You’ve been looking for a car that has the perfect balance of vintage and modern? The 1960 VW Euro Beetle is it. These cars are fairly rare, but they were imported to the US market by US soldiers returning home from Europe. They feature semaphore turn signals, have smaller engines than their US counterparts, and also smaller transmissions.
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These Volkswagen Type 1s were originally built for the European market. Fairly rare, these Beetles were imported to the US market primarily by US soldiers returning home. They feature semaphore turn signals, generally have smaller engines than their US counterparts, and also smaller transmissions.
Some features, such as the rubber floor mats and front bumper type, remain true to the original models. These "Euro" Beetles were imported in the mid 1970s but you will be hard-pressed to find one today.
The Euro Beetle has semaphore turn signals, which were replaced by the stalk type in the U.S.
The taillights and back bumper are different on each car. The Euro Beetles have a ridge around the outside of the back window while American models do not.
Euro Beetles also have a flat license plate holder (as opposed to the rounded American version).
Euro Beetles have smaller engines and transmissions than US models. The most popular engine is a 1600cc.
The steering wheel is smaller than the US counterpart.
While most of these changes were cosmetic, others have had an impact on performance and handling in U.S.-spec Beetles as well:
Due to European safety regulations, the bumpers are much heavier and less pliant than American models. The front bumper is rounded to fit under the engine cooling primary hose as opposed to being flat.
The steering ratio is also much slower, contributing to sluggish handling and low-speed maneuverability with the standard 1600cc engine (most US Beetles were equipped with a 1300 or 1500cc engine). European versions were equipped with a 1300cc, while imports to the US market were equipped with either a 1500 or 1600.
An updated dash was also introduced in '75 that featured the large speedometer and fuel gauge of the American models.
If you want to learn more about Euro Beetles, check this out.
Hersker's 1960 VW Euro Beetle will be at this year's VW charity car show at the shop. Come check it out in person.