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VW Type III: Other Models



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Type III Karmann Ghia

When Volkswagen designed its 1500, it asked the Italian design house Carrozeria Ghia to design a sportier skin for the new chassis. The lines are strikingly different from the notch/square/fastback lineup.

T34 and Squareback Sedan (Comparison drawing)

Ghia had also created a more stylish form for the Type I. Both coupes were built by the German caochbuilder Karmann. For more information on the Type I Karmann Ghia, see Karmann Ghia World.

Types I and III KGs, cutaway (Comparison cutaways)

Some have said that the rear ends of the T34 and Chevrolet's Corvair bear a striking resemblance. Both cars below are VWs; you be the judge...

Corvair? (T34/Corvair resemblance?)

I met a fellow back home in California who bought a rust-free, complete T34 for US$350 a few years ago. If you're not fortunate enough to find a "little old lady" trying to practically give one away and you'd like to hook up with owners and fans of T34s, contact the Type 34 Registry either via their Web page or care of Lee Hedges (hedges@ixpres.com) at the address below.

VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia Registry
c/o Lee Thomas Hedges
11410 Belshire Lane
San Diego, CA 92126-5553 (USA)
Telephone: 619 578-1189
Fax: 619 578-1506

(Much of the info and many of the pictures of T34s on this page came from Lee's article in 11/94 VWTrends!)

Proud owners of Type 34 Karmann Ghias like to get together once in a while and hang out. You guessed it, this shot could only happen in southern California! Only about 2,000 of the 42,432 built are known to exist today.

A recent Type 34 get-together in California (Row of T34s)

Here are a couple more neato T34 KG's that are still puttering around. A beautiful example belongs to Bill Makepeace of Bill and Steve's in Bellflower, California.

(Bill in his T34)

Robert Dervin's first-year T34 KG lives in Ohio and is known to pop up at shows in the American Midwest.

Yes, Type 34 convertibles were made. Unfortunately, only two were made. Both prototypes. The rumor is that the chassis couldn't be suitibly strengthened once the roof was chopped off.

T34 Convertible prototype (1961 Frankfurt Auto Show)


Australian Type III panel

(Aaron's panel van)

This 1965 Australian N (standard, not deluxe) Type III delivery panel "van" is owned by Aaron Britcher (abritcher@ezinet.com.au). It's somewhat reminiscent of the Type II panel van, with sheetmetal where the rear side windows would normally be. The cargo area extends forward right over where the rear seat would be, and there's extra storage space in the seat bottom and foot well area. This car (and another example known to Mr. Britcher) was originally painted Ruby Red with a white roof, and it seems they all had a Kombi Grey interior. They were built to be practical, with lots of the bells and whistles left off: less chrome, no clock, one sun visor, etc. They have their own body serial numbers welded just behind the spare tire; the one pictured here is number 33. Cool!


Brazillian SP1 & SP2

(An SP2)

An SP2 in the U.S.

The Brazillian "SP" series (I've seen 'em called the "SP Fastback GT") used the Type III pancake engine, but with slighter larger pistons.

Fabio Cereda of Brazil reports on this slick VW:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
The VW SP-1 and SP-2 (named SP after "Sport Prototype") were launched in
June 1972. The SP-1 had a 1600 cc engine, and the SP-2 a 1700 cc one.
But performance was so poor that the SP-1 was never sold. I think that
the SP was a really beautiful car. The following is quoted from Quatro
Rodas magazine, July 1972 issue:

"It's a car whose design is so elegant and beautiful that has even
caused agglomeration in some dealers. One of them had to call the police
in order to push people that surrounded the car, since it was past 10
p.m. and the dealer couldn't close its doors."

This car was almost totally different from everything that VW Brasil had
ever done, and the car had equipments that would be present in other
models only in the '80s. The interior was clothed with leather (only
the Dodge Charger R/T, Brazil's most expensive car at the time, had
leather in its interior). The seats had support for the head (an
equipment that even Passats would have only in 1978). VW made wide use
of plastic in this car, to increase safety. And, of course, it had disc
brakes, in a time when the rest of its line used drum brakes.

Price: SP-2 cost Cr$ 29,700.00, while the Karmann Ghia cost Cr$ 22,042
and the 1300 Beetle cost Cr$ 14,989. (July 1972)
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Want specifications on the SP-2? Sure! Fabio's got 'em.

James Barbour (9339193@arran.sms.ed.ac.uk) offers the following insight gleaned from a Volksworld article:

Behind the wheel of the SP2

The SP2 followed on from the short-lived SP1.  They had similar body 
styles but the SP1 had less power, which is presumably why it was 
ditched.  10,193 SPs were built, mostly SP2s, between June 1972 and 
December 1975.  Only 681 were officially exported from Brazil, mostly 
to Nigeria and the Middle East.
Rear view of SP2

The SP2 had a 1679 (69x88) type 3 engine with a compression ratio of 
7.5:1 and dual solex 34 PDSIT carbs.  It produced 75 bhp @ 5000 rpm.
The SP2 pancake powerplant

SP2 owner Matthew Slattery (sera@lynx.org) adds some more specs and the following tidbits...

Some information that I have been able to gather says that the SP2 uses a
standard production Variant platform with a Z-bar compensating spring to
reduce the roll rate and the stock front suspension. The car was introduced
in 72 with two models available, the SP1 and SP2. The SP1 was a stripped
down version which didn't make it past the first year. The SP2 had only
75hp so acceleration is not quick, around 19 seconds for 0-60mph, and a top
speed of 100mph.

Vince Petrie (vgpetri@pacbell.com) adds:

I learned that the pan is the same (almost) as the Type III.  The shape is 
the same but there are some detail differences.  For example, the T III has 
reinforcements welded to the pan bottom.  Also, the seat rails are 
different.
Vince is running a bit of an informal SP2 registry, and would like to make contact with other SP2 owners. Got an SP2? Drop him a line!

The SP2 trivia keeps coming... I was recently poking around the web and learned that the SP2 shares its headlights and front windscreen with the VW 412. Have a look at http://www.algonet.se/~linkan/SP2.htm for specifics.


Brazillian Karmann Ghia TC

Here are a number of shots of a quite curious beast: the Brazillian Karmann Ghia TC. It's Brazillian, it's Type III based, and says "Karmann Ghia" on the deck lid. If anybody has any more information on this design, let me know! (Pictures contributed by James Barbour.)

Yes, that is an alternator stuffed onto the pancake engine! If anybody knows a source for obtaining these and any necessary associated hardware from Brazil, let me know about it!!! Here in the U.S., our Type IIIs are run with generators. The pancake engine design makes it difficult to simply toss in an alternator without doing some major work on the shrouding, etc.

James has added a few more details about the KGTC...

A bit of info about the T3 Ghia which I forgot to tell you:  When VW in
Germany set about designing the Type 34 they commissioned several designs,
most of which have prototypes in the Wolfsburg museum.   The Karmann Ghia
TC draws quite heavily on some of these, as well as the obvious Type 14
influence at the front - although some less-than-VW-friendly people have
been known to compare them to the Ford Pinto!
...and Fabio Cereda adds:

The KG TC was launched in 1970 in an attempt to provide a "sports" car
which could also carry 2 people in the back seat. VW said its design was
based in 911's, but, well, just look at it and you'll realize they failed.
This is one of the ugliest cars ever made in Brazil, and this alone
explains its failure. This car was a big flop indeed.

Fabio also provides us with specs on the KGTC.


Brazillian Type III Sedan

Here's yet another Brazilian reworking of a popular VW model. This time, a notchback sedan.

How about a four-door Type III? The Brazillians come to the rescue again!

Four-door Brazillian Type III

Here is the most definitive information I have about these other Type III based Brazillian VWs (once again, courtesy of Fabio Cereda):
VW 1600, VW 1600 TL and VW 1600 Variant

These cars were based in the Type 3 cars built in Germany, but weren't
the same cars. I think these were Brazilian designs.  We had a 4-door
"notchback" (the VW 1600), and then a station-wagon (Variant).  Later
(in 1969, in think) VW launched the VW TL, the fastback model. In 1970
VW dropped the notchback, and created the 4-door TL (as you show in
one of the photos). In 1974, VW dropped the TL line when it launched
the Passat. (My father bought one 2-door red TL a few weeks before VW
terminated its production!)  The Variant continued to be produced until
1978.  Then, VW created the Variant II, based in another original Brazilian
design called the Brasilia.  The main difference between the Variant II
and the Brasilia was in the engine's position, since Brasilia's was placed
as in the Beetle and Karmann-Ghia (Type 1, I think), and Variant II remained
with the pancake one.



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