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Original VDub: 1968 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback

061216 Barn Finds - 1968 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback - 1

Portland, Oregon is the perfect place for this one: it’s a 1968 Volkswagen Type 3 Squareback. This one has all the bells and whistles as far as being the ultimate hippymobile; or, modern hippymobile, I’m not sure if a 1960s hippy would have had a window sticker with the f-word on it. It’s listed on eBay with an unmet Buy It Now price of $6,250. It even has the obligatory pot-leaf peace sign sticker on it so you know they mean business.

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This is a great looking car, in my opinion. I know that the p-word (patina) is overused, even by me but, dang it, this one is loaded with it and at least it isn’t down to bare metal which is when the patina is nothing-but-rust debate starts. Speaking of rust, you can see that the RF headlight bucket has some rust-through, so you may want to somehow fix that; or not. There is no other mention of rust. This car is like the Hank Snow song, I’ve Been Everywhere; it has a European plate on the front, a Missouri plate on the rear, it’s located in Portland, and is registered in California; whew.

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The seller mentions a “minor seam separation on driver’s seat” but other than that it looks great inside. Even in the backseat and the trunk/boot/front compartment looks great.

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This is a fuel-injected 1.6L 1,600 cc engine and the seller says that it “had major service done, rebuilt tranny, new vintage speed stainless exhaust, tune up, starter, etc.” There is only one photo of the rear compartment showing the latch to get into the engine, and it looks original for sure. I’ve always wanted a Squareback (as opposed to the hunchback that I currently have), but this one seems a bit on the high side, price-wise, for me. It looks like a great, original car though. Are any of you fans of the VW Squareback?


  1. Joe Nose

    OH NO! Mr. Bill makes this a perfect SQ back, the first long roof that I ever wanted. And should have bought one instead of some of the piles of crap I drove early on.

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  2. Jay E.

    Drove one for many years. All my worldly possessions would fit in the back! Went through several engines, usually valve issues, until finally the block cracked. Leaky fuel injection, it is a wonder it never burned up. Sold it for $600.00. Good snow car, except for no heat to speak of. I have no interest in a nostalgia buy.

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  3. BradL

    I bought a 69 in the mid-80s for $450 and drove it daily for five years, putting 60K miles on it. It had a few quirks but was a fun car. And yes, you’d be surprised how much you can fit in the back. I never understand why everyone bashes the heat in these cars because mine worked great. Sure, the heat exchangers took a few minutes to heat up, but once they did it would get HOT inside.

    I like this one but I’d have to install the engine shroud so it could cool properly, install the missing heat exchanger hoses, and peel off all the obnoxious stickers.

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    • fordfan

      Where do you live ? I had a 71 fastback in new york and while warm air came out of the little outlets by your feet it never warmed the car up . I also had a lot of fuel leaks ,due to the fabric covered rubber fuel lines . Many times I had to put a pan of cat litter under the car to absorb the fuel

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  4. Dolphin Member

    Used to see a lot of these back when new, or close to new. People seemed to like them, maybe because they were practical square VWagons that could hold a lot of stuff, like Jay E’s did for him. It looks pretty good, although the paint isn’t pretty.

    It’s even got a Euro front plate, but that just starts some confusion. It’s got a Missouri ’68 plate on the back…for “effect”. It’s for sale in Oregon, but the seller says it’s registered in California in response to a question, but not in the description. I would like to see some past service receipts and current registration documents / plate before I got too excited about it, especially at $6250.

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  5. George

    2 15.5 gallon kegs will fit in the back and still do 65MPH on 287 between Mingus and Stephenville TX

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  6. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    Funny story: Driving by a Chevy dealer in ’78, saw one of these (a ’70) in the weeds out back. They’d taken it in on trade on a Chevette, spent 3 weeks trying to get it to run, then pushed it out the door into the weeds. Sat there for a year.

    I gave the sales manager $50, he gave me the title, I stuck a jump box on the battery, unplugged the EFI computer, plugged it back in, hit the key. It cranked twice and fired, settling down to a smooth idle. I put the (automatic) shifter in drive, pulled it forward 5 feet, stuck a plate on it and drove it up and down most of the eastern seaboard over the next 3 years.

    Gawd, I loved that car…

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  7. MikeH

    I bought one of these new in Germany in ’67–the last one without the disastrous fuel injection. What a fun car! Driving those twisty mountain roads was a blast. I had always driven american cars before and this VW was a whole new experience. I haven’t owned an american car since. I brought it back to the states and drove it for 10 years. Tin worms finally got it–unfortunately those twisty mountain roads also had salt on the in the winter. The first place they show up is on top of the headlights.

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  8. Marco

    My father arranged ( by letter back in those days) to buy one of these in Amsterdam for a family “European Vacation” in ’68. (yes it was a lot like the movie!) We drove that thing all over Europe that summer… across the Alps, down thru Italy, back up thru France and then on to Great Britain where he shipped it home to the States. Even as a 1600 it was a great little car for a family of five. We named it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I do remember him getting P.O.ed when he got passed by an Alfa Romeo on the Amalfi drive and he couldn’t keep up or catch the guy. I also remember that little package tray under the dash as seen in the photo. That where my mother kept her Fodors Guide and “Europe on $5 a Day”!

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    • MikeH

      That’s the way to travel Europe! Europe on $5 a Day–and it could be done if there were two of you, which is really $10/day.

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