JUNE 2018: A 1964 VW TYPE 3 NOTCHBACK BRINGS A HAPPY COUPLE BACK TO A TIME AND PLACE

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Arnold and Lydia Stinner were young newlyweds back in 1964. Arnold was the proud owner of a brand new 1964 Volkswagen Type 3 notchback that was destined to be the honeymoon car for the happy couple.

Most people are well aware of the famous Volkswagen Beetle because it became one of the most popular cars in the history of mass production automobiles.

However, the Beetle overshadowed the VW Type 3 which debuted in 1961 and ceased production in 1973.

The Type 3 was a more conventional-looking car than its Beetle counterpart in the Volkswagen family.

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The VW Type 3 shared the basic air-cooled rear engine design of the Beetle but the cosmetic differences were obvious when the Beetle was compared to the Type 3.

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The style of the Type 3 was likely one of the reasons Arnold was drawn to the German car in 1964. He also appeared to be a practical man who was likely attracted to the reputation of Volkswagen as a dependable and gas-sipping brand back in ’64.

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Arnold was a young newlywed who wanted to take Lydia on a memorable honeymoon in 1964. Their original VW Type 3 notchback answered the bell for them when it came to a post-nuptial road trip 54 years ago.

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Arnold and Lydia’s 1964 honeymoon in their original VW took the newlyweds from their western Canadian home into the United States. Arnold recalled a moment when they encountered the Canada Customs people at the US/Canada border crossing on the return trip.

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The customs officer asked Arnold to open the trunk, so Arnold opened the rear of the car for him. Type 3 Volkswagens looked like an ordinary vehicle and were a relatively new production vehicle in 1964. The cars were certainly new to the customs officer and his questions were based upon curiosity about the Type 3 more than any other issue.

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Eventually Arnold and Lydia’s original 1964 VW Type 3 was sold because they needed to move past the car in their lives and buy another vehicle. However, neither of them forgot about the car so Arnold began a search for the original car.

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Unfortunately, Arnold was unable to locate the original car-even though he had the original documents and serial number for the Type 3. Thus Arnold and Lydia initiated their Plan B: find an exact replica of their honeymoon car.

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Their search was not easy because the cars were not plentiful in any configuration-and they wanted a car with the same year, model, paint color and options as their original 1964 Volkswagen Type 3.

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The search for the perfect replacement vehicle for their honeymoon car took 15 years before Arnold was able to locate another 1964 Volkswagen that was exactly the same as his original one.

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The replacement Type 3 even has a gas heater option in similar fashion to the original ’64. Arnold added dual carbs into the mix for better performance on the replacement’s 1500 CC engine, plus he needed to replace the clutch on the second VW.

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Cosmetic changes include new upholstery in the trunk, while Lydia used her skills as a seamstress to re-furbish the doors on the replacement car.

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The net result is a car that takes this happy couple down memory lane any time they want to revisit their early years as young newlyweds.     

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.  

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