VW Beetle Cabriolet Body Parts & Trim
A Short History Of The VW Beetle (cont.)
1970 saw VW prepare for the introduction of a new model by releasing the 1302, essentially a hybrid of the original 1300 from the windscreen back, with the exception of the independent rear suspension, and 1303 forward of the screen. MacPherson struts were employed in the front suspension, replacing the original torsion beam design. As a result luggage capacity was increased from 140 to 260 litres.
The larger 1300/1600 engines required a more curved engine lid, new also was the through vent system, utilizing crescent shaped vents behind the rear windows which in conjunction with the fresh air ventilation allows draft free ventilation. On the new dashboard 2 vents, and adjustable vents allowed more effective ventilation. The new ventilation system was also available on the 1300/1500 models, but not the Sparkafer.
The new 1302 was available with a selection of engines ranging from 34-44bhp, the 1302S produced 50bhp from it’s 1600cc engine. A new starter motor/ignition circuit automatically turned off the lights when the starter was engaged.
Through 1971 the 1302 saw the rear windscreen grow by 4cm, leading to another new deck-lid design, the rear of the vehicle now featuring 26 louvres, with the exception of the Sparkafer. A new 4 spoke “safety” steering wheel had been fitted, featuring deformable sections and a larger centre pad. The fuel tank cap was now threaded, preventing over tightening, and lessening the chances of it coming off in the event of a collision. A major technical leap was the inclusion a diagnostics port, mounted in the engine bay, this allowed a VW dealership to plug a computer into the car, and test various systems, pretty advanced for the early 70’s.
February 1972 was a world record beating day for one particular 1302S Beetle, being the 15,007,034th Beetle made, the car had now overtaken the production figures for the Model T Ford. The 1302 was left unchanged for the ’72 model, as in August (therefore the ’73 model year) the new 1303 was to be launched. Following on from the 1302, the 1303 featured the IRS and MacPherson front ends, but with a remodeled body. This new “Big Beetle” had a curved windscreen, as a result the bonnet was shorter, losing the VW badge that had become familiar. New large rear lights nicknamed “elephants feet” were another identifying feature of the new model. The Cabrio now reflected the changes in the hardtop.
The two economy models, the 1200 and 1300 stayed with the original style body and suspension set-ups. The interior of the new car was very different too, a new padded dashboard with new dials, improved ventilation and deformable surfaces were all included. New seat designs with a 3 legged subframe, offered another safety improvement, as well as increasing adjustment by 6cm, and allowing 77 different seat positions....back <<< >>> more...