Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Whether Fast or Square, VW's Type 3 was all about the back. One back we in the U.S. didn't officially get was the Notch, but Nice Price or Crack Pipe has one that might make you say baby got back.

VW introduced the Type 3 in 1961, expanding their product line beyond the Beetle, Type 2 Bus, and Karmann Ghia. Although the new car shared many components and layout with the Type 1 Beetle, the Type 3 saw several engineering advances improving both utility and drivability. The engine in the first Type 3s remained the same 1500-cc horizontally opposed four cylinder, but instead of a vertical fan shroud, it moved the fan behind the engine, allowing for a much more compact package and earning the nicknames pancake and suitcase. Up front, the suspension replaced the beetle's transverse torsion leaves with a torsion bar set up that also incorporated an anti-roll bar at the upper trailing arm pivot.

While the Notchback and Type 34 Karmann Ghia (that's the one with the owl eyebrows that always confuses you when you see it) hit the home market in '61, VW didn't decide to bring the cars to the U.S. until the '66 model year, and then they left the Notch at home, choosing instead to market the Squareback wagon (Variant) and Fastback versions here. That's too bad, because, while neither of those versions is Mickey Rourke ugly, the Notchback is a seriously pretty car.


Notchbacks did make their way into the U.S., brought back by servicemen, following ex-pat Canadians, and waddling their way across the Mexican border, after being won in back-room Tijuana poker games. This 1963 Type 3 Notchback was probably originally built at VW's Wolfsburg plant, out of which it carried the 43-bhp 1,493-cc engine. That paucity of power may seem a detriment until you peek under the car's skirt to ogle its swing-axle rear-end. That can be rectified with the addition of a later rear-end set up, and in fact many of the early Type 3s see such updates, along with lowered suspensions and interiors out of a Nevada bordello. This car, however, seems mostly original.


The seller of this buttercup-hued beauty says it drinks through a pair of Webers, but makes no other allusions to engine size or drivetrain modification. He does claim that the engine was rebuilt at the turn of the last century, and the car received a full restoration back when Reagan was in office. From the pictures, it looks like that was when the Riviera rims were put on it as they could use a polish. Also needed, per the ad, is a muffler and a set of brake shoes. The 34K that the seller claims to be on the clock could probably stand another digit in front of it, but in a car of this age what does it matter if that's a one, a two, or an eight?


Looking through the VW pørn site that is The Samba, you'll find there are a number of Notches up for grabs. They run from some rust-bucket project cars for a few grand, all the way up to slammed Bug-In trophy-winners with asking prices that will drop your jaw. This car comes with a $5,400 asking price, and the admonition that Flakes need not apply. Looking at the condition, as well as understanding the following these cars engender, does what the seller's asking seem flaky to you? Would that price notch up a sale in your book? Or, is this seller going to have to move that price back a notch in order to move this metal?

You decide!


The Samba Classifieds or go here if the ad disappears.

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