Sunday, August 12, 2007


A unique feature of 1962 VW 1500s is the so-called "cat-eye" mirror, sought after by Type 3 cultists for its Forward Look style and relative rarity. All 1500s had them in '62, Ghias as well as sedans and Variants, and though the mounting threads were slightly shallower on the Ghia version the mirrors themselves were identical. At the beginning of the 1963 model year the cat-eye design was replaced with a simpler oval-shaped mirror. I recently found another cat-eye and was surprised when I compared it to the one I already had.

The design of the mount where it meets the mirror itself is very different on the two mirrors. Judging from their appearance and condition both mirrors appear to be original and unmodified, with the glass intact, so the difference doesn't seem to be the result of someone's later improvisation.

Did VW use more than one supplier? Or was the design changed mid-year during the production run? The mount on the mirror on the right in the photo above seems to be a weaker design, possibly prone to rotating if the interior mounting nut loosened, so it might be an earlier iteration. The mount style on the left above was also used in the subsequent 1963 mirror design, which supports this theory, but without more information it's all speculation.


Martin Hoontrakul said...

Hi Scott, I'm glad I came across this. I own a RHD 66 and have been trying to find the flared out type mount to replace my old one that is pitted (and probably prone to breaking). There are lots of left mirrors from type 3s but finding a right side with the short stem is harder for the 34. So, as a last resort I may get a buy a repro type 14 mount which looks similar to what you've shown to retrofit my hippo ears instead. The fact that it is possibly standard makes me feel much better. Thanks for sharing.

Scott said...

Hi Martin, glad to be of help. I haven't posted any new content for a long time now but it's good to know that some of the older posts are still useful.