Profile: 80 | Beetle 1300
Volkswagen Beetle 1300
Perennial people's car. Built from 1965 to 1975 in gradually updated forms.
Originally fitted with a 560-15 crossply tyre. A radial option of 155SR15 was offered from 1971, which can be fitted in place of the crossply. There was even the option of a 185/70R15 on wider wheels from 1971.
The first Volkswagen Beetle prototypes were built in the mid-1930s; production started in 1945 with all cars getting an 1131cc air-cooled flat-four engine. A Karmann-built cabriolet was introduced in 1949, hydraulic brakes came in 1950 then from 1954 an 1192cc engine was fitted. In 1965 this became a 1.3-litre unit; just a year later there a 1.5-litre powerplant was introduced.
Perhaps the most radical change came in 1967, when a restyle brought vertical headlights, bigger bumpers and dual-circuit brakes, plus 12-volt electrics for the 1300 and 1500. Three years later the Beetle 1302 brought MacPherson struts up front plus a 50bhp 1584cc 1302S option. A panoramic windscreen and bigger rear lights were the headline features of the VW Beetle 1303 of 1972, then in 1974 all Beetles got rack-and-pinion steering.
German Beetle production ended in 1978 with all Beetle saloons now made in Mexico; Karmann built the final cabriolet in 1980. From 1992 a catalytic converter and electronic fuel injection became standard, then in 2003 the final Beetle was made.