Curbside Outtake: VW 412 Variant – A Rare and Deadly but Intriguing Night Visitor

Coming down College Hill on a late walk, few blocks from home, what do I see? Something that I have not seen since May 26, 2009, when I last found and shot a 412. That was a two-door, and its CC write-up is here, titled “VW’s Deadly Sin #1” no less. Deadly Sins or not, I’m actually quite fond of this version, because the 411/412 worked so much better as a wagon. I mean that both stylistically and practically; I’d take this in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, my iPhone camera totally flubbed the shots of the front and side, but we can do a bit of borrowing. But this is by far the best angle anyway.

Here’s how that sedan looked back in 2009. The hunchback on these just really doesn’t work.

But it all comes together quite well in the wagon. It’s really the ultimate air cooled VW, meaning all the pros and not many cons. It’s very practical, with a pretty frunk, as well as a cargo area in the rear. Great traction, decent handling, and power is just a matter of how much you want back there, given that its original engine has most likely expired a while back. Or how about a Subaru boxer back there? Just need to find a way to install a radiator in front without looking too horrible. Now that would be a bit of a sleeper.

OK; my imagination is running a bit wild. I see it as a neo-Corvair. How about a 180hp Corvair turbo engine swap?

The 411/412 sedans were duds, on so many levels; no imagination stimulation whatsoever. But the Variant gets my juices flowing.