How do you follow a classic like the Beetle?
VW knew that despite the huge popularity of the iconic car, they would need to have something to replace it at some point. The solution was to broaden the range, giving buyers a more upmarket product to aspire to. Hence, the Type 3 was born.
Essentially, it had taken the fundamentals that had made the Beetle so successful, and then run with them. An effort had also been made to correct some of the more obvious shortcomings, primarily to modernise it (the Beetle was looking decidedly old fashioned by this point) and add more space both for passengers and luggage.
It was first rolled out as a two-door ‘notchback’ saloon sporting a 1493cc engine. In 1962, a two door estate version was released called the Variant, ’65 saw a fastback two-door edition. By then, there was also a 1584cc engine as well.
The Type 3 was ultimately an improvement on the Beetle, but the later was such a cultural icon it was never going to achieve the same kind of acclaim. It sold well, almost two million copies, but the original car outlived the Type 3 was a good few years.
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