Home » This Brochure Picture Of A Beetle Convertible Is Very Weird And I Think I Found Something Amazing: Cold Start

This Brochure Picture Of A Beetle Convertible Is Very Weird And I Think I Found Something Amazing: Cold Start

Cs Beetleconvert Brochure
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So yesterday when I was doing a bit of research for my article about car badging, and especially Volkswagen’s strange badging habits, I happened to come across this 1968 brochure and noticed something peculiar about the convertible Beetle shown in the photo there. Two details that are very confusing, especially in the context of being on a picture in an official VW-sanctioned publication like a brochure. I think what I’m seeing here, for the first time, and, notably, something I’ve never read about referenced online, is a pre-production version of the 1968 Beetle that was different from the production one, but late enough in the game to be used in brochure and advertising shoots. Let me show you what I mean.

Cs Beetle68 Vertweird

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Here’s the two key parts: first, the location of the VOLKSWAGEN badge is horizontal, right above the license plate light housing. No Beetle ever came from the factory with the badge like that! And the taillights, they seem too small and too low. 1968 was a big year for Beetle taillights, as this was the first time a reverse lamp was integrated into the main taillight, forming a sort of tombstone-shaped design.

But it’s not just this picture! This very morning, I was looking at another 1968 brochure, and saw this:

Cs Beetle68 Weird

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This looks to be a sedan version of this same pre-production series, with the horizontal badge and taillights that look a bit smaller, maybe even a bit more rounded at the base, and lower-set. These look more like adaptations from the earlier 1962-1967 taillight. For comparison, here’s a 1968 VW press pic of the rear of the Beetle:

Cs Beetle68 Press

See the badge angle? And the size/shape/location of the taillights? Those brochure pics are definitely some not-final pre-production Beetles!

That’s why Cold Start is late today! Because this is an amazing discovery! A pre-pro ’68 Beetle, just out there in plain sight! Do they give Nobel Prizes for this stuff? Probably.

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86TVan
86TVan
9 months ago

So which iteration of Beetle tail lamps are your fav? My dad had an eggshell ’68 and I loved those elegant tail lamps. My mom had an orange ’74, and I disliked the large, roundish tail lamps.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago

How about the location of the top down roof? I have never seen a convertible where the top down splash over the body and sticks this far out.

El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
9 months ago

Is it possible that non-final pre-production VWs like this ever made it out of the factory into the world?

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
9 months ago

I wonder if the the physical car had the older taillights and the brochure photos just airbrushed over them to add the appearance of a reverse light.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
9 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

Yeah the right one on the convertible even looks like it’s a little over the edge of the light.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

Could any of these differences be attributable to Euro spec Beetles vs. U.S.?

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago

Jason writing about unusual Beetle tail lights? This is pure, un-cut, Torchtopian.

Last edited 9 months ago by Phuzz
Live2ski
Live2ski
9 months ago

in ’68 you didn’t need to have the Lawyers involved to add the disclaimer: ‘Pre-production car, European model shown, options added, professional driver, closed course’ at the bottom

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago

The wheels are also pre 1968, I think. Looks like the old ones with the big bolt pattern? 😎

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

And the last ’68 press pic (sepia toned) shows an unvented decklid. Curiouser and curiouser…

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

Gracias! I thought ’67 was the last year for the solid decklid, then it went to two from ’68-’71. My ’72 Super had four, so I got that one right. 🙂

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
9 months ago

Please never change

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

sickos.gif

Yes ha ha YES!

Chronometric
Chronometric
9 months ago

And then there is the elephant in the room – the giant fabric wing that is the Beetle convertible top. I know why it is that big but that doesn’t make it less ridiculous.

CSRoad
CSRoad
9 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

It was a German thing, with the top up, inside it didn’t look like a convertible.
No canvas and exposed frame thing, the drawback was the folded appearance like a wedge shaped mattress. I don’t know about the aerodynamics.
Good for parades though, I should note Adolf Hitlers parade car, the first convertible, had a simple top and therefore lacked this “cheerleader perch”. It did have different engine venting too.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago
Reply to  CSRoad

Hitler was always venting about something.

Lokki
Lokki
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

” I should note Adolf Hitlers parade car, the first convertible, had a simple top and therefore lacked this “cheerleader perch…”

“Hitler was always venting about something.”

Of course he was angry, having to sit up there on the top of the back of the car like that – the backseat was too cramped and Hitler demanded Lebensraum

Last edited 9 months ago by Lokki
Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
9 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

I believe you meant Fahrvergnügenstraum.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
9 months ago
Reply to  CSRoad

Compare to the Morris Minor convertible, which is delightfully halfassed (halfarsed?) having not just a single layer canvas top but full sedan-type framed door windows and (after the first couple years with side curtains in back) framed fixed glass rear quarter windows.

Granted, you paid for German thoroughness – a Beetle and Minor (2-door) sedan cost about the same in the US during the early,1958-59 import boom but the VW convertible, semi-coachbuilt by Karmann, cost half again as much as a sedan while the Morris convertible was either the same price or some years cost less than its’ 2-door sedan counterpart.

David Escargot
David Escargot
9 months ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

Definitely halfarsed

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

The Karmann convertible roof has three layers: Inner roof, a thick insulating “mattress” and the outer roof skin. AND a glass rear screen. Drove mine in -15c (dont know how much that is in ounces..) and didn’t get cold. A whole different thing than the usual soft tops on 1960ies roadsters like Alfa, Fiat or the Spitfire (owned all 3). So takes up some space folded down. You can flip the rear mirror to look over it 😉

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

Yeah, it really was a properly constructed convertible top, better quality and more effort than they probably needed for a small economy car, but they did it anyway. Which was a philosophy that explains a key part of the Beetle’s appeal

JumboG
JumboG
9 months ago

Can confirm, I could drive with the top down in my step-father’s 68 in colder temps than in the three BMW convertibles I’ve owned. I found a wind blocker in the BMWs let you go down about 10 degrees colder and still be comfortable, and that’s that’s pretty much what the VW top folded back is – a giant windblocker.

10001010
10001010
9 months ago

You didn’t warn us to sit down this morning but I learned my lesson from the landau article the other day!!!

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
9 months ago
Reply to  10001010

You have to expect that Jason is going to bludgeon you with the stick of staggering profundity. He wields it with reckless abandon

10001010
10001010
9 months ago

That sounds like a new Autopian tshirt idea.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
9 months ago

Does the stick of profundity taste like celery…?

SAABstory
SAABstory
9 months ago

As a former Beetle owner (1970, my first car) I wholly endorse a series exploring VW weirdness. Plus there’s the Muir “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive” manual, which besides helping teenage me learn to wrench it was a hell of a fun read, especially the illustrations.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
9 months ago
Reply to  SAABstory

Same..but mine was a 9 year old ’61.

Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
9 months ago
Reply to  SAABstory

Muir book is garbage

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
9 months ago
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
9 months ago

Having been to an IgNobel ceremony, I can confirm this would be a worthy candidate.

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