The location: tuscon AZ. The price: Free. The Year: Unknown, "But probably a 63". The condition: "Original, complete, and has rust."
I loaded up the rescue vehicle and headed south about 100 miles from my house. I had been told by the owner it was a "63 squareback, and that only 5 had been imported into the US that year. It's free, come and get it". Didn't quite know what the 1 of 5 means but off I went. This is a one owner car and had been left to rot. The lady who bought the house was a friend of a brother of a friend from work. She had bought the house from the original owner and "wanted the eyesore gone".
When I got there, what I found was a 65 sea blue squareback that looked to be pretty complete. It had been sitting since 87 in the desert backyard and was about half overtaken with bushes. The owner had bought it new in April of 65 and drove it around Berlin Germany until 67, then he shipped it to Maryland USA. Then in 73 he moved to Michigan until 76/77 and he made his way to its final resting stop in AZ. He then drove it for 10 years and parked it in 87. Been sitting untouched ever since. For some reason he had pulled the original shortwave blaupunkt and the ashtray and put them in a box in the back seat with some other misc trinkets. Good thing he did that, the radio is pretty mint. Also has a green tip locking bosch antennae still installed. Found the Bosch key for that in the glovebox!
The lady told me the guy had hid money all over the property and I might find some money in the vehicle. By money, did she mean rare literature? I look in the glovebox and find the VW owner pouch with US dealership listing, his service book with warranty coupons etc. He was doing all the warranty cards like he was supposed to and then went in with his 15000 miles coupon and had 14,183 miles and that's the last time he used his book. I'm guessing they knew he was leaving the country shortly after since that was the only service done *before* the mileage was due. It was off to the US after that. According to the book the warranty is only good in the issuing country which is Germany so he was out of luck once he hit the U.S. All stubs are stamped Berlin by a dealer named PAUL MANN. Also inside the VW pouch was a German ice scraper/squeegee, a grateful dead sticker with some dates of 1985 on the back and him doing the math of his gas mileage on the back of it. Looks like he was getting 25mpg back in 85. Had some work done in 71 in Maryland. his right side hinge had frozen up already and right outer wheel bearing was replaced as well as a misc tune up, trans flush, points etc. Funny note at bottom of receipt; "Has oil leaks".
There is an Insert piece of literature in the manual, detailing that this motor was an optional compression motor. Checked in back and sure enough has the "M249 90 oktane" tag attached to the top of the dual carb motor. The interior is complete with salt and pepper upholstery. front seats had worn out and had covers over them. Back seats look to be pretty nice and headliner is mint except for one small tear =(.
Has all type3 hubcaps with beauty rings and the wheels are down into the dirt. So we jack it up and swap out all the tires and pull it out of the yard. Overgrown desert plants made it too hard to work on it in place. Go around to the back and see the 1500 S badge in nice condition. Taillights have took the blunt of the sun and are now completely clear! Open the hatch and see the engine pretty much intact except for the 'cherry bomb' exhaust he had added in place of the og exhaust and a 009. Speedo says 102,XXX on it. that seems to be right according to the records. The pan is real rusty, as well as the front fenders are pretty rusty. That back east salt really got to it. I'm sure he moved to AZ because he was pissed off and tired of the road salt eating his squareback alive. Under the front had the cardboard piece and the jack, Washer bottle etc. The paint should polish up nicely except for where the damn bushes rubbed on it.
Once we got it cleaned up and
running, the pans turned out to be pretty rusty. One of the heads had completely
loose head studs, so the engine was dropped, torqued all the heads, did a major tune
up and got it running again. Sold to a good friend of mine as Type3's aren't my
Still haven't figured out why it was parked for so long. Everything seems to be good to go. My friend has now slammed it on the ground, going for the rat look. Look for it at upcoming shows. Here is what it looked like at the Jerome show 2004.
(Picture by Uncarro Baro)
Update: The engine locked up coming
back from the Jerome show 2004. So after sitting 20 years, it managed to get one last
show in before giving up. Currently getting a motor rebuilt!
Update 2006: 2 years later, still waiting for an engine, get on it Jim! =)