When just about anybody mentions VW, the first image is probably the bug. Not exactly a family-friendly vehicle and that’s part of the reason VW introduced the Type 3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1961. In the U.S. it was to compete with Chevy’s Corvair which hit the market a year earlier. The Type 3 came in three body styles, Notchback, Fastback, and this Squareback (sort of a wagon) that I spotted near Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on a recent trip.
More than a million of these were manufactured in Germany, Brazil, and Australia until production ended in 1973. What are they worth? I checked on Classic.com and found them just as affordable as the bug ranging from $3,000 all the way up to $43,000 while averaging around $15,000.
This is one of my favorite cars, the Chevy Corvair. The compact automobile was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1960–1969 model years. It was the only American-made,mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine.
It was General Motors’ response to the growing popularity of small, lightweight imported cars such as the original VW Beetle, as well as to compete with domestic-built compact cars, the Rambler American and Studebaker Lark. The “compact” term was coined by George W. Romney as a euphemism for small cars with a wheelbase of 110 inches (2,794 mm) or less. You didn’t think I’d leave that out, would you?
Corvair variants included a two-door coupe and a convertible, a four-door sedan, and four-door station wagon configurations, and also the more powerful Monza model; and a passenger van, commercial van, and pickup derivatives. My favorite, if I could only have one would be a Monza convertible. The best thing about collecting these cars is that they have to cost a ton of money to acquire on. I found plenty of decent ones for around $10K.
The promo models are also reasonably prices. I found this 60 on Joe Wheat’s site for $70 keeping in mind it is not perfect but not in bad shape for being over 50 years old.
I really like this convertible but to acquire this one costs quite a bit more at $275. Again, like the real cars, the more you pay, the better shape the car is in. I had a promo model a long time ago and writing this blog entry reminds me I should start looking at getting another one.
Do you have a promo model or the real deal to share? We would love to see them.