California Carrier: 1970 Volkswagen Squareback – SOLD!
July 6, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the seller of this VW Squareback “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
We love featuring Volkswagen’s air-cooled Squareback every chance we get. Our latest is this 1970 example originally listed in June 2021 on Craigslist in Downer’s Grove, Illinois (Chicago) for sale by the third owner. Reported to be a solid car originally sourced from California, the seller is offering this driver-quality example for $7,500. Comparing that price against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the private seller has their Type 3 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,200 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $7,900.
Volkswagen produced its Type 3 line of air-cooled, rear-engine cars from 1961 through 1973 in four, two-door, body styles: Notchback, Fastback, and Squareback. Volkswagen’s Type 3 diversified the automaker’s product range beyond its existing Type 1 Beetle, Type 14 Karmann Ghia, and Type 2 Transporter lines. While the line retained several of the Beetle’s key engineering principles, (notably the air-cooled rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, and torsion bar suspension), The concept of Type 3 was to be more of a family car than the Beetle, offering more passenger and luggage space powered by a larger engine.
Volkswagen of America only Squareback and Fastback versions in 1966 to compete against the declining air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair lineup. While the Type 3 was a more modern design, it never reached the same level of popularity as the Beetle. As Volkswagen started to produce front-wheel-drive water-cooled designs, production ended in 1973 when it was replaced by the front-wheel-drive, water-cooled, B1 Passat, otherwise known as the Dasher in the U.S.
Here’s a Classic 1960s vintage Volkswagen commercial extolling the virtues of the Squareback’s luggage space:
Hipsters who remain very interested in these cars will love the mildly sun-faded patina of the exterior paint and perhaps the blanket-covered rear seat in need of reupholstering. We see a very strong restoration candidate you can enjoy driving now while you source and schedule a quality restoration shop to paint this Squareback over the winter.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“California car. I am the 3rd owner. Originally purchased from Mill Valley Volkswagen, Mill Valley CA. Prior to me it never left CA. This thing is so much fun to drive! Recent tuneup cap, rotor, plugs, wires and oil change. Valves adjusted. Timed. New front brakes done by Helmut and Vitos in Downers Grove. Pretty much original. Had a respray at some point by previous owners. Bosch fuel injection works fine. Starts every time even after it has sat for a month. Back seat is original and needs to be reupholstered, I have a blanket over it. Head liner is in good condition, has a few small holes. Drivers side rear seat interior panel with ashtray needs to be recovered and installed. Gas gauge “works”, 1/2 tank = full. Speedo works but is off 10mph because of smaller tires in front. Clock does not work. All exterior lights work. Heater works excellent. Gas door release and hood release work. It has surface rust here and there. The only rust that has rotted through ,that I can see, is in the pan behind the drivers seat, small quarter size hole. It’s going to need to be replaced. I never felt it was a big deal. I have replacement door seals that come with it. New side mirrors. Suspension has been lowered but pretty simple to adjust to your liking. 2 keys. Comes with the original owners manual along with a Haynes and Bentley service manual. This is a very straight and solid car, aside from pan as previously mentioned. I would drive this car anywhere and not have any concerns. Cash or Zelle only. No trades. Shipping is on you.“
Restore or Driver As-Is: what would you do with this Squareback? Comment below and let us know!