Cohort Pic(K) of the Day: 1969(?) VW 1300 – The Most Popular VW Engine Size In Europe For Many Years

Although the 1300 (actually 1285 cc) engine was only offered for one year (1966) in the US, in the rest of the world, the 1300 was offered for a number of years, and became the most popular choice for good reasons: its power output (50 gross/44 net/DIN) combined with the lower (higher numerical) axle ratio of the 1200 gave it almost as good of acceleration as the larger models up to 50 mph or so, and it fuel economy was significantly better than the 1500/1600 engine versions.

Roshake 77 found and shot a couple of 1300’s (not 1300S, which was the designation for European 1500/1600 engine Beetles) in Budapest, and their vintage looks to be around 1968-1969.

At this time the European Standard (stripper) VW was still the 1200, and would be for a number of years more. The history of the Standard Beetle is fascinating, and when one shows up on the Cohort, I’ll write it up. It was a continuous effort by VW to offer a rock-bottom price VW, and they did it by keeping long obsolete components like mechanical brakes and synchronized transmissions in production for them way beyond what the Export/DeLuxe version got. The Standard 1200 had a crash box transmission until well into the ’60s.

Here’s another one roshake 77 found, of the same vintage. By this time, the Beetle’s long reign in Germany and many other European countries was starting to crumble, thanks to cars like the Fiat 124, Opel Kadett and others, which offered significantly better accommodations and performance. But the VW also still had a massive following, thanks to its highly proven reliability, quality and excellent traction in snow. Especially in places like Tyrol, folks that lived in the mountains still placed a high value on its qualities.

It’s nice to see these two veterans still doing what they were doing some 50 years ago, and looking none the worse for it.



CC 1966 VW 1300: The Best Beetle of the All, Or At Least The Sportiest  PN