the night before. Everyone pitched in and it came together perfectly. After breakfast and some cleanup everyone began to go their separate ways. Our Los Angeles caravan left at around noon and other than David Aveson's squareback having a relapse of its fuel injection trouble the drive was smooth and uneventful (we had to put it behind Gizmo Bob's truck and Dave drove Bob's notchback the rest of the way back). When Jack Fisher got back to San Diego he texted that his total weekend mileage was 950! I figure I did about 700. What a great weekend of driving! [gallery] Many more photos from the weekend can...

Posted by on in Events
On Saturday morning everyone met again at the garage -- everyone meaning the 11 cars that had cruised up the coast on Friday and 9 more, including a caravan from Orange County. We headed up into the hills above Cayucos for a beautiful 30-mile drive through the countryside. Other than one car with a malfunctioning injection system, being hassled a little by the Five-O, and a stretch of rough road that vexed the lowered cars a bit, the drive was perfect. We then showed up at the Cambria Oktoberfest, where Type 3s totally dominated the all-German car show. Later in the afternoon we all headed back to the garage for a Santa Maria-style tri-tip barbeque thanks to grillmaster Tom Reay, Type 3-shaped desserts (!), and a champagne toast to the Type 3's 50th birthday. Perfect ending to a perfect day. [gallery] ...

Posted by on in Events
This last weekend was the 50 Years of the Type 3 weekend on California's central coast. It was an incredible 4 days of Type 3 driving centered around the historic Borradori Garage in the beach town of Cayucos. 21 Type 3s (8 notchbacks, 3 squarebacks, 4 fastbacks and 6 Type 34s) and about 50 people attended. A great time was had by all. Here are some shots from Friday. We drove up Highway 1 from Cayucos to the lower part of Big Sur and back, about a 120 mile round trip. [gallery] ...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got my engine back from the builder recently and this weekend I got it reassembled and reinstalled after some parts sourcing, rust treatment and painting. I was preparing to put the engine back in when I was stopped by this: A couple of months ago I saw that my Ghia's swingaxle boots needed replacement. I had a pair of old stock boots on the shelf so I put them on and forgot about it. They were in their factory sealed bags until I installed them, experienced about 15 miles of use, and had no exposure to excessive heat or UV rays, but in two months they're in worse shape than the ones they replaced. Luckily I had the foresight to buy a new pair of VW OEM boots the last time I was at Bill and Steve's, so I was able to replace them without yet another trip to the...

Posted by on in Exterior
With the headliner and rear parcel shelf now installed the next things to get installed are the trims that fit around the side windows. The whole area has an extruded aluminium trim that sits in a rubber channel, this fits from the base of the A Pillar, along the roof, down the rear of the C pillar and back along the bottom of the aperture to the door opening. The trim section helps to hold the roof lining in position and finishes the roof lining off. I had previously sent the aluminium trims out to be polished.  Normally these trim sections are plated with a bright finish similar to anodizing (but not the same), however I decided to polish them which gives a shinier finish. The trims were then waxed to prevent oxidation. There are a few articles in the library about trim refinishing and from memory at least one Registry...

Posted by on in General
As with assembling most things, whether an Ikea flat pack, or a classic car, the order in which things are put together is pretty important. This is especially true of the Type 34 interior. The interior trim is installed in such a way that each part must be fitted in the correct order. The headlining is the first part in this jigsaw puzzle, it fits underneath the front and rear screen rubbers and also the side trim around the door aperture and so needs to be installed first. Next is the rear parcel shelf. This also fits underneath the rear screen rubber, much the same way that the headlining does. My rear parcel shelf was too badly warped to be reused, but I had carefully stored it for use as a pattern. Unfortunately I could not find it, and so had to make one from scratch. My guess is that somewhere...

Posted by on in General
It's been a few weeks since I posted a progress update,  not because I've not done anything, but simply as I've been too busy to be able to to spare the time to blog about it. If you've been checking my photo stream you would have noticed that I did manage to upload some pictures of what I've been up to and you would have noticed that the build is ticking along nicely. The main work that has been carried out since my last update is the installation of the headlining. I had originally booked this into the same trim shop that trimmed my seats, but after several postponements, I got fed up with waiting for them and decided to do it myself. I had already purchased the headlining material when I ordered my carpet set from Spirit of the 50's this must have been some 10 years ago and unfortunately...

Posted by on in Engine
If like me you have wondered how or where you can mount the trigger wheel for your EFI Type 3 engine, well ponder no longer, the answer is here :D I stumbled across this thread over at the Samba, where supersuk outlined an idea to make a trigger wheel that mounted directly to the front of the fan. A stroke of genius really, and simple too. In a previous blog post I had already considered somehow using the fan as the trigger wheel (it kinda looks like a trigger wheel) but never got past the fact that the VR sensor would not work on the cast aluminium. The solution is to make a trigger wheel that has no centre and can be bolted to the front of the fan. Just ensure that it follows the form of the fan, thus not impeding the airflow. A head smacking moment really - one...

Posted by on in Brakes
Rawhide references aside, this weekend broaches yet another milestone in the build. For the past 5 or so years the car has sat on axle stands whilst I tinkered about with different suspension setups, but now, after deciding to postpone my plans for the crazy suspension and fitting a stock (ish) IRS setup, it finally stands on it's own four wheels again. After experiencing a few hiccups over the past few weeks, I must admit to being a little disheartened with the build. The first issue I came across was having to finally admit defeat with the wheels I had chosen and source a set with a greater offset, this was the topic of conversation for my last blog. Well, since then, I have had more bad news. Last week I dropped off the flywheel, crank, fan etc to the engine balancers to get balanced, only to be told a few...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I saw this pair of rebuilt early 1500 heads for sale and thought I'd better get them while I could. These don't come along every day. 311 101 371 heads have 40-horse style straight intake ports and were only used through June 1962. The date code on the casting appears to indicate December 7, 1961. The heads were apparently rebuilt many years ago and they still retain their long rocker studs. Most of the remaining 40-horse and early 1500 heads out there have long ago been converted to short rocker studs due to the fact that long studs can sometimes loosen and fail to hold torque. Also, unlike short studs, with long studs valve clearances tend to get tighter as the engine warms up, so there's less margin for error when adjusting the valves — a tight valve having much more potential to cause damage than a loose one. For...

Posted by on in Brakes
The weekend I turned my attention to getting the rear brakes sorted out. The new backing plates and hub centres finally arrived from the states and so I could fit them up and check out clearances and offsets. After trial fitting the hubs and taking some measurements I finally conceded that the current wheels are not going to work without some major modifications to both the front and rear ends, which is something that I am currently trying to avoid given that I am trying to meet a September deadline. The offset of my current wheels (ET30) puts the rim too far outwards and the result is that the tyres do not sit inside the arches, not a look that I personally like. Originally Type 3's are fitted with an ET46 wheel, but most wheels popular in the VW scene are in the ET25-35 range. Whilst this can be made to...

Posted by on in Brakes
This weekend I turned my attention to getting the rest of the brakes installed. The pedal assembly needed to be fitted and the SACO hydraulic clutch kit installed. The SACO kit replaces the clutch cable with a hydraulic setup which includes a small master cylinder that locates inside of the 'transmission' tunnel, and a slave cylinder that mounts where the stock clutch cable normally mounts. The first thing to do was to locate all of the separate parts of the pedal assembly so that I could trial fit everything together on the bench. I had previously completely removed and disassembled  the pedal assembly as I had the pedal arms chromed. After rounding up all of the parts I set about refitting the pedal assembly together. The were some components that were still a bit dirty as they had not been cleaned up, so I degreased them and repainted them where necessary....

Posted by on in engine overhaul
After some downtime troubleshooting my floor jack I got the engine out and stripped down, though I left a few things in place that shouldn't be in the way just to make reassembly go faster. Dropped it off this morning with the builder so he can look into what's causing the leak at #2. The oil was clearly coming from the mating surface between the top of the cylinder and the head. We shall see what's up. In the meantime I've sourced most of the gaskets and other expendable parts I'll need for reassembly from Bill & Steve's, and next I'll tend to some of the surface rust that's formed on a few parts over the last few years of storage. Rust never sleeps, as Neil Young has helpfully pointed out....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
I finally finished off the engine mounts today. I decided to bolt them in rather than weld them in, mostly as I feel that it will be a lot stronger. To do this I fabricated a plate to fit on the inside of the engine bay tin. This helps spread the load out and reinforce the panel. It will also prevent the bolts from pulling through the metal. The plate needed to be bent to miss the recess pressed in the panel where the bracket sits, which was easy enough to do on the bender. I then spotted through some holes to allow them to be bolted together. With the backing plates fabbed up it was time for a trial fit. I removed the engine bar and cleaned up the gunk and gunge from it (the donor engine had leaky oil cooler seals) I then bent the bar slightly rearwards on...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got the Ghia started again for the first time since 2007 but there was a significant oil leak almost immediately, coming from where cylinder #2 meets the head. Lots of oil and oil smoke. The rings on that piston are clearly not doing the job, but even so, oil shouldn't be leaking from there. The shop that assembled it suggested that I try running it until the rings seat themselves, but after running it for more than and hour at a time over several days at medium revs without load to help break it in, and then driving it for over ten miles today, the same symptoms remain. The engine has to come back out so we can pull the head and find out what went wrong. The good news is that I got to drive it again for the first time in four years. Aside from the ring issue...

Posted by on in Brakes
I've been pretty busy the past few weeks, so much so that I haven't even had a chance to blog about what I've managed to get done. I've really been getting a push on to get the car ready for the 50th anniversary celebrations that we are having in September, and so have been flat out at every opportunity. If you've been reading the blog regularly, then you would recall that last time I had trial fitted the engine into the car to figure out a few things. One of the things that I needed to get sorted was the fabrication of some new IRS engine mounts. Originally the car was swing-axle, but I have changed the rear sub-frame over to a later IRS type. With no frame-horns (IRS sub-frames do not have frame-horns) the only option to mount the engine is via the same method used with the later IRS...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
Last year I bought an NOS Type 3 oil strainer. When it arrived I realized the design of the strainer was different from the one in my Ghia, which raised some questions. Was the one in my car not a Type 3 strainer? How are Type 1 and Type 3 strainers different, and how are the various Type 3 versions different from each other?

Posted by on in Engine
With the 50th anniversary event slowly creeping up, I've got a renewed enthusiasm for the Ghia and I'm managing to get quite a bit done. This weekend I set myself the task of getting the engine in the car as a trial fit so that I could look to fabricate some engine mounting brackets up. To make the job easier I decided to strip all unnecessary weight off of the engine both to make fitting it easier, and also to improve access around the engine bay. Removing the tin will also allow me to clean, prep and paint it in readiness for the new engine build. It's been a while since I stripped a Type 3 engine, and have never worked on a fuel injected unit. There are some subtle differences between the normally aspirated unit and the fuel injected engines, the tinware is slightly different, there's some kind of smog...

Posted by on in restoration
I found this 1 kg can of anthracite lacquer at the VW Classic swap meet. I've always told myself that if I saw an original factory can of anthracite for sale I would buy it. On first seeing it I assumed it would be completely dry but it's still liquid and fairly full. I think my car is trying to tell me what color it wants to be....

Posted by on in Events
Type 3-centric highlights from another epic Classic weekend: [gallery] 3 days. Many aircooled miles. Too much sun. Not enough sleep. Can't wait until next year! ...

Posted by on in Suspension
I've made some good progress on the Ghia the past couple of weeks. After assembling the IRS last weekend, I stripped and painted the front beam. The front beam was already partially stripped having been removed from the car some time ago. I had previously prepped and painted the steering box and had already removed the hub assemblies too. I spent some time removing the old road grime and grease from the beam, and stripping off the old paint. The beam ideally needed to be completely stripped down and media blasted, but as I'm on a schedule to get the car finished before September  I opted to skip this and prep the beam manually instead. So I stripped the beam and give it a couple of coats of etch primer and enamel topcoat. Next I fitted new top and bottom ball joints, and refitted the bump stops. A great tip here...

Posted by on in General
Managed to spend some time on reassembling the rear suspension this past weekend. The paint I applied last weekend has not come out too bad, but the issue I had with the thinners reacting has left a bit of a mottled finish. But, as I'm now on a mission to get the car back on the road by September it's just something that I will have to live with. Mind you, it's really not too bad, and it is one of those things that will not really get scrutinized. (in reality it will not even get seen), or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself so. :) I had a bit of fun removing the bushes from the other suspension, and ended up having to get creative with the vice and some different size sockets to push the centre of the bushes out on the Porsche arms so that I could...

Posted by on in old photos
Ivan Pang sent me these pictures of a '63 1500 Ghia he encountered on the road near San Luis Obispo—in May 1975. It must have had a rough life, as it's looking a little the worse for wear for a car that was only 12 years old at the time. I wonder if it's still around today? One thing a really like about these photos (click to enlarge) is the fact that more than half of the cars in the background are aircooled—either VWs or Porsches. That's just they way it was in California back then. If you'd like to help increase the aircooled population of San Luis Obispo in 2011, you should consider joining the Type 3/Type 34 50th Anniversary Central Coast Cruise this fall. Details are being finalized now, so it's time to start planning....

Posted by on in General
I spent this weekend finishing off painting the IRS for the Ghia. I stripped the paint from it last weekend using a combination of paint stripper and a zip wheel in my grinder. There was only some minor surface rust, so I sanded this back ready for paintin

Posted by on in restoration
It's been many years since I've done a front brake job on an old VW. The last time the front brakes were done on this car was about 12 years ago, when NOS wheel cylinders were installed by a local mechanic. Initially I thought I'd be able to get away with a brake fluid flush and adjustment, but the right front brakes were locking up. Stuck wheel cylinder(s)? Collapsed brake hose? The car has probably only seen 1000 miles since the brakes were done so how bad could things be?I was stopped in my tracks soon after starting by an odd thing: Both lock nuts turned together when I tried to loosen the outer one on the right side. That shouldn't happen. I didn't have a thin 24mm wrench so had to source one. Luckily Lanner Kahn at VDUBEngineering in Canada offers a nice purpose-made 24/27mm spindle wrench, so I ordered...

Posted by on in General
http://www.vdubber.com/m/photos/get_image/file/781eb25eef6333380817de36fd5fa9c7.jpg
Spent a bit of time yesterday stripping down the Type 3 IRS that I will be fitting into the Type 34. This came out of the fastback doner car I bought a few months back. The suspension is in pretty good shape with no rust, dings, modifications or bits missing. I removed the A-arms and spring plates in readiness to strip and paint the beam. I will probably paint this myself in an enamel based paint rather than getting it powder coated as powder coating generally comes out a little too shiny for my taste, plus they rarely mask everything up properly, so you end up spending just as much time removing paint from areas like bearing mating surfaces and thread inserts. The bushes are well worn and will get replaced with new items. I will probably source some urethane bushes, although these are not as readily available as the...

Posted by on in General
http://www.vdubber.com/m/photos/get_image/file/f49b5dd698ed3418b58af0741ff44390.jpg
Managed to get the bench finished off this week. I topped it off with some 28mm MDF, which makes a nice sturdy worksurface. I plan on covering one part with stainless steel to make a clean area for engine / gearbox assembly, but this will have to wait until I find some. The underneath is one long shelf, again made from MDF, this has given me plenty of storage space. As you can see the bench is quite wide, and has given me somewhere to store all of my power tools safely out of the way, where they are easy to get to should I need them. I also finished off setting up my new TIG welder. I had to make an adaptor for the argon bottle, as the new welder uses a larger hose size than my MIG. Also had to go get some filler rods and tungsten electrodes, as...

Posted by on in General
Spent a few hours this afternoon working on getting the workbench finished in the garage. The basic frame is now properly bolted together, and the rest of the timber cut to finish it off. The bench is about four and a half metres long, and will have a single shelf underneath, this will give me somewhere to store my power tools. All that's left to do is to fit the remaining timber spans to the bottom, level the legs and then fit the work surface. I plan on adding a stainless section to the worktop so that I can use it as a clean area for engine assembly. I also want to fit both a wood and metal vise as well. After the bench is finished, the next project is to make up a base for the 3-in-1 machine and also a welding table. The welding table is basically a...

Posted by on in General
If I was still in England, right about now it would be spring time, the time of the year where traditionally you would clean your house after the winter. But I don't live there any more, and I still can't get my head around the seasons over here in Oz. So instead of spring, it's currently autumn, and I have finally got around to doing a little more 'spring cleaning' up out in the garage. A short time back I aquired a Hercus 9" lathe and a small milling machine from my father in law. They have been sitting in my garage for the past month or so waiting to be moved into a more useful position. Here's the lathe and mill, they need a clean up and I will probably fit an inverter to them so that I can get better speed control, but they are functional. I also aquired...

Posted by on in NOS parts
A few years ago I found five NOS VW 1500 wheels. They're the early 4-slot version meant only for 1961–63 models. Unfortunately while NOS means "new old stock," it doesn't necessarily mean cosmetically perfect. While these wheels have never been mounted on a car they had picked up some surface rust and shelf wear in the many years they were warehoused. Off to the powder coater.After some online research I decided to use Andrews Powder Coating in Chatsworth, California. They focus on powder coating for cars and motorcycles, and they are a supplier to ICON. That's good enough for me.The wheels came back looking like new. I had Andrews match the OEM semi-gloss black. They masked the lug bolt and brake drum bearing surfaces at no additional charge, which saved me the trouble of scraping the paint off later. Wheels can come loose if these areas are powder coated, so it's...

Posted by on in accessories
...but we buy them anyway. Some time ago I found an ADAC enamel badge commemorating the 40th Internationale Automobil Austellung (IAA), the 1961 auto show where the VW 1500s were first shown to the public.It's an enamel interpretation of the 1961 IAA poster. The poster looks great—I'd really like to find an original one someday—but the design was clearly hard to translate into enamel. Let's just say that it's the kind of thing that could only have been created in 1961, so in that way it's perfect.The question now is: If I were to install it, where would it go? Normally a badge like this might be mounted on a car's radiator grille, but that obviously doesn't apply here. On other rear-engined cars like Porsches badges sometimes get mounted to the rear air intake, but the 1500 Ghia's flat rear deck doesn't really lend itself to that solution. What to do?...

Posted by on in old photos
Ivan Pang sent me these great 1976 photos of his anthracite '62 1500 notchback at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Forest Lawn (a.k.a. "Whispering Glades" to fans of The Loved One) does a pretty good job of standing in for the old country.Ivan has been a part of the vintage VW scene in Southern California since the early days, and he has also made it his practice to photograph interesting cars he has seen in Los Angeles' east side neighborhoods over the years. He has owned this particular low-mileage notchback since the mid-1970s. Other than the vintage Porsche 356 wheels and hubcaps (shod with what appear to be Michelin ZX radials) the car is unmodified from original. Ivan still has the original VW wheels and hubcaps in storage. He says the seats have been protected by factory accessory seat covers since the car was new, so the upholstery is...

Posted by on in press
In this issue of Karmann-Post an article on the VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia reprinted from Auto Motor und Sport is illustrated with images of both Karmann-Ghia models along with photos of production in the Karmann factory. There are some rarely seen promotional images of the 1500 Ghia here, including an early '63 sunroof model (Type 345), alongside the usual press photos.The Motor-Tourist review of the 1500 Ghia is also reprinted in this issue....

Posted by on in General
I got a call from the guy I bought the Fasty off of last week, turns out that another customer had crashed her Type 3 and was on the look out for a doner car. So this weekend I removed the engine and gearbox from the fasty in readiness for it to be picked up. It's been some time since I pulled the engine from a Type 3, and apart from it being the hottest day of the year, I managed to get the engine and box out of the car in a couple of hours. This included getting in running so that I could reverse it up on the ramps as well. Fortunately there were no seized or rounded bolts, and the whole process was fairly painless. Now all I need to do is rebuild it.  ...

Posted by on in accessories
In the 1950s and '60s Blaupunkt and other European auto radio manufacturers offered portable "picnic" radios that had the option of being installed in a car as a dash-mounted pullout. Unlike more recent pullout systems that were intended for theft prevention, the idea behind these older pullouts was versatility.The Blaupunkt Derby 660 was introduced in 1965 so it's a period-appropriate accessory for a VW 1500. It's larger and more modern-looking than the previous Derbys and offers shortwave, longwave, and FM bands. I bought this one many years ago and found the under-dash mount more recently.Nice typography on the dial still has echoes of the 1940s.The car mount was meant to be installed under the dash. It carries the Ideal brand. Ideal was the original name of the company, and the blue dot that was used as a quality control symbol eventually evolved into the company's trademark. The name was formally changed...

Posted by on in old photos
The cover of issue number 20 of Karmann's promotional magazine featured a 1500 Ghia cabriolet prototype on display at the 1961 Frankfurt auto show (IAA). Other photos of the new 1500s were featured inside.Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm Karmann and Ghia's Luigi Segre with the cabriolet at the IAA.Also at the IAA, the 1500 Ghia cabriolet is shown to German President Heinrich Lübke.The issue also includes a spread featuring press photos of the new Karmann 1500s. The 1500 Cabriolet is referred to as the "four-seater" and the 1500 Ghia as the "two-seater." That's refreshingly honest — apparently Karmann didn't consider the 1500 Ghia's back seat a realistic place for anyone to sit....

Posted by on in old photos
You swingaxle drivers take it easy out there.[1500S pushing the limit at Oulton Park, Cheshire, England in the 1960s. Source unknown.]...

Posted by on in General
http://www.vdubber.com/m/photos/get_image/file/c92810d7d7c43554a4a39148e9504061.jpg
Regular readers of my blog will know that the Type 4 engine, and Porsche 911 gearbox that I have built for the Razoredge has been borrowed for use in my salt flat race car. Whilst pondering on how much grief it would be to get it installed in both the Oval and the Ghia, and be able to swap them over without too much of an issue, I came to the conclusion that it was simply too much hassle. Whilst I had always dreamed of the big Type 4 powered Type 34. Now, after some 15 years of building it, and having moved to a different country, I've decided that I simply would like to get it on the road. There's no point in having a fast road car here in South Australia. There are no drag strips, very few race tracks, and with cops that hide in bushes with...

Posted by on in VW literature
Last year Eric Colla was lucky enough to find a set of original factory training slides that cover basic maintenance of the VW 1500, and we put together a digital version of the slide show to share with the Type 3 community. The slides and caption text have been scanned and Everett Barnes created a page on The Samba where they can be viewed as individual images or downloaded as low-res or high-res pdfs. Here are a few of the slides:From the photos and the information provided it appears that it was produced in late 1962 at the beginning of the 1963 model year. It's a great reference for how the early engines were originally set up, though since many parts have been painted gray for clarity it's not definitive. Even though I've read through all the early VW service literature many times I still learned a couple of new things...

Posted by on in VW literature
I got a package in the mail from my friend Steve and opened it to find this old letterpress photo cut of an early VW 1500. Steve knows me pretty well.Letterpress printing was on its way out in the 1960s, replaced by offset printing for most commercial jobs by the end of the decade, so it's a little unusual to find a cut of a '60s car. This one was probably used in a newspaper advertisement. It's an early '62 or '63 model and "VW 1500 1964" is handwritten on the back of the block.I know of someone who has a letterpress so I might have to print up some cards. For the time being it can keep company with a old cut of a Bernd Reuters split window that I found years ago.Thanks Steve!...

Posted by on in General
Finally making some progress on the boy - have started stripping to bare metal, only finding a few small unexpected surprises. I knew about the bog in the nose from an accident and some rust in the RHF panel but was a little disappointed to find some in the LHR and LHF panels. Nothing too bad though - have stripped, cut out and will fill with a Polyurethane based filler. Now, to do an assessment of the molds and stripping - might be making the call out for parts soon! some photos posted on my gallery... ...

Posted by on in General
Finally making some progress on the boy - have started stripping to bare metal, only finding a few small unexpected surprises. I knew about the bog in the nose from an accident and some rust in the RHF panel but was a little disappointed to find some in the LHR and LHF panels. Nothing too bad though - have stripped, cut out and will fill with a Polyurethane based filler. Now, to do an assessment of the molds and stripping - might be making the call out for parts soon!some photos posted on my gallery......

Posted by on in press
The 1500 Karmann-Ghia has the honor of being the punchline of one of Henry Manney III's jokes in his coverage of the Frankfurt auto show for Road & Track magazine's January 1962 issue. He isn't too keen on the Ghia's front-end styling and reports that it reminded another reporter of the Schwimmwagen. He likes the rest of the styling, though, and calls the 1500 Ghia "an improvement on the old one."There's prominent coverage of the VW 1500 introduction in the article, including a feature photo of the dramatic 1500 display ("driverless Volkswagens, neatly executing 4-wheel drifts..."). But Manney is more interested in the NSU Prinz, BMW's 700 convertible and 1500 Neue Klasse sedan, the Porsche 2-liter, and the Fiat 2300 Coupe by 1500 Ghia designer Sergio Sartorelli. He seems a little underwhelmed by the VW 1500s in comparison. He predicts, correctly, that the Variant will be the biggest seller.I have always...

Posted by on in VW literature
I found this VW dealer postcard while browsing an online Porsche forum. Postmarked December 10, 1964, it's a Spokane, Washington dealer's response to someone who inquired about arranging European tourist delivery of a VW 1500 notchback. The dealer regretfully advises the customer that the only 1500 that dealers could arrange tourist delivery for was the "Station wagen" and that delivery of a notchback would likely be very expensive if they were to try to arrange it on their own.This is interesting. On one hand it's an example of the lengths someone in the U.S. would have to go to in order to buy a new notchback. Why would VW promote tourist delivery of the Squareback but not the notch? Was it some kind of "viral" strategy to stimulate public interest in the Squareback in the year before its official U.S. introduction? At the same time, American dealers who were unwilling to...

Posted by on in old photos
Last year I wrote a short post about a rare 1961 brochure published for VW dealers that explained the many components of the Volkswagen + VW 1500 advertising campaign, titled Wir werben für den VW 1500 (We advertise the VW 1500). It's a fascinating look from a dealer's point of view at the many tools that were available for publicizing the new 1500: posters in many sizes and formats, banners, freestanding signs, projection slides, print advertising, postal advertising, sales brochures, and window stickers. Here are some photos showing how these campaign components were actually put into use by individual dealers, as seen in VW Informationen, VW's internal publication for dealers and distributors.On the right side of the photo above you can see a poster for the 1961 Frankfurt international auto show, where the VW 1500 made its public debut. This dates the photo to September 1961.This dealer raised the bar by...

Posted by on in advertisements
This 1963 ad for VW service features a 1500 Ghia in an exotic Mediterranean locale to underscore the idea that service for every VW is available anywhere. A very nice oversized reprint of the ad was produced by P.A.R.C. with the permission of Volkswagenwerk AG, so you can get your very own copy.[h/t to JL]...

Posted by on in press
An article in the September 4, 1961 issue of Sports Illustrated about the new VW 1500. It's hard to imagine a time when a subject like this would have made sense for Sports Illustrated's readership.The writer, Kenneth Rudeen, likes the new bigger VW quite a lot, going so far as to describe it as "an extremely desirable car." He sees the 1500's appearance as being very Italian in spirit and compares it to the contemporary designs of Pininfarina. Rudeen speculates that the 1500 may not make its way to America until perhaps 1963, by which time demand in its newly prosperous home market might be satisfied....

Posted by on in Events
I caught a ride up to Treffen 12 in Oxnard, CA, today with Scott McWilliams in his '64 1500 Ghia. The last Treffen I went to was over ten years ago, back when it was for Karmann-Ghias only. It's now open to all aircooled VWs, but the focus is still on the Ghias. Here are some highlights of the show:Mark Merrill brought his unrestored 55,000 mile lowlight Ghia. A real time capsule. The original owner lived on Catalina Island and only used the car on visits to the mainland.Another unrestored time capsule, this one a '61 originally purchased at Van Wyk in Santa Barbara. The pacific blue/blue white color combination and the blue interior are the same as my own 1500 Ghia originally came with, right down to the turquoise wool carpet.Lisa Meier's '58 and '64 convertibles looked great.A very nice '64 notchback.The Type 34 lineup, from left: Chemo Ordaz, Scott...

Posted by on in General
looks like a lot of 'fun' work! Where in OZ are you? Mine's in the shop, undergoing resto. We had the engine running last week and it's about to get stripped to bare metal... 8O ...

Posted by on in old photos
While I'm waiting for my new Optima battery to arrive here's a photo Ivan Pang sent to me of a faded gulf blue '63 VW 1500 notchback parked in a garage a few houses away from where I live...in 1976. It's good reference for the kinds of features a daily-driven VW 1500 would have had in Los Angeles back in the day: solid red rear lenses, bias-ply thin whitewalls, curb feelers, AAA sticker on the bumper, etc. The license plate's number sequence points to an original registration date of around 1965, so it may have been a gray-market car. It looks worn but all original, which is no surprise because it was only 13 years old! No telling whatever became of the car; it was long gone by the time we moved to the neighborhood 20 years later.Ivan has lived in the area for many years and he has always tried...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got the engine back in yesterday. The reinstall was fast, smooth, and uneventful. A motorcycle jack under the engine takes most of the drama out of the process.I finally got to install the '63 heater mufflers. I had to improvise a substitution for the insulating ring (311 255 379 B) that the VW Workshop Manual advises be installed. I found some self-adhesive silica insulating tape at McMaster that should do the job. Supposed to be good for 1800° F. According to the Workshop Manual, without insulation here the muffler can get too hot and burn. Close to having it back on the road. I have a few loose ends to take care of and I have to see if my 6V battery will hold a charge (unlikely) or locate a new one....

Posted by on in reproduction parts
My best find from the VW Classic weekend was an original gray e-brake boot. It's a surprisingly hard to find item, and I've been trying to locate one for years. It's really clean and there are no holes or rips. I picked it up from a seller at OCTO for a very reasonable price. Couldn't believe my luck.Several years ago the restorer of a '58 beetle had a short run of gray repro boots made in Belgium, and I bought one when they were available. Here it is next to the OEM original. It's not perfect—the shape and texture are a little off and the gray color is too blue—but it's well made. It's also the style without the adjustment access slots/flaps on the sides. Some original boots have these access slots and some don't, and I don't know what applications got which boots, or when. The supply of these repro...

Posted by on in restoration
Speaking of 1500 Ghia visor clips, I'm very happy to finally have a pair of originals thanks to Larry Edson. They're not 100% perfect—both have minor cracks from use—but they're very presentable and far better than most others I've seen. It's rare for any of these clips to have survived due to an overly complicated and under-engineered design. This has lead to a cottage industry in 1500 Ghia visor clip replacements, some more successful than others. A few examples I've accumulated over the years:I've seen a number of Ghias with these bent steel hooks. They work surprisingly well, taking advantage of the spring tension in the visor mounts to hold the visors in place, and they're simple enough to not call attention to themselves.John Copello made these machined aluminum and powder coated clips, and it's possible that he might still make them to order. They follow the original design fairly closely...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
There are a few parts that every Type 34 Ghia owner needs. Who couldn't use a pair of those visor clips that seem to have been designed to break the first time they were used? Or how about the plastic deflector that keeps the front hood safety catch from damaging the rubber seal? When's the last time you saw an original one? In my case that would be never.Greg Skinner has taken it upon himself to reproduce the elusive deflector and he very generously brought a few to Bob Walton's pre-Classic BBQ for the Type 34 owners in attendance. Here is one of his repros, a faithful copy of the original part (341 823 491). I decided to test fit it to my Ghia. One of the good things about having owned a number of old VWs over the past 30 years is that I've amassed a lot of hardware. I was able to find...

Posted by on in NOS parts
It's only fitting, really, that one of the slowest Type 34 restorations ever should get one of the slowest brake jobs ever. That's what I get for trying to keep things correct for an early '62. Over the last few months I've been trying to locate the early parts I need without much luck. The unique early '62 brake parts are really hard to find, so you have to buy them when you see them even if you don't need them yet, because you eventually will. I've already found it's possible to modify a Type 1 oil slinger to work with a Type 3 drum. The drum itself was the next hurdle.Over the VW Classic weekend I tried to track down an NOS or good used '62 rear drum without any luck. For a moment I thought I'd hit paydirt when I saw an early pinwheel drum in a box of NOS...

Posted by on in NOS parts
It was good meeting Aaron Britcher over the VW Classic weekend after years of long distance correspondence. He made his way over from Oz along with a contingent of mad VW freaks who all seemed to be having a great time visiting the Southern California VW scene. Aaron is the owner of the world's fastest VW 1500 panel van, among other VWs, and he has a great collection of Type 3 rarities with an emphasis on performance parts. With his eye always open for the rare and the unusual, it's no wonder he came across something at ISP West so obscure that no one would have even imagined its existence, let alone known to look for it.A 1962 1500 badge that had escaped the final die stamping that would have released it from the sheet, seen here with a finished badge for comparison. I guess it goes without saying that it's...

Posted by on in Events
As usual I got my first proper sunburn of the summer at last weekend's VW Classic. I hit as many events as possible this year, starting with Gizmo Bob Walton's BBQ on Thursday, followed on Saturday by OCTO, Ed Economy's Toy and Literature Show, ISP West's open house, the Type 34 Registry dinner, and the VW Classic itself on Sunday. Kind of a marathon, but well worth it. It was good catching up with the everyone and to get to meet Adam Barrett, Aaron Britcher, Eric Farnsworth, and a bunch of Samba regulars.Bob was kind enough to let me drive his Hot VWs-featured '62 notch to the events on Saturday, and the first stop was OCTO. It was my first OCTO and it didn't disappoint. Here are Gerson's freshly stamped Type 3 pans at the swap: After a swing through the toy and literature show it was off to ISP for...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
The past few years have seen a marked increase in the availablity of reproduction parts for VW 1500s and 1600s. ISP West has lead the way, reproducing a number of obsolete Type 3 parts over the last ten+ years, and they've been joined by the now-defunct PoP of Thailand (Simon Kelley has begun to pick up where PoP left off), Rudiger Huber, BerT3 and others, including my own self. But in the last year things have really picked up.The latest news is that the original "salt & pepper" wool cloth used from 1961–63 is now available for purchase from Gizmo Bob Walton. The possibility of reproducing this cloth has been talked about for many years, and it's amazing that it's finally here. I dropped in on Bob yesterday and saw one of several giant rolls. It looks fantastic.Equally exciting news: new right and left side floorpan halves for Type 3s are...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
Over the past two months I've been testing my water slide decals in harsh conditions to see how they hold up and if wax or a clear coat will provide added durability. I applied three decals to an old glovebox lid, giving one a clear coat of enamel, another several coats of wax, and the third left untreated as a control. I subjected them to weeks of full sun—at times over 80°F—and to damp 45°F nights. I dipped them in water regularly to simulate the effects of normal washing. I simulated daily wear and tear by rubbing the surface. The decals showed no ill effects after a few weeks of this treatment, so I decided it was time to pull off the gloves and give them the Extreme Humidity Test. I sealed them in an airtight bag with a few ounces of water and left them in the hot sun for...

Posted by on in restoration
As mentioned in a previous post, 1962 Type 3 rear brakes are different than those on later models. One of the most obvious differences is the presence of an oil slinger on each drum, which uses centrifugal force to direct any gear oil that gets past the axle seal away from the brake shoes and to the outside of the drum. The Type 3 slinger (part number 311 501 631) is a unique one-year-only part only used up to chassis number 0 076 299. Many have been discarded over the years during service, so if you're in need of one, as I am, you're in for a search.After looking for awhile and following a few leads to dead ends I decided to try another approach. Jason Weigel suggested I try modifying a Type 1 or Type 2 part to fit. Yes, 1950s beetles and buses also had oil slingers, and they're easy to find due...

Posted by on in restoration
I picked up the restored speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, and radio grille from North Hollywood Speedometer today. Nice job Patrick, thanks! My Ghia is not worthy....

Posted by on in NOS parts
To go along with these. ...

Posted by on in restoration
I have always dreaded brake work on older aircooled VWs because of the hassle of dealing with the rear axle nuts. Getting the nuts loose involved a breaker bar, a good length of cheater pipe and some colorful language. Getting them tight again was something I was never able to master with hand tools, so I would do the best I could and then limp over to a local shop to have them torque the nuts to spec. I can't believe it's taken me this long to finally buy a torque multiplying tool to do the job. This tool, popularly known as the Torque Meister or Torque Dude, multiplies the torque nine times, allowing the high-torque axle nuts and flywheel gland nut to be removed and installed with simple hand tools and minimal effort.Once I got the left rear drum off I found a hardened sludgy film on everything. I knew...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
I've ordered a lot of parts and some tools I need to get the Ghia on the road again. While I'm waiting for them to arrive, I thought I would do some durability tests on the water slide decals I had printed a few years ago. Andy Holmes reported recently that the edges of his Ghia's decals began to flake, so I sent him a set of replacements. I don't know what the cause was—humidity? rapid temperature changes of the metal surfaces they were applied to? offgassing from recently applied paint? or some combination thereof?—but water decals are fragile in the best of circumstances, and I want to test a few ways of making them more durable.Using a glovebox lid with original paint as a test board, I have applied three air cleaner decals. The one on the left was masked and coated with clear enamel (two mist coats and a...

Posted by on in NOS parts
Not long ago I bought a pair of NOS SWF Type 3 wiper arms. They have the part number 311 955 407A, and they'll fit 1967 and earlier Type 3s. They're not the wipers my Ghia would have come with originally, though, but rather a later part that replaced the earliest design. The original 1961–66 wiper arms, part number 311 955 407, looked like this:[image pilfered from thesamba.com]The arms that replaced them have a slightly different appearance:As far as I can tell, the 311 955 407A arms were introduced in the 1966 model year, superseding the earlier arms as replacement parts. I'm not sure what the functional difference is between these and the earlier arms; they both have the same poor design for clamping the arm to the wiper shaft: a small set screw that fights in vain to hold the wiper arm to the shaft against substantial torque. Working against the laws of physics, they would...

Posted by on in restoration
I got to the left rear suspension today. There was evidence of a substantial brake fluid leak, so I'll need to do a complete brake once-over before the Ghia sees the road again. The left rear drum is missing its oil thrower, so I should start tracking one of those down while I'm at it. It's a Type 3–specific part that was only used until chassis number 0 076 299, a month or two into the 1963 model year, so I'll have a search on my hands. It's probably time for me to buy one of those Torque Meister tools (a.k.a. Torque Dude), so I can get the axle nuts on and off without breaking a breaker bar.I cleaned up the wheel and found the April 1962 date code. I have all five of the original wheels, but I also have a set of NOS early Type 3 wheels that I'll probably end...

Posted by on in restoration
I spent some quality time under the Ghia today, cleaning and painting the right rear suspension area. There was a lot of surface rust that I wanted to address. It was over two years ago that I cleaned off years worth of grease that had built up, and rust began forming very quickly after that.Early Type 3 swirl brake drums. I kept the wheel mounting surface free of paint—I never want to see one of my wheels passing me by when I'm driving down the freeway.Here's a good shot of one of the early rear Type 3 axles, which featured stamped steel lower shock mounts welded directly to the axle tubes. Early in the 1963 model year these were replaced by redesigned axle tubes with separate forged shock mounts. Another example of early Type 3 weirdness.With the wheel removed there was a clear view of the transmission serial number, 35694, which...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
Today I finally finished reassembling the engine. It took awhile for me to track down all the parts, which for some reason I had stored in a number of different places. The last time I was at this point was the summer of 2007. The last time I assembled the engine I had a really hard time getting the flanges to line up where the intake manifold's heat riser connects to the tube from the muffler. This time I put some effort into bending and rotating the muffler tube so that its flange would line up better, and I got the bolts started at this connection first before securing it elsewhere, which made it a lot easier to get the manifold in. Hopefully this will put less strain on the manifold when the engine is running—broken welds between the heat riser and intake tube are common on these manifolds, probably due...

Posted by on in restoration
I took the gauges to North Hollywood Speedometer today. They tested the tach and it's in good working order, so it only needs cosmetics. They're going to make a new glass for it to replace the cracked original—either CNC etched or silkscreened scale and VDO logo—and will replace the late silver-finish escutcheons with early brass parts from donor gauges. The speedometer needs calibration but otherwise tested o.k., and it will get a cosmetic restoration along with the fuel gauge and speaker grille. I'm going to hold off on having the clock restored for now because North Hollywood Speedometer doesn't repair old Kienzle clock works, they replace them with modern quartz movements instead. I'd rather see if I can get the original clock working again myself. I'm not planning on installing it anyway since I have the tach, but I would eventually like to have it restored and ready to go.When I...

Posted by on in restoration
I've decided to try something slightly different with the blog this year, something that I hope will help motivate me to make more progress on my own 1500 Ghia's restoration. I'm only going to post when I've actually accomplished something on the car. This means there might be more variation in activity depending on how much progress I'm making—more frequent posts if all is going well, and less frequent if nothing's happening.This weekend's nice weather gave me a good opportunity to dig the Ghia out from all the junk that has collected in the garage and get the area cleaned up so I can get back to work. I cleared out all the spiderwebs and dust and whatnot from under the car, and wiped everything down. I was disappointed to see more surface rust on some of the hardware than I would have expected from a year or two of sitting,...

Posted by on in press
The VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia made the cover of Gute Fahrt magazine in January 1962. Note the funky retouching on the cover photo—the steering wheel is hilarious. I think the driver of the car must have been removed from the image.A one-page feature article inside offers a lot of praise for the Ghia, its unusual luggage accommodations in particular, and attributes the car's sporty handling to its low center of gravity. In yet another take on the clock/tach/speaker conundrum, the article says there's a place in the dash for a tach just to the left of the glove box, but it would be better to put it in the clock's position for visibility. I guess this tells us that the test car didn't have a radio and the purpose of the speaker grille wasn't clear. The one criticism is that the fog lights are too high to really be effective. It says...

Posted by on in General
This is James Kramers 1966 cobalt / bermuda blue Australian delivered 344. Originally delivered to Melbourne, the car now resides in Queensland. Follow the link to read more about this car. Here's a few words from James about the car: This vehicle was originally purchased in late 1965 by a doctor from South Australia and used primarily (and sparingly) by his wife. I purchased the car from Bill Sundermann in 2006. A proverbial "barn find," the car never had any rust, damage or even any notable dints. There are just a few small nicks and tears in the original two tone interior, and even items like the original trunk liners are in excellent condition. It has spent all its life in Australia's dry inland climate. Bill had replaced/updated some mechanical items (eg brakes) and also had the car resprayed in its original colours (Cobalt Blue roof and Bermuda Blue body)....

Posted by on in old photos
...

Posted by on in old photos
[from the February 1968 issue of Gute Fahrt magazine]...

Posted by on in accessories
Though it's not very widely known, the small appliance manufacturer Braun offered a few auto accessories in the 1960s. Their T 510/580 portable radios, introduced in 1962, were available with an under-dash slide-in mount that allowed you to use your radio in the car and also take it with you, like the Blaupunkt Derby and similar radios from other manufacturers. What Braun offered that the others didn't was the international-style aesthetic of industrial designer Dieter Rams. Rams has a cult following among design fans and his work for Braun in the '60s is thought to be the inspiration for much of Apple's award-winning product design of the last few years. He's currently the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London. These radios come up for sale occasionally but the under-dash mounts would have to be among the rarest of the rare of auto accessories.Braun also offered an automotive...

Posted by on in accessories
In addition to VDO and Gossen, Weigand also made 85mm tachs that fit in the VW 1500 dash. The 7000 rpm Weigand tach pictured in this 1969 ad is similar to one that's advertised for sale on The Samba right now....

Posted by on in accessories
Kamei offered lots of practical and functional kitsch for the VW 1500 including accelerator pedal covers and parcel trays.According to the ad, the pedal cover keeps the accelerator mechanism clean, protects the floor mat and tunnel from wear, relaxes the foot muscles and promotes good circulation. It also makes your accelerator pedal look like it's melting!...

Posted by on in accessories
The Petri/VDM model 355 steering wheel, aka the "coach" or "carriage" wheel, was available for the VW 1500 beginning in 1965 and was a popular upgrade. Here's an early ad:This ad from 1969 lists a different version for Karmann-Ghias after 1967:...

Posted by on in accessories
A Hirschmann auto antenna to go along with your new radio....

Posted by on in accessories
Jokon accessory reverse lights, including the VW 1500 version....

Posted by on in articles
Sad news came in today from Italy: Sergio Sartorelli, the man responsible for the design of the VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia, died yesterday at the age of 81. Sartorelli joined Carrozzeria Ghia in 1956 and within a year he became the head of styling for the prototyping department, a position he held until 1963. In that time he designed and supervised the design of dozens of automotive projects. His work on the 1500 Ghia began in early 1959 and continued through 1960. Though the 1500 Ghia was designed with collaborative assistance from young American stylist Tom Tjaarda, there's no question that it was almost entirely Sartorelli's design. Sartorelli's original 1500 Ghia prototype [photo: Larry Edson]After Ghia he went on to work with Centro Stile OSI (a styling, prototyping, and production facility originally affiliated with Ghia) and later with Fiat. In addition to the 1500 Ghia his most celebrated designs include the Fiat...

Posted by on in accessories
I was lucky enough to find an original VDO 6-volt tachometer for the Type 34 Ghia. I've been trying to track one down for years. It's a very rare original accessory part—I've only seen three of them in person in 22 years of looking, and I only know of a handful of others that exist. VDO Type 3 tachs are pretty common in comparison. It needs restoration but seems to be relatively sound. It doesn't appear to have been opened for repair in the past. Cosmetically, the biggest restoration challenge will be the cracked "glass."It has a white needle and silver knob and escutcheon. That and the fact that it's 6-volt means it was intended for a late '65 or '66 Type 34. All Type 34 VDO tachs were 6000 RPM to my knowledge. I had never noticed before when looking at others that the scale is progressive—it expands at the...

Posted by on in accessories
Seeing the light of day for the first time in over 40 years.Is it just me or does it look like it's smiling? The foam seal that goes between the speaker and the grille has begun to decompose, but everything else looks o.k....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
A nice VW 1500 illustration on a package of Serflex clamps.[image borrowed from an eBay auction]...

Posted by on in VW literature
Johannes Krasenbrink, owner of a few very early VW 1500s including probably the nicest low-mileage '62 1500 Ghia on earth, sent me these photos of an amazing 1961 dealer information brochure. Titled Wir werben für den VW 1500 (We advertise the VW 1500), it shows all the different components of the Volkswagen + VW 1500 advertising campaign that could be ordered by the dealers.It includes a few of the campaign pieces I've been able to find, including an advertising stamp (21) and a postage meter ad (23). If I was able to read the dimensions I could have some facsimile wheat paste posters made at their original size. I'd love to see the rest of this rare brochure!...

Posted by on in articles
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which has me thinking about where and when the VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia got its start and about its historical significance.The are many different reasons that people are drawn to the 1500 Ghia. Some appreciate it for its relative rarity. Others see in it an opportunity to own an affordable and reliable coachbuilt classic. Some just like the unique lines. For me it's all of the above, but I'm also interested in what the Ghia meant in its historical context. In a symbolic way, its design is an interesting automotive example of the so-called "German economic miracle," or Wirtschaftswunder. ["People's Dream Car," Hobby magazine, December 1961]Nearly fifty years on it's easy to lose sight of the context in which the 1500 Ghia was developed. Germany was still a recently defeated, divided country that was the front line of the...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
As a followup to a recent discussion among Type 34 Ghia owners about how to reproduce the "auf/zu" graphics that appear on every Type 3 engine lid, I've created high resolution vector pdf artwork based on direct scans of an original 1963 lid that Everett Barnes supplied. This version of the graphics was used from 1963 until sometime after 1966, when the letters O and C were replaced by the words Open and Closed. The pdfs can be downloaded and used in a number of ways to recreate the graphics. [Everett's engine lid scans]The easiest way to do it would probably be to have a sign shop use their plotter to cut a graphic in black vinyl (matte black vinyl would probably look best). As a reference for position, the dashed line triangular shapes on the graphics correspond to the recesses for the handles, though placement was probably a little different...

Posted by on in restoration
Jason Weigel (a.k.a. Notchboy) is embarking on a comprehensive detailing project on his low-mileage, all-original and already nearly perfect '63 sunroof Notchback. He started a video blog thread on thesamba.com so we can follow along on his progress.You can follow the thread here....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
Similar to another scale model that I wrote about a couple of years ago, this bus model carries an ad for the VW 1500. I'd like to think that ads like this were all over the streets in West Germany in the early '60s. Are models like this based on documentary photos of street scenes?[image swiped from an eBay auction]...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
Jeff Grant (a.k.a. "Anchovy" on thesamba.com) has started offering these cool reproduction aluminum key tags stamped to order with your VIN for just $12. When VWs were originally delivered the keys came with an identifying tag like this. Our '65 Squareback's keys still had their original tag—lucky for us, as most were discarded by the original owners. Though the tags became increasingly thin and more crudely stamped as the years went on, the '58 tag Jeff modeled his reproduction on was cut in a nicely rounded shape from heavy-gauge aluminum. It's the perfect key fob for your set of original keys. Go here to order yours....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
A couple of weeks ago Jonny Lieberman sent me a text message from the back seat of a Tatra T87. He had gone to a meeting of the local Citroen club and met Paul Greenstein, owner of many interesting and unusual cars including the T87, and he said I needed to drop everything and head over to Echo Park right away to see it. About 10 minutes later I was standing in front of Paul's immaculately restored 1941 Tatra, which recently returned to Los Angeles from the Czech Republic, where it was on display in the Tatra Museum. Incredible car—larger than you might think from photographs, the black teardrop coachwork with its central fin and three headlights suggesting some sort of art deco Batmobile from an alternate future. Paul asked if we wanted to go for a ride, and we were like...yeah! Here's Jonny's cameraphone shot from the back seat as...

Posted by on in press
How did so many VW Type 3s find their way to the United States before the VW 1600s were officially introduced to the American market in the fall of 1965? Conventional wisdom says that the cars were brought over individually from Germany by servicemen and tourists, or brought over the border from Canada, where the 1500s were available from their introduction in 1961. While there's no doubt that many 1500s found their way here through those channels, there was also a more formalized gray market supplying 1500s to the U.S. market in the early '60s. There were companies that acted as semi-official importers, supplying dealers with nearly new "used" Type 3s outfitted with sealed-beam headlights, MPH speedometers, etc. This allowed even authorized VW dealers to sell Type 3s years before they were officially imported (as seen here and here). VWoA tolerated the gray market, though when speaking on the record they were...

Posted by on in coachbuilt VWs
Better late than never, here are some of the coachbuilts at the 2nd International Southern California Vintage VW Treffen last Sunday at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. Some nice coachbuilt VWs and Porsches turned out, among them Jesse James' newly restored '50 convertible, a nice unrestored '52 Porsche convertible, a pair of '57 Rometsch Beeskows, and a '58 Binz double cab.One of the highlights of the day was caravaning behind Ivan Pang's nice unrestored '53 sedan. Great to see such a well-preserved piece of history holding its own on the Los Angeles freeways....

Posted by on in reproduction parts
After much discussion and debate it looks like Gerson of Klassic Fab is getting started on making dies for reproduction Type 3 floor pans. They should be available for purchase by the beginning of next year—$500 + shipping for a pair of complete pan halves. This is great news for Type 3 restorers. Until now our options have been to track down a donor pan or pan sections that are hopefully less rusty than what we already have, to adapt sections of Type 1 Karmann-Ghia pan sheet metal, or to use pan repair stampings of somewhat questionable quality that are sporadically available. Labor-intensive and/or costly endeavors all. Gerson's shop hand-fabricated the pan half pictured above for his own notchback project. Klassic Fab has become famous for producing high-quality sheet metal stampings for VW Buses. The quality and accuracy of their products are regarded as second to none. I'll be buying a...

Posted by on in General
http://www.t-34.co.uk/media/p9087613.jpg
Well, it's been a little time since I actually did some work on the Ghia, recovering the interior doesn't really count as it wasn't me doing the work. So spurned by an invitation to the Victoria day of the Volkswagen in November (Cheers Grey54) I've decided that I will try and get to the event - especially as I was also invited last year, and truth be told the Ghia is pretty much int he same state as it was back then. So motivated to go and do something, I decided that I really need to get the rear suspension finished, the  engine mounted, and the car rolling. Then I can get the exhaust system made, the headlining fitted and look at getting the thing running. First things first - having spent many many hours designing the rear suspension (mostly in my head) I made the decision, that i would...