Cohort Outtake: Volkswagen 412 Wagon – Holzwagen

The big air-cooled VWs are not a common sight anymore, except those remaining in the hands of their devoted big air-heads. Horsepj found, shot and posted this 412 wagon at the Cohort, and it’s sporting Amerikaner-style holz on its sides. I’m going to guess that the “wood” is original; not from the factory, but a dealer-installed extra. It has a decidedly 70s vibe to it, and where would one get a wood kit for a 412 these days?

I called the 411/412 a Deadly Sin, although technically speaking, that’s really reserved for companies that killed themselves through their sins. But then VW was mighty sickly in the early-mid 70s, due to hanging on to their air-cooled cars for about 15 years too long. It took a near-death experience to shake them out of their air-cooled somnolence, and embrace the water-cooled future, thanks to Audi.

But out of all the 411/412 models, the 412 wagon is my favorite, and had some merits in its favor. The wagon body was of course versatile, with two luggage areas, thanks to its low pancake boxer four in the rear. And like all VWs of the time, the basic structure was a solidly built one. But the devil was in the details, and the Type 4 had more than its share of them.