Special Models

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VW 1500 Variant Panel Van

Panel Vans were offered as a commercial model from the very beginning. They had only front seats as the rear area was a large flat platform with wood slats laid down for protection. The side windows were filled with metal plates, the rear-side plates have three vents just like Panel Transporters. Australian T3 Panels have no side marker lights & no bumper guards.

Borrowed from Aaron Britcher thesamba.com Type 3 Panel Van Nirvana and The 1500 Club Rare Models


VW 1500 Notchback Convertible (Type 351)

Borrowed from The 1500 Club Rare Models

VW planned to offer the 4-seater Notchback Cabriolet but the program was shelved in 1961 and never went into production. However, there were 16 prototypes built by Karmann for testing & promotions. And there were a couple sales brochures that featured this prototype as well. There are two known to exist in Germany: the Pearl White one at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg and this red one at the Karmann Museum in Osnabruck.


VW 1500 Karmann Ghia Convertible (Type 341)

Borrowed from From

More information to come


VW 1600 Karmann Ghia TC Fastback Prototype

Borrowed from Type 34 Specfic

"A Fastback is the same as a Notchback. Just without the notch!". This is the way VW's PR-people introduced the following 1600 TL. Just as in 1961, when they introduced the new, big VW with it's Karmann Ghia Coupe version, it happened again at the 1965 IAA. A double date, so to say, with a second one was planned for the 1965 IAA exhibition in Frankfurt. The first drawings were dated April 1964, with it's most noticeable rear sides being the main differences. The transition to another Karmann version of the 34 was spawn from the unexpected slow sales of the Coupe. With a bigger, more accessible boot, they had expected more customers to fall for this car.

The development was fully carried out by Karmann, and the prototype was ready by September. By this time, the situation at VW was a bit difficult, as the debates over a merge with Daimler-Benz was raging. Because of this, it lasted another two months before the Fastback-Coupe was presented to the board in Wolfsburg. Still, it was well received, and the plans to show it at the Frankfurt exhibition was laid. Then, in January 1965, VW surprisingly backed out of the TC project. The reason was supposedly problems with interior noise reduction. Why this was not an issue with VW's own Touring-sedan, developed at the same time, was never answered.

Unfortunately, the sales of the big Ghia did not improve, so VW planned a complete reconditioning of the Coupe-body. For this, an extra development designation, the 216 was made ready in February 1967 with a dual headlight front end, a front to rear body line and wider tail lights. When both the front and rear bonnets and the roof was redesigned, they saw that the final work would be too expensive. Because of this, Karmann brought the TC to attention once more. Because of it's concept, it would offer far more versatility to the customers than a redesigned Coupe. In addition, the development would be a lot quicker, because of the job they did in 1964. Even then, a dual headlight version was planned. VW finally dropped all development plans on the T34 because it would cost too much, and the end for the Ghia was undoubtedly in sight.

Still, Karmann wouldn't give up, and built another Coupe into a Fastback. The basis for this one was an early 1969 model with the automatic transmission. This Touring also had an electrical sunroof and doors with window frames. The dual headlights differed from the VW-sketches, which had an oval frame later found on the 411. The body crease remained in two pieces. The long rear side windows were pop-outs, and the interior had seats with headrests. The rear load area was carried out from the rear seat to the very end of the openable hatch. Under the carpet one could find the typical engine cover. The TC was finished in September 1968, one month before VW decided to stop production of the Type 3 Coupe.

The TC has nothing to do with the Brazilian Ghia fastbacks, but Karmann also developed a TC version of the type 1 Ghia, which was rejected by VW, but was approved for production in Brazil.


VW of Brazil VW 1600

Visit Brazilian Type 3's for in-depth information.