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Re: [T3] Advice on Type 3 purchase

Regarding front indicator lights and rear reflectors:

The way I understand the situation is that in the beginning when the Type 3 was
first introduced in 1961 there were only  the "cute little bullets" at the front
and the "shorty" reflectors at the rear.  The front "bullets" were chrome-plated
and the rear "shorty" reflectors were painted body colour.

In August 1963 along came the 1500S sedan (notchback) and 1500S Variant station
wagon (squareback).  Externally, to identify them more easily and set them apart
from the basic models these new twin-carb versions of the Type 3 were given extra
decorative trim like waistline chrome strips, chromed wrap-around front
indicators, longer chromed rear reflector housings (with a screw fixture towards
the front) and extended fin-like rear tail light lenses as well as the "S" logo
on the back.

At the same time, the basic single carb version of the sedan and Variant became
known as the "N" version, retaining the original chromed "little bullets" at the
front, the painted "shorties" at the rear and the flatter tail light lenses,
although no "N" logo was placed on the outside.

In August 1965 for the 1966 model year, the "S" models were replaced by the
disc-braked 1600 twin carb models of the sedan and station wagon and marketed as
the "1600L" for the notchback and "1600L Variant" for the squareback.  The new
similarly equipped fastback was introduced and sold as the "1600TL" (or
Tourenlimousine).  These new 1600 series all had the chromed wrap around front
indicator lights, the longer chromed rear reflector housings and fin tail light
lenses as fitted to the superseded "S" models.  These "L" model Type 3s were the
first Type 3s introduced to the US market.  Meanwhile, the basic "N" model
continued in production with the single carb1500 motor but was given a name
change.  It became the "A" model but was not usually available for the fastback.
This situation existed with Type 3s up until July 1969 when the 1970 models with
the long nose and larger front indicator lights and rear tail lights came along.

However, for the US market for the 1968 and 1969 model years, VW had to install
"A" model "little bullet" front indicator lights to the fastback and squareback
models sold there.  (The notchback was never officially marketed in the USA.)
The "L" models' wrap around front indicator lights did not comply with the then
new US regulations which required that indicator lights had to be seen clearly
from the side.  VW could use the basic "A" model "little bullets" without having
to install side repeater lights - a saving on tooling and other production
costs.  (The 1970-onwards long nose Type 3s had bigger front indicators which
were designed from the outset with US regulations in mind.)

Thus, while the US market always got the "L" version of the Type 3 (even though
this term was never used in the US), cars destined for the USA were the only "L"
models fitted with the older "A" model "little bullets" during the 1968 and 1969
model years.

Why the US models of 1968 and 1969 got special chromed versions of the "A"
models' "shorty" rear reflector housings instead of the longer "L" model
versions, I just do not know.

Of course, all of the above "summary" applies to German-made Type 3s up until
1970 models.  South African and Australian made Type 3s were different again in
the models which were given these various lights and reflectors.  And, Brazilian
vehicles were radically different.

Simon Glen
Toowoomba, Australia.

Jim Adney wrote:

> On 7 Mar 2001, at 16:57, Corivus De Lan wrote:
> > >Yes, 68-9 have the cute little bullets, but the reflectors (I assume
> > >you're talking about those in the rear) are the shorties for 68-9. 66
> > >had the longer reflector bodies; I'm not sure when else they were
> > >used.
> >
> > so 68-9 had the little nubbies one them?  mine has the longer reflector
> > bodies on them, and I bought a pair off someone at a swapmeet from a 68 that
> > had the long ones one them... but I'm not sure...
> At least in the US market, 68-9 had the little ones. The long ones,
> with the screw at the front were used on earlier years.
> Others on this list seem to agree that the long ones were used in
> some markets for some versions in the 68-9 era. That's certainly
> possible, but it would surprise me.
> -
> *******************************
> Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
> Madison, Wisconsin, USA
> *******************************
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list or mailto:help@vwtype3.org

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