Sunday, November 16, 2008

VW 1500 introduction in Foreign Car Guide, June 1961

Foreign Car Guide was kind of the American equivalent of the UK's Safer Motoring—it pretended to be interested in all small cars but it was really all about Volkswagen. Like most other auto magazines of the time, Foreign Car Guide reported on the early official news leak from VW about the new 1500. The article goes into a thoughtful analysis of the market forces and strategic thinking that led VW to provide information about the 1500 to the press so far in advance of its official debut in September 1961, and speculates accurately about VW's reasons for not bringing the 1500 to the U.S.

Most of the article's speculation about the 1500 is right on the money, except for the guesstimate of a wheelbase 6 inches longer than the beetle. It compares the 1500 to the Corvair in a way that was typical of the U.S. auto press at the time, suggesting that the Variant's styling was reminiscent of the Corvair Lakewood station wagon. Maybe in its configuration, but I'm just not seeing the visual resemblance.

The cover of the June issue featured the Devin D, one of the nicest looking VW-based specials of the early '60s. Something less than a coachbuilt and something more than a kit car, its lines have aged more gracefully than most. A Devin with an Okrasa engine and a few other old speed bits would be just the thing.


Anonymous said...

This is a titanic article as they all are. I tease been wondering wide this looking for some measure now. Its vast to note down this info. You are reasonable and balanced.

Scott said...