MODEL YEAR / PRODUCTION YEAR
As of August 1st of 1955, any vehicle built by VW after a certain month each year, officially became the following year model. So a truck produced after the cutoff date in lets say 63, officially becomes a 64 model. If your title says you have a certain year, but the VIN list says its a year earlier, And you think its wrong because all your parts are from the earlier year, you have just fallen victim to the 'mod year/prod year' chaos. DMV goes by model year, so even though your VIN# says its a late November 59 for example, your vehicle may be registered as a 1960.
Currently there are 3 "theories" to account for the reason of the production year / model year confusion although all of them may be true in some way. Then again, none of them may be true...
the choice is yours.
Theory #1: When model years were changed right at the end of the year, months and months of vehicles would still be left on the lot and would continue to show up due to shipping delays. Of course nobody wanted to buy "last year's model" in February or March etc. If they were buying a car in 1957, they wanted a 1957 model with all the new improvements. Hence, the model year/production year was formed to eliminate shipping delays.
Theory #2: For years, foreign car dealers in USA were allowed to register cars as the model year in which they were *sold*. So when a new auto built overseas by the factory as a 56 model didn't actually sell until 57 in the US, the dealer could legally register the "held over" vehicle as (for example) a 57 model. Eventually this became illegal. So this theory states that the model year/production year was formed to prevent outdated models from being left over.
Theory #3: The VW factory had a shutdown for summer vacation, and production of models for the following year commenced when the factory reopened around august (or varying months depending on year.)
See the left hand column of the VIN list if you would like to know when these cutoff dates occured each year. Click here