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Custom Convertible: 1969 Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback

Over the years, air-cooled Volkswagens have been modified in many different ways. Some of these aftermarket creations made sense, such as the many varieties of kit cars built on top of VW chassis and powerplants like the Bradley GT and Kelmark creations. Other more sporting creations included sympathetic replicas of the classic Porsche Speedster, again built on top of VW running gear. But what we have here – which is clearly an example of an acquired taste – doesn’t fit into those categories. It looks like a cross between the National Lampoon family truckster and a convertible Squareback. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $34,999.

This is perhaps the best angle for this VW, which the seller points out began life as a Type 3 Fastback. From the rear, you can see how it started life, with the familiar taillights still present but now surrounding a fake spare tire hump. The convertible top, which is certainly a custom job, looks surprisingly good and gives the VW a mild hot-rod look owing to its gun-slit windows and a very low roof height (but only from this angle). This VW looks absolutely impossible to see out the back of, so you best invest in a rear-view camera if you decide to take this one-off home. The wheels are a desirable design and were quite popular in the 70s German tuning scene.

The interior is plush with leather seating surfaces and matching door panels. The front-end design notwithstanding, the rest of this custom Fastback is pretty clean and well-executed, but you do see some loose ends as you look up close. I am genuinely curious as to what the end game was here because this is a mixture of styles and features that point in a few different directions in terms of intent. Was it to be a luxury car? Or was it simply an exercise in creating a convertible out of a car that was never offered as a drop-top? Or did the first builder genuinely believe they were on the cusp of starting a national styling trend with this faux-luxury creation?

It’s hard to tell for sure. The Fastback has some things going for it in terms of being an attractive convertible model from some angles, but then there’s that front end. The nose really does look like a joke, as if the original builder wanted to draw a laugh or a smile from passers-by of this high-end “luxury” car that was all dressed up with no place to go. The nose, with its pronounced grill and oddly-placed headlights, really turns what was already an oddball into a serious headscratcher, so let’s hope the next owner can revise the car’s snout a bit to make it more attractive than it is here. What do you think – is there a hidden gem lurking beneath this funky bodywork or is this an overpriced testament to 70s excess?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Agree Jeff. ditch the spare tire hump and the radiator up front and you might have something that looks like it wasn’t designed by different people as the build went along. Nice shaped rear but the high front fenders don’t do much for it either. Does look great with the top up or on whatever the case.

    Like 9
  2. alphasud Member

    Well an enormous amount of time and effort went into this car. It’s got enough design elements to keep the eye busy and keep the mouth agape. As for backing you are supposed to sit on the door sill like you do when backing a Lamborghini Countach. Colors give that 70’s vibe. Pony up the 35K large and be that guy or gal.

    Like 4
  3. HoA Howard A (retired) Member

    I think it’s the coolest Type 3 I’ve seen. Why someone would go through all this for that, now that’s a the question.

    Like 6
  4. ds Member

    Looks like it could be a character in the movie “Cars”. If that’s what you’re going for – Bingo. Otherwise, the design lines and color combo leave allot to be desired IMHO. I’m sure some may find this attractive, but $35k?!

    Like 4
  5. mike

    Sorry owner but I just don’t get it.

    Like 6
  6. greg

    35k and the turn signals dont work. Body kit already cracking behind rf wheel.
    A big pass

    Like 4
  7. Big Al

    I don’t know why but I’m getting a Butterscotch taste in my mouth when I look at these pictures ?

    Like 10
    • Pugsy

      Haa…………I didn’t know what it was, but then I read this…..awesome….

      Like 4
  8. Mike

    Looked familiar. Car was posted here exactly a year ago:

    Was on Craig’s List for $7,000 and the motor needed installing.

    Like 7
  9. Bob S


    Like 3
    • Pugsy

      GOMER’s PILE.

      Like 3
  10. Connecticut mark

    Car went from 7000.00 To 35.000, but I think is really cool top on or off. Get it very cheap drop a Subaru in it, and it will really as good as it looks.

    Like 1
    • Richard

      What a mess.

      Like 5
  11. Chris Cornetto

    We’ll as the line goes…”you can’t polish….a turd”.

    Like 5
  12. DRV

    Strangest object so far this year……

    Like 5
  13. Autoworker

    Man…That is flippin’ ugly! 🤢

    Like 6
  14. nlpnt

    For 35 grand I’d start with a Notchback and have a good-looking Type 3 convertible. If it were cheaper I’d consider putting a stock front clip and decklid on it and matching the existing paint.

    Like 2
  15. Geebee

    On this, and so many others, I can think of many more attractive, and much better performing cars to spend that amount of money on.

    Like 3
  16. Ricardo Ventura

    Respectfully it’s a disaster.

    Like 7
  17. Michelle Rand Staff

    Um, just buy a Karmann Ghia convertible?

    Like 7
  18. JMB#7

    I looked. Because it was a Type 3. Read that as past tense “was”. Not sure what it is now. Very sad to see a Type 3 lose it’s way in life. I guess someone will take it in and love it. Certainly won’t be me.

    Like 5
  19. Malcolm Boyes

    Ugly, bizarre…and quite wonderful..I want it! What a hoot to cruise around and watch folks faces..yes folks that’s my VolksRoyce you’re staring it. I would not change a thing …I dont have that kind of disposable cash right now or a place to park this..but for all the work that’s gone into this it’s probably worth the price to another wild car eccentric like me!!

    Like 0
  20. Bill

    No. Just no.

    Like 3
  21. Karl

    No words for THIS !

    Like 1
  22. t s

    My ribs hurt from laughing at this gaffe on wheels!

    Like 3
  23. Bill

    They forgot the side windows?….maybe they are still working on it?

    Like 1
  24. Steve

    AHAHAHAHA! My reaction upon viewing this monstrosity.

    Like 0
  25. Howie

    Must be another broker with 353 vehicles listed, and many great cars!!

    Like 1
  26. RMac

    Think and original front end could be put back on it the it woul be ummmm…. Tolerable at 7k would be ok not 35 that’s a joke

    Like 1
  27. Jeff

    God damn that is hideous.

    Like 2
  28. Chinga-Trailer

    Homer Simpson – your car is calling you back . . .

    Like 0
  29. PRA4SNW

    You gotta wonder about a seller who won’t reveal their whereabouts. Seems very weird.

    Scrolling down to the fine print, Broward County, FL is mentioned, shouldn’t be that hard to find the location of who you will be dealing with.

    Like 2
  30. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Kinda reminds me of the Type 1 bug with the Rolls Royce fiberglass body kit.
    This car needs to be strolling down Las Vegas Blvd or parked in front of a casino under the canopy.
    To me though, 3 – 5000 is acceptable. Not 35000.
    I like it, but I’m weird though

    Like 3
    • JMB#7

      Your comments hit the nail on the head. Both on acceptable price, and where it should find it’s new home.

      Like 3
  31. Rodney - GSM

    I wonder how painful it was when this finally passed out of the automotive alimentary canal.

    Like 0
  32. Wildfire

    I would drive it IF I could replace the hood and trunk lid with factory parts
    My first car was a 72 type 3 and I like the rag top look ~ and the suitcase engine just like the one in mine in 77

    Like 1
  33. George Birth

    Installed motor and jacked price fom $7 K to $35K. Keep it!!!! Most I’d offer on this one would be $7,200.

    Like 0

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