The Beetle was a masterpiece of innovation and economics – it was compact, but practical, and inexpensive to buy and maintain. The car’s curved exterior not only gave it a groundbreaking look, but was aerodynamic, too. Rear-wheel drive and its small stature gave the Beetle excellent handling, particularly when compared to the American land yachts of its day, and the innovative air-cooled engine required less maintenance and was easy to fix.
1968 > 1972: August 1967 saw the first major styling change with upright headlights, a shorter bonnet and engine lid, plus an exterior mounted fuel filler cap. These models retained the torsion bar front suspension and swing axle rear suspension, which remained until the end of Brazilian production in 2003. The only exceptions were the semi-automatic Beetle which came with I.R.S rear suspension and the 1302 and 1303 models which used front coil springs… (see below). Engine options for these were 1192cc (34bhp), 1285cc (44bhp), 1493cc engine with (44bhp) and 1584cc (50bhp).
1971 > 72: ‘The 1302 Beetle’ In an effort to make the Beetle more practical and improve sales, VW offered a restyled version alongside the regular Beetle which was badged the 1302 (1285cc) and the 1302S (1584cc). This had a more bulbous front bodywork but retained the flat windscreen and the torsion bar front suspension was replaced with MacPherson struts with coil springs, similar to the VW Golf.
The rear suspension was also the much improved I.R.S torsion bar system similar to the Porsche 911 of the same era. These changes improved the handling, ride comfort and stability, plus the front luggage area increased from 5 cu ft to over 9 cu ft, however, the styling proved unpopular and it was replaced after 2 years by the 1303 model.
1973 > 80: ‘The 1303 Beetle’ This was a revision of the 1302 Beetle and was available as the 1303A (1192cc) 1303 (1283cc) and the 1303S (1584cc). The only major change was that the flat windscreen was replaced with a more modern curved windscreen, which improved aerodynamics and interior space. This was also sold alongside the regular, torsion bar; flat windscreen Beetle, with the last 1303 was built in 1980.
The classic styling of the torsion bar Beetles helped them outlive the improved design of the 1302/1302 ‘Super Beetles’ and production was ended in 2003 to free up factory space for the front engined, water-cooled ‘New Beetle.’
I cant recommend Carrosserie highly enough, the service was exemplary from start to finish and the workmanship is second to none. I highly recommend giving the team a call for any work you need doing to your classic car, no matter what it is, you will not be disappointed!
The work carried out here is like magic, the standard the cars leave is fantastic, the cars they restore are works of art !
Very Friendly always helpful staff
Great friendly and helpful team at Carrosserie. Highly quality work. This is the second time I've used their services. Highly recommended if you want quality restoration or paint work.
Neil who owns the company straight away gave me one of the best buying experiences I have ever had. He was nice to speak with giving me confidence in buying from him from the outset. This continued throughout the buying process with updates on the process of finance that he organised. Because of my working schedule being so hectic and having to juggle many parental duties. We were unable to get over to pick up the car in the week. Despite the company being closed on weekends, Neil went out of his way to meet me on a Saturday afternoon and even showed me around his amazing company. It was so clear to me that this is someone who is genuine, kind and cares about his company and customers in equal amounts. A truly rare thing in this day in age. I wouldn't hesitate to use his company myself in the future and would recommend him to friends and family in a heartbeat.
Outstanding choice of cars, superb restoration facilities from a very professional team. Highly recommended.
John F Crabbe
Excellent and friendly service
The brief was to bring my Austin Healey up to showroom standard to prepare it for sale. There were some problems along the way but were satisfactorily sorted out by the owner Neil who is a true gent.
The workmanship was of the highest standard and never in doubt.
My purchaser was very impressed with the quality of paintwork and overall presentation.
Excellent service and good experience to advise on all aspects of vehicles
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07973 616 478
Barnard Castle Office
Harmire Enterprise Park