The Type 3 Notchback is arguably one of the best looking cars VW has ever built, but as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender proves, throwing a Subaru boxer in one can make it a hot mess.
Nineteen seventy five was an uneven year. The U.S. finally gave up on Vietnam; the Godfather won big at the Oscars; and on radios across the country I Honestly Love You by Olivia Newton John was simultaneously topping the charts and sowing the seeds for the Punk movement. Yesterday's '75 Corvette was also uneven - providing plenty of show, but not a lot of go - and hence was a perfect representative from that volatile mid-point of the disco decade. Regardless, the Vette proved to be solid enough that a hefty 85% of you decided it was worth its weight in dollar bills, plus a little more, providing a landslide Nice Price win.
One of the things that drove that decisive victory was the Chevy's condition, which looked - at least in the pictures - almost factory fresh. Another element was that it appeared - save for the rims- mostly unmolested. In contrast, today's VW is neither of those things.
An auto manufacturer typically cannot exist on a single model alone, and VW is no exception. Unfortunately, the Wolfsburg maker had limited resources to expand after the war, and so they had to leverage the Beetle platform in order to add to their dealer's showroom numbers. The Beetle being the first model, it was logically officially dubbed the Type 1, the follow-up Bus was the Type 2, and arriving in 1961 - to the shock of critics and fans alike - was the cleverly named Type 3.
Today's candidate is a 1964 Type 3 Notchback, which is noteworthy in the U.S. As Type 3s weren't imported until '66, and the Notch never made it here officially. As you're probably aware, their combination of scarcity, beauty and easy parts access makes the Notch a particularly desirable car, and a glance at the Samba shows that they tend to hold their own value-wise.
This particular one has a patina that looks caked on, and its body is described as having some rust and dents, and it's also missing its bumpers. Inside is much like the outside, only dirtier, but at least the lack of floor and door coverings provides unfettered view of the car's structure allowing you to check for rust, bondo, or goats. The seller does say that the brakes are new, as well as a few other parts, but the most important update is sitting under the that eponymous notch. Back there the ad claims resides not the 1500-cc aircooled VW boxer, but a 1999 Subaru wasserboxer. That would most likely make it the 2,212-cc four with 142-bhp. If that's the case then, it's an almost three-fold increase, making this a Notch with nads. No mention is made of where the radiator resides, and if the builder has hacked out the pointy prow to create space and airflow, then the increased interest the Subie in back generates might be abated.
As noted, the rest of the car belies the extra ponies, and as Notches are worth some coin these days, it might be a good candidate for a trip to the Earl of Scheib and and maybe some carpeting. Me, I'd leave it just as it is, including the huge Metalmorphosis decal in the back window.
The seller is asking $3,400 for his Subiemorphosis Notchback, which seems to be ballpark for these cars in this kind of condition. The big question is, does the Japanese living in its ass increase or decrease the car's value?
What do you think, is a Subie-powered Notch worth that kind of belt-tightening? Or would you just have to notch this one up to unrealistic seller expectations?
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