1970 VW Type3 1600L “Notchback” Automatic LHD
1970 VW Type3 1600L “Notchback” Automatic LHD.
The time has come, I’m selling my beautiful Italian Import Type 3 Notch. This isn’t your regular Classic VW, this one’s a bit special!
My story with this car starts in 2019. Whilst on the look for a Late Type3 , this car came up for sale in Sicily, Italy. ‘Love at first sight’ was how I’d describe how I felt seeing the advert for this car!
A super original, standard, very well kept and ultimately rust-free dry-climate car, it was my ultimate starting point for what I wanted to build.
So, I bought it! We flew to Catania airport with a one way ticket, and drove the car nearly 2000 miles across Europe home. After a roadside service in mainland Italy, it was nothing but golden and made the trip without a hiccup.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve almost completely rebuilt it into the car I always planned for it to be, and finished it to a standard I’m happy with.
EvaResto.co.uk is my day-to-day, so the car got nothing short of the best of our suspension products and work, in order to sort of showcase what we do - on the platform of what I envisioned as my absolute dream Aircooled VW!
I took it everywhere I could in 2020 & '21, and it managed an heap of awards/trophies. Gets admiration from almost everyone, it’s a real crowd pleaser.
Short spec as follows, read on for more in depth details!
*Completely restored underside, with localised welding repairs taken out professionally, and then finished with Upol Raptor in body colour for the body, and Black for the chassis. Original floor pans, heater channels, quarters and all panels.
*Full EvaResto Premium Air Suspension. No cheap nasty air shocks and outdated management system here! Only the best parts have been used, with a T1/Beetle based raise-tube 4” narrowed beam, full size adjustable Airlift Slamair XL shocks up front, twin bellow Airlift bags in the rear on a fully braced and notched/boxed in rear subframe and full 4-corner Height-sensor equipped 3H digital management. Drive quality and operation is top notch (hehe) with around 6-7” of lift on tap.
*BBS Rennsport Magnesiuim E49 3-piece wheels
*Fully Rebuilt Automatic gearbox & differential
*Rebuilt and detailed engine. Stock spec other than an updated fuel system, and lovely custom made stainless exhaust. The best way for a car like this!
*Very presentable and beautiful bodywork. Not immaculate, with more than a handful of small blemishes, but absolutely more than shiny and glossy enough to win all the admiring looks.
*Completely OG Linen basket weave interior. Probably one of the best parts of this car, it’s almost completely without fault
*Great working and driving condition. No Trailer queen here, It’s a dream to jump in and cruise to anywhere.
Now for the long spec!
The car was in great condition before I started, and generally speaking, was as good as I expected it to be. It was ‘rust free’ with no welding needed at all for a UK MOT and registration… but anyone who’s ever taken an old VW apart will know, you always find something needing attention when you start digging!
Some small welding repairs were taken out, with front bumper mounts removed, repaired and re-fitted, front inner wing metalwork repaired around where the ‘box sections’ are fitted on later cars (I actually removed these fully and opted for an ‘early style’ single skin inner wing as the late cars are almost always rotten here, it’s a poor design), some repairs to the rear inner wings and finally some small sections of floor pan by the jacking points. Very small repairs in the scheme of things, and all have been done in the nicest way I could, and are pretty undetectable.
The front inner wings were also modified in preparation of me fitting larger front wheels. Wheel ‘tubs’ were fabricated and let into the inner wings. These give the clearance needed for the dropped suspension height, and also help with steering clearance massively as well.
The paintwork on the car is in very nice condition, but does have it’s fair share of blemishes and small faults. The roof, boot lid, rear and front valences are original paint. The condition of this is testament to the cars ‘easy life’ in the dry part of Europe! The front end and sides were probably painted about 20 years ago, and it’s since had some other repairs. I’ve spent a lot of time correcting and machine polishing the paint, so it shines like it was painted yesterday! However, like I say, it does have its share of rough edges and faults. There are a series of dents on the boot lid, scratches here and there, usual wear, filled in stone chips… Zero rust though. It’s not verging on ‘patina’, but don’t expect absolute perfection from the paintwork. New Black wing beading all fitted. Panel gaps are all nice, the doors close like in the dealership in 1970!
Window seals are all nice and leak free with the factory chrome inserts, and the chrome on the bumpers is nothing short of absolutely mint! Aluminium side mouldings are nice, but do have some light damage and dings. Headlights are NOS RHD Hella units that I fitted to make the car road legal here in the UK.
Super rare accessory fresh air intake ‘scoops’ are fitted on the grilles under the windscreen. I’ve had loads of people want to buy these from me!
I recently fitted some Hella Spotlights to the front crash bar. I think they look great, but are easily removable if they’re not your thing. These aren’t wired up and are just decorative at the moment.
Full EvaResto Premium independent Air Suspension fitted. Airlift 3H management system. All parts powdercoated, reconditioned, cleaned up original or new throughout!
The front end has been totally replaced with a T1 based raise-tube 4” narrowed beam, ‘Freeroll’ torsion bar replacement rods, and drop spindles. This greatly increases the ground clearance and geometry on a lowered Type 3, and lets this car totally lay out with ease, and drive with zero bump steer issues, and gives factory like steering self-return.
Since the front body was tubbed, longer shock towers were used. Meaning XL sized Airlift Performance shocks could be fitted. Maximising the available lift and ride quality.
In the rear, the factory IRS subframe was removed, modified to allow for a greatly improved drop/travel, and then fully braced and fitted with raised shock mounts, and mountings for Airlift 2b-6 XL air bags. The Arms were also slightly modified for better travel, and fitted up with the mountings for the air bags.
Since the shock mounts were revised and raised also, the rear has a great amount of lift just like the front end. Car can be driven from half an inch off of the floor, to high enough to clear everything. It’s very stable at most heights.
Height sensors were mounted all round, enabling the Airlift 3H management system to accurately read and reach the selected ride heights with ease. The digital hand held controller lets you lift and drop the car with the touch of a button, and since height sensors are used, the car will reach the height you want regardless of passengers or luggage on board.
The management is fitted under the bonnet, with the 4-gallon aluminium air tank mounted in the luggage area, and the Viair compressor and manifold mounted neatly down the side of the spare wheel.
Brakes wise. All is well and working great.
Standard rear Type 3 drums in the back, re-drilled to 5x112. Original parts cleaned up and re-used for these, as it was all in serviceable condition.
Front end has x-drilled 5x112 discs and new calipers.
ENGINE + GEARBOX:
The original 1600 Twin Port Engine was in good working order generally speaking when I got the car. However, it was leaky and generally wanted a going over/freshen up.
So I stripped it down to the short block, cleaned it up nice, rebuilt with new stock size barrels and pistons, gasket kit and pushrod tubes. I cleaned up and checked over the heads, them only requiring the valves re lapping in.
The Solex carburettors were rebuilt fully, and all tinware and fan housing Powdercoated. A nice level of detail was used while rebuilding the visible ancillaries, and as many original fixings as possible were re-used, keeping the engine as legit-looking as possible! New rubber air intake bellows are fitted between the fan housing and body. The oil bath filter and carb hats are in original finish, as the paint and original red lettering on this was too nice to ruin! The original fuel pump is also fitted in place (no push rod) with mock lines, to keep the look standard.
Which brings me to the fuel system…
Rather than the original pump, which did fail on me (as they tend to do). I opted to update the system to a totally E10 fuel resistant setup. Up front under the tank is a facet gold-flo rotary pump, and above the gearbox just out of view of the engine bay is a Malpassi Filter King pressure regulator.
The pump is ran off of a 5-pin relay and only works with the engine running for safety. There is a prime switch fitted under the dashboard, which greatly aids starting if the car has been sat for a few weeks/months! New E10 rated fuel line has been used throughout.
Reconditioned dynamo and Starter motor fitted, Charges and starts great, never an issue!
Exhaust is a special custom made stainless item from Dave at Jacques Fab. I wanted it making so it sat high and out of harms way, and also so it had a ‘stock looking’ tailpipe. This sounds lovely.
Heat exchangers are fitted and fully operational, with the heat tubes running up and over the air ride arrangement on the rear axle.
Gearbox wise, the original 3-Speed Automatic box has been totally rebuilt by Driver Transmissions in Birmingham. These were some of the only guys I could find who could do the job, and a complete rebuild kit was sourced from Germany and used. It operates great, and shifts gears like it should. An Automatic Aircooled car works far better than you’d first imagine! Laid back and chilled out is exactly how this car should be enjoyed, and the lazy automatic gearbox only helps this experience.
Should you need to give it the beans though, manual selection of 1st, 2nd and 3rd is possible. I use this if I ever need to pull onto a motorway from a lay-by or short slip road.
Motorway cruise speed is excellent, and the car will sit at 70 all day long without complaint. The gearing is surprisingly long!
Just completed a 6 hour round trip to the VolksWorld show and back, and it didn’t skip a beat.
Well, what do I say, other than probably the ultimate set of wheels for a classic German car like this? Forget your cheap repro wheels, or any predictable off of the shelf 3-piece wheels everyone else has these days… these are true vintage, and the real Magnesium BBS Rennsport deal!
If you know about E series BBS wheels, you’ll know why they’re special. For those who don’t though, these are just very prestigious and rare motorsport wheels, and sets don’t change hands for less than £4k usually. Cast Magnesium faces, with forged barrels and lips.
These are BBS E49’s , in 17x7 all round, with ‘zero’ offset polished lips. I’ve never actually seen a set like these before, as these have a super deep centre and back pad, allowing direct fitment to this car without massive spacers needed.
I imported these from The Netherlands, and don’t think anything would suit this car better.
The centre caps and bolt covers are 3D printed to fit these wheels/setup and look just like originals. One of the fronts houses the Speedo drive, and works great.
Tyres are Nankang 185/40 front and 195/45 rear.
The interior of this car is a very nice place to be. It’s completely original throughout, with the exception of a modern radio head unit and 4 speakers, and 3 point seatbelts in the front.
The ‘Linen’ colour of the seats and door cards makes the interior feel lovely and airy, and the material itself is as supple and soft as 50 years ago.
Original carpets fitted. Very nice condition but with some frayed edges here and there.
Original headliner too, which is completely undamaged.
Seats are almost completely undamaged, with the exception of an area around 5” long where the piping has come away from the drivers seat, closest to the door.
Dashboard instruments are all in great condition, with the original self-winding clock in working condition (I love the sound this makes!). This car also has the super rare ‘trip’ speedo optioned, which unfortunately doesn’t register mileage at the moment (I’ve never looked into this), and also a fully working 2-speed fresh air fan. Dash has a few small cracks, but nothing compared to most imported cars!
The fresh air direction controls/flaps are all in working condition, and the heater controls all operational as well.
Under dashboard parcel shelf fitted, which is greatly useful.
Glovebox catch is broken but I ‘fixed’ it with a couple of magnets a year or so ago and it’s never wrongly opened itself. If I get time I’ll source a replacement for this.
Under the bonnet is nicely presented and useable. I trimmed the original card liner and vinyl that covers this area around the wheel tubs, and the revised fuel filler.
The fuel filler had to be moved from its original location and to under the bonnet, as wheel clearance didn’t quite allow for the stock neck to be used. This is made nicely anyway and is super easy to fill up from the pump.
Rear boot area is nice and completely original. The liner and sound deadening is a little haggard, but I’d rather this than ill-fitting repro stuff. Engine cover has the correct spring clip fitted, so holds up for access nicely.
Some other faults I can think of are as follows:
Horn not working
Front right indicator lens has a small hole in it
No window washers hooked up
Speedo not registering miles/Km at the moment
Clock looses its time over a few days
So, there we have it.
An honestly fantastic and beautiful car. It’s a piece of me, for sure. I’ve had it much longer than I usually keep cars though, as it’s a bit of a special one!
I have lots of paperwork from Italy that will go from the car, and can supply lots of pics of my own build here.
Both doors & Ignition are on the original VW key.
Only selling up as I’m fancying a change, and putting some money towards another car I would like. I’ve done all I really wanted to this car now, so it’s time for it to move on to a new owner.
I’m asking £24,500 ONO.
Please don’t waste my time with silly offers or a million questions. Not desperate to sell, I'm more interested in it going to the right person.
I’ve given all the info I can here, but will assist a genuine buyer if necessary with more. Happy to assist with overseas buyers.
Car is in Stafford, ST17.
Max - 07897780479