Curbside Capsule: 1968 VW 1600 Type 3 Squareback – Eyeing the Patient’s New Toy

So I am awaiting my patient for an eye exam, he arrives, we go into the exam room to sit down, and he tells me he drove up in his new toy. Drove…toy…please tell.

Generally one starts an exam off asking about any changes in the patient’s case history. Instead I start off with the case history of the new toy. What is it? What year is it? What condition is it? Where did you locate it? What needed to be done? With that out of the way I then proceeded onto updating the patient history and the exam so we could get outside an examine the new toy. The whole time I’m professional on the outside but the inside is like a dog saying throw the ball, come on throw the ball!

Since this was unexpected I did not have any of my cameras with me and had to rely on my wife’s cellphone. Obviously, the photos aren’t up to my standards given the haze for some reason. Yet the car was here and I might never ever get to see another in my life. The shot at the top catches the owner talking to my wife as I was so immersed in going over the car. I do have a weak spot for the Squareback as I had the use of one in 1972, only an automatic, yet ironically netted two of my three speeding tickets in my life. Takes skill, sometimes an anal CHP motorcycle officer, or sometimes the backside of a hill in neutral.

As the title says, this is a ’68 sporting a 4 speed manual transmission, dual Webbers, and the standard modified exhaust system seen on many a VW. The owner found the car via The car is very clean. There has been a repaint as the car was originally VW blue and now reminds me of the Pebble Beige on my 68 Mustang.

I was amazed at how nice all the window gaskets were. I assume they were replaced during the repaint. The chrome, as you can see, was also in excellent untouched condition. Alloy wheels rather than steel rims but the wheels did look good on the car.

The interior seats have been redone and in the original style rather than transplants in front. Very nice indeed. The vinyl door panels, however, are gone and replaced with wood panels. Reason unknown to the owner but I know they can be duplicated if one so desires.

Headliner also nice to look at. In fact it was such a pleasure to walk around and look over this car several times. A simpler day with simpler cars.

The Squareback I had for one year was the same color in and out. Besides automatic it did have its fuel injection being a one year old company car.

I had noticed awhile back that there was no Squareback under the VW list for European Brands. Till this one showed up I have not seen one on the road in 30 years. Same goes for the Fastback while the Bug can still be seen but it is declining some. Others may know all about the designing of the car and how many units were made and can add. However, I am more interested in the car, getting my hands on the car, and working on the car.

Now that this appointment took double the time, but with Covid 19 restrictions, there was no competition for my time. Still the patient does need to get home. Just listening to the car start and the sound of the exhaust note brought back memories as I watched the car drive off. Just like I can hear the whoop whoop of a Huey from two miles away before seeing it I know one of these are coming before I see them based on their exhaust.

related reading: CC 1969 VW 1600 Type 3 Fastback