Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1973 VW “Standard” 1200 – Stripper Beetle

In the US, all we ever got was the “Export” version of the VW Beetle, meaning the highest level of trim and with the biggest engines available at any given time (there was a brief exception in around 1974-1975 when the non-Super Beetle had low trim/interior content but still had IRS and the big 1600cc engine).  But Germany and other parts of Europe always had at least two versions, one of which was the “Standard” Beetle. It was extremely spartan, and kept the lower-tech items going for years longer than the typical “DeLuxe” Beetle, like cable brakes and such. One of these days I would like to do an in-depth article on the Standard Beetle, as it’s rather fascinating how much on-going demand there was for a VW that was some 10 or 15 years older in its features and brutally spartan in its interior.

Roshake found one of the later versions of a Standard in Budapest. He tagged it a 1971, but it has to be at least 1973 or later due to the “elephant foot” tail lights. The engine was still the 34 hp (40 gross) 1192cc version that first appeared on the DeLuxe and Export in 1961.

Fun fact that I didn’t know until a dive into Standards a while back: they kept the older 30 hp (36 gross) 1200 engine for several years after the 34/40 hp version arrived. And they kept the completely non-synchronized crashbox transmission into the early 1960s! One could buy what was essentially a 1939 KdF Wagen as late as the early sixties! Ok, the engine was a bit larger, but the mechanical brakes and crashbox were straight from the original VW.

And of course none of these Stanadards ever got the double-jointed IRS, or disc brakes or other goodies. Bare bones motoring, but there was a demand for that, and VW filled it, right into the 1970s.