Funny Fiber Double Take: 1974 Bradley GT II v. 1980 Aquila

Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right. So when I came across two unique Volkswagen-based bits, I thought “why not?”

So today we have two very limited production examples of fiberglass laid over a VW chassis. Which is the winner? Let’s start with the Bradley GT II:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Bradley GT II on eBay

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1971 Volkswagen Type III Squareback

The Type III Squareback is not generally the classic Volkswagen many people think of. Outside of the many Beetle variants, there’s the Karmann Ghia if you want Porsche looks without the price. If you want to embody the surfer vibe, there’s of course the many Transporters and Buses that always draw strong money. And if you want something a little different from everything else, there’s the Thing. But the Squareback has a faithful following, and with good reason – many people had these reasonably dependable, cheap wagons as family transport back in the 1970s and have a soft spot for them as a result. But not many are in the shape of today’s fully refreshed 1971 example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Volkswagen Type III Squareback on eBay

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Wagon Week Heaps: 1971 and 1973 Volkswagen Squarebacks

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We’ve featured a few Squarebacks in the past few months, the most recent being a neat resto-mod 1967 model that remains for sale with bidding still fairly low. If you want to stand apart from the rest of the aircooled crowd, the Type 3 and Type 4 cars are a great way to do it, with a little wagon practicality thrown in for good measure. Today’s examples are one of each, both in need of a little love to be complete. Which would be the project you’d choose? Let’s start with the 1971 Type 3:

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Year: 1971
Model: Type III Squareback
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 34,108 mi
Price: $5,700 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Volkswagen Type III Squareback on eBay

THIS IS A RARE 1971 VOLVKSWAGON JETTA, CAR RUNS. IT IS A NICE CAR TO COLLECT. ITS IN GOOD CONDITION ALL AROUND WITH GENERAL WARE AND TARE DO TO ITS AGE. FOR MORE INFO CALL CARLOS AT 720-252-4725

A sure way to not show you’re an enthusiast is to mislabel your car for sale. It also eliminates it from most searches, since people looking for a Jetta Sportwagen aren’t looking for a 1971, and most people looking for a Squareback know enough to call it by the correct name. Other ringing endorsements for you as a seller are great spelling, lack of detail and generalized statements that offer no real information, such as “CAR RUNS.” Thanks for that. Well, if you can get over that, it’s a clean slate to either restore mildly as a runner or wildly as a show-ride. It appears pretty clean but in need of attention; unfortunately, the price doesn’t seem to reflect that and I feel the car is pretty substantially overpriced in it’s current condition. Perhaps the Type 4 is the way to go?

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The Type 4 introduced a host of improvements over the Type 3 including new engines, revised suspension and more aerodynamic bodies. Unfortunately, not included in the improvements was the looks; while they’re certainly unique, I don’t think there are many people that would argue the looks of the later cars improved over the original. They did manage to channel a bit of the RO80 design and the Europeans got much prettier single piece flush lights, but this model doesn’t have those. Despite that, this car caught my attention with the pristine exterior finished in period-appropriate gold:

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Year: 1973
Model: 412 Variant
Engine: 1.8 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 56,000? mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volkswagen 412 Variant on eBay

A really nice ’73 412 wagon. Except for a very expensive paint job the car is all original. I purchased it from the original owner in North Dakota with about 68K miles and had it repainted because the paint was really faded. It has been in my storage facility for 20 years but now find at my advanced age it’s time to let some of these cars go. The interior will need a complete redo. The vinyl seats are cracked and ripped. No rust anywhere.

Miles are off in the description and the interior is trashed, but with no rust and what appears to be decent paintwork, this too could be a clean slate to build a mild to wild ride. You’d definitely stand further apart from the crowd with this model, but I bet it would draw attention. This car is offered in a reserve auction, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up; with the paintwork done I’d say it’s worth more than the Type III, but not much more. These cars both strike me as $3,000 – $4,000 at most cars based solely on their rarity, but as I said, if you’d like to stand out, here’s a great way to do it.

Which would you choose?

-Carter

Wagon Week: 1967 Volkswagen Squareback

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Before I was born, my parents had a Squareback. I’ve always loved the variations of the Type 3, each with its own unique character, and wish that one had lasted long enough for me to enjoy it. Today’s is a unique one, with a black and orange paint job that would fit right in here in the SF Bay Area amongst the many Giants-themed cars. The interior is something I’ve never seen before, with the interior lined in license plates. It’s very, very low but would be a blast to roll around in. The modifications all appear homegrown enough that the next owner could easily continue its evolution without being worried about scrapping someone else’s unique but expensive changes. If you’re looking for a wagon with a very high charisma-to-dollar ratio, this Sqaureback is hard to beat.

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Year: 1967
Model: Type III Squareback
Engine: 1.5 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: Unclear
Price: Reserve-on auction

Click for more details: 1967 Volkswagen Type III Squareback on eBay

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This 1967 VW Sqaureback Euro is one of the coolest cars I’ve ever seen and certainly ever have owned! This car has a personality to no end! It is impossible to drive it without getting attention form almost everyone on the road! It looks mean with its totally radical stance. Its custom license plate interior which can be put back to normal if its not your thing. It also has a very rare custom one piece windows in the back. These are just to name a few. I’m considering selling it for the greater good of my family. I have several cars and I need to sell some to put money aside for the purchase of a house. Otherwise, I would hold on it for as long as I could. Please be know this is not a desperate attempt to sell and I don’t by any means have to. However provided a qualified new owner who can continue to love “Lil Ginger” like I have, will have an opportunity to enjoy it as well. I have the clear Texas title to it in my name and ready to sign over.

Here the specs:

Motor is a 1500sp VW reman with dual single barrel carbs. Motor is 100% stock with the exception of the aftermarket exhaust which sounds a lot like a fixed up Subaru due to the flat 4 motor.

The transmission is a 4 speed manual gear box all stock.

The suspension as been lowered approx 4 inches. Believe it or not is extremely comfortable and very smooth. Of course you have to watch out for huge pot holes but you should be doing that in any car.

The Brakes are completely stock with disk up front and drums in the rear. They work as they should for an old car without ABS

Overall its a very rare, cool, good car. As mentioned above the turn signals and the emegancy flashers are not working due to the relay being out. All the other lights work though. The emergency break is not connected and may need service to get it working. I park it in gear and never worry about it. It dose have rust on the battery tray and on drivers kick panel but could be patched or repaired. It just never concerned me enough to do anything about it

The new owner of this car must has a personality to match the car. You don’t need to be a full blown mechanic to own it; but you should know the basics. Volkswagen’s are very simple & easy to work on, I’m sure you wont have problems finding help if needed. Remember its about to be 47 years old so its to be treated with love and respect for its age.

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An orange Squareback with a cosmetic restoration has been for sale nearby for $10k; I’d rather spend a fraction of that on this and go my own way with it. That’d probably include an engine swap and an interior revision, but this is a cute and unique that wagon that could be a lot of fun.

-NR

1973 Volkswagen Type III Squareback

So, you’d like to buy an old air-cooled Volkswagen. Great! But the Beetle is just too common for you. The Bus is just too hippie-chic and expensive to get a good one? Don’t want the etch-a-sketch styled Thing? Karmann Ghia I found for you a little too pricey, you say? Have a thing for wagons? Well, I have the car for you then, if you insist on being different than everyone else. Welcome, my hard to please friends, to today’s 1973 Volkswagen Type III Squareback.

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Year: 1973
Model: Type III Squareback
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,135 mi
Price: $6,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volkswagen Type III Squareback on eBay

1973 Volkswagen Squareback Type III … 95,135 Original Miles
Bosch Electronic Fuel Injection
Engine: 4 Cyl, 1.6L
Transmission: Auto
VIN: 3632016210
Exterior: Red
Interior: Grey
Body Style: Wagon

This very rare, ONE owner, California Wagon has automatic transmission, original VW radio, factory rear defog and electronic fuel injection.

Engine is in good shape, does not smoke, does not leak, nice and quiet. Runs very strong. Transmission feels perfect, shifts without any problems, without delay, and without noise. Suspension is in excellent shape, car tracks nice and straight. There is no evidence of any electrical problems.

The exterior is in Excellent shape for a 1973. Leather seats, carpet floor and glass are all in great shape. There is NO rust anywhere on the car. Interior of this car is Nice and Clean. This Wagon has four matching tires that are mounted on good straight rims. It will be sold with a clear title and it will be sold as-is, where-is.

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Now, I know what you’re going to say. “But, it’s an automatic!”, you’re screaming at your screen as you furious type comments questioning my sanity. But stay with me for a moment, if you please. You’re not buying a sports car. You’re not even buying a sporty car. You’re looking at a neat, rare older Volkswagen. Seriously, I see Beetles on a regular basis still (even in the rusty North East), and as I mentioned in the last post my neighbor has a Karmann Ghia sitting in front of his house. A VW Bus is never far away from anyone. But when was the last time you saw one of these things out cruising? The “automatic” badge proudly displayed on the flanks reminds us that there was a point where this was a valued option on these cars. In terms of style, this car evokes memories of some older British Austin wagons, or even a scaled down Volvo 122 Wagon, and to me, that’s a good thing.

I know, it’s not for everyone, and that’s fine – but we like to show all sorts of cars, some of which you may not even realize exist, and this car fits right into that mold. It looks to be in fantastic “survivor” condition, and is priced appropriately in un-restored condition at $6,000. I’m willing to bet you could buy this car, drive it on Sundays and to shows with the family for a few years, and sell it at a small profit having done very little to it. Sure, a few people may snicker and question your sanity as well, but I’d wager a few more will appreciate seeing something you just don’t see every day anymore.

-Carter

1964 Volkswagen Type III Notchback

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My father owned a few Beetles in his day and used a 1967 model as his daily driver while I was growing up. I know air-cooled Volkswagens have their devotees, but few grabbed my attention over the years. Occasionally, I’ll come across a Beetle, Bus, or other air-cooled VW that is done just right that it has me changing my tune. Such is the case with this Notchback for sale in San Diego. It might not be the most eye catching vintage Volkswagen, but this car is so well done that I couldn’t help but find a place for a car like this in my dream garage.

Year: 1964
Model: Type III Notchback
Engine: 2.2 liter air-cooled flat four
Transmission: 4-speed Manual
Mileage: 50 (restored)
Price: Reserve auction

Click for Details: 1964 Volkswagen Type III Notchback on eBay

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This is an incredibly nice car that I recently have put together after sitting inside a garage for almost 12 years and being painted. It has been driven about 50 miles since completed. My buddy and I purchased this work in progress from the previous owner when he needed to move and empty the garage, it had been covered with a Technalon cover all this time and the paint and body is perfect. The paint has just been recently professionally polished and is show quality. It is absolutely rust free with perfect floors. The interior is also very nice. The dash is perfect and has a new Flat 4 steering wheel. The chrome has been redone and is perfect too.

Along with the purchase it came with a rebuilt IRS transaxle with a super differential cover which I have installed into the IRS subframe that was modified for an upright engine. Also it was powder coated satin black. It has adjustable spring plates and new KYB Excel G shocks (front also) for a smooth ride.

The engine is 2220 CC’s and was just rebuilt using a new case and CB 44 heads. The original German crank has been stroked and counter balanced to 80mm and 94mm cylinders installed. The cam is a custom grind from Snyder’s with about 250 degrees at .050 lift, it is smooth and very powerful running through two twin throat Delororto carburetors. The carburetors were jetted to the engine specifications with help of CB performance technical advice.

The suspension and brakes have been completely rebuilt with new German ball joints and front torsion arm seals. The front disc brakes were obtained from a later car and the original calipers rebuilt with authentic ATE seals, it has a new ATE dual master cylinder. The handling is very crisp and fun to drive. It would make an excellent autocross car. This is a very solid and rattle free car.

The electrical system has been updated to 12 volt with an alternator and completely new wiring harnesses installed front to back. It has European headlamps and tail lamps. The 12 volt starter is from an automatic car so it has the supported nose cone bearing. The fuel gauge is a NOS part that I sourced. It also has a tachometer that is a new part that complements the other gauges with its matching gray face. The lighting system has been wired with the correct VW flasher so the flash to pass switch on the turn signal lever works properly even with the push button operated lights off.

There is allot more that has been done to this car than I can described now, there are just a few more things needed to make it complete. It could use engine tins made and installed but it runs cool enough as it has a new German fan in a dog house style cover. I will also include an original roof rack that has been powdercoated silver; it just needs the wooden slats refinished. I will include a treasure chest of spare parts too including the original swing out windows if desired to install. I don’t have any records on this car except one interesting document on the original delivery in Holland and then shipped to Long Beach California USA.

Shipping is of course the buyers responsibilty, I can help deliver to a local shipper or assist loading. A Non-refundable $1,000 deposit must be received within 48 hours of auction end. Final payment must be received during the next 7 days. Payment can be made by Cashier’s Check, Money Order or by Bank Wire Transfer Funds must be cleared before car leaves. Cashiers checks must clear for ten days as well unless verified by the bank. Wire tranfer normally clear within a 1-2 days and car is available for pick upon confirmation of Funds received. I will email the winning bidder with my contact information. And of course there is no warranty expressed or implied, car is available for inspection and you can contact me with any questions prior to bidding.

Thanks for reading all this – Richard

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Since they weren’t sold new in the US, Notchbacks that have made their way stateside can command a pretty penny if done right. Good examples are hovering in the $15,000 to $20,000 territory at the moment. I’d suspect somewhere around $16,000 or so will get it done with this car, as the last Notchback we featured was a little more rough and did not sell at a final bid of $13,900.

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If I was in the market for an air cooled Volkswagen, the Type III Notchback would be my number one choice. I like the fact that they combine the simplicity of Beetle mechanicals with a rarity factor that leaves the non-initiated scratching their head saying “what is it?”

-Paul

1965 Volkswagen Type III 1500S Notchback

Volkswagen was on the march in the US in the 1960s, but one car that curiously wasn’t on the menu was this: the Type III Notchback. Nate featured a modded Notchback last month which had a full body restoration, but this Notchback for sale in Florida was in storage for almost 20 years and is claimed to be original.

Year: 1965
Model: Type III 1500S Notchback
Engine: 1.6L Air-Cooled 4-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed Manual
Mileage: 23,140
Price: Auction – Reserve

1965 Volkswagen Type III 1500S Notchback on eBay

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1965 with 24k original miles certified. Original; tires, interior, engine and trans, 90% original. The only parts that were change are front and rear window seals, front and rear hood seals, door seals with quality German replacement seals. Runs and drives like new. The interior is in excellent condition for this car is 48 year old does have some wear. Basically it was taken apart on the outside and painted all original parts that came off were put back on. This is a true survivor, the floor pans are original with no rust. The engine has never been rebuilt and it is all original, trans also. It has been in storage for 19 years and the last time that was registered on the road was in 1993. The car drives like a dream!!! For serious inquires please contact me @ wagenwerksair@gmail.com

These Notchbacks have a strong following in the VW community and are one of the most valued models from the period. The last Notchback we featured was up for sale at $17,000. I’d have to agree with Nate’s previous analysis. Somewhere around $15,000 is probably about right for an unmolested Notchback such as this one.

-Paul

1963 Volkswagen Type III Notchback

Although it may be hiding a little deeper than my love for box fenders and 80s BMWs, I hold a great affection for the VW Type III. My dad used to have a Squareback/Variant, one of my favorite wagons ever. The Fastback was the first Type III to catch my eye, and the tiny Notchback like we have today has always had a killer look and gets bonus points for rarity as they were not imported by VW of NA. They exude all the VDubness of the Beetle with a little more class and without being, well… a Beetle. If I were to look beyond the A1 GTI for a classic VW, I’d have a hard time deciding between the body styles of the Type III, but I know I would want it to be done like this Notchback. A full body-off restoration has left it aesthetically perfect – perfect color, perfect wheels, and a killer interior. Can you handle the price though?

Year: 1963
Model: Type III Notchback
Engine: 1.6L Air-Cooled 4-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed Manual
Mileage: 0 on body, unknown on engine
Price: $17,000

1963 Volkswagen Type III Notchback for sale on eBay

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1963 NotchBack Push Button Price: VIN on title and pan is 0093521 1963 VW Type III Notchback For Sale. Just Completed Restoration after one year of work! It’s been a great project and now its time to sell. Complete body off restoration replaced floor pans, new shocks, ball joints and wheels/tires..electric windows! Repaired the rocker panels from rust along with a lot of other small rust spots repaired. Body is straight and paint looks awesome! New red interior with Kick’n Stereo system that connects only to 1/4″ jack for iPod or other audio device, no stereo head unit just an amp and jack which works perfectly and still keeps original look of car. New headliner, carpet, seats, door panels, carpet in trunk both front and back. All new wiring and everything electrical wise works such as headlights, brights, gauge lights, blinkers, marker lights, tail lights, dome lights, all updated with new fuse box system too. What needs finished? Heat/AC if you need it, glove box liner, pushbuttons are there but for cosmetic use only, windshield wiper motors, other than that the car runs/drives and looks perfect! As you can see by the photos. Need more pics just ask. Engine has not been rebuilt because it runs perfect!

This is a great little VW show car or fun weekender. I get the feeling that the owner is trying a little too hard to recoup the restoration costs though, as $17k for a car with the original engine (even if it “runs perfect”) just does not make sense to me. I think the car is beautiful and I want it, but I can’t see going over $15k without a sweet new/rebuilt/better engine. Good luck to the seller, though, and maybe someday a little engine swap can make this the perfect Notchback.

-NR

Unrestored 1970 Volkswagen Squareback

Just before I was born, my dad had a yellow Squareback. Once I was born, the affinity for wagons continued with a Peugeot and a few Subarus, but I’ve always been disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy the Type III. This 1970 model jumped off the page at me, looking like it’s ready for a Hot VWs photoshoot or the classics section at a Dubfest. My jaw dropped when I found out that it’s not an expensive restoration or detailed show car; this thing is original. It is in full, unrestored glory with only 86k miles. There are small modifications like the tires and roof racks as well as a CD player, but beyond that this a 1970 German Time Machine.

What the seller has to say:

This is a beautiful one of a kind unrestored 1970 VW Type lll Squareback. It would be hard to find a 41 year old type lll this well kept. The vehicle has always been garage kept and maintained. At 74,000 the heads were redone, tune up, and new belt / alternater. Lite modifications have been done, the car has been kept close to it’s original condition. New Coker Tires and crome rims were added last year, along with a roof rack. The interior was left completly stock. New seat covers were recently installed. A CD player was hung under the dash with carefull attention not to damage or modify the dash.

This car is a weekend driver, but could be used as a daily driver. I would drive this car from coast to coast with out any fear of a mechanical break down. Bid with confience, this car looks and runs like a 6-8 year old car, not a 41 year old car.

I love the tan, and the clean chrome, and the old school interior. All serve to underscore the beauty and simplicity of this car, four decades on. And seriously, what’s cooler than a 2-door wagon? In the dream stable, this would be the designated car for taking the kids to school or the grocery store. Hats off to the seller for taking such amazing care of this Squareback. I’d usually say it’s a little steep, but he deserves his $8,200 buy-it-now price.

-NR