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VW Dictionary
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0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A-pillar The roof support metal on either side of the front windshield.  Also see B-pillar, C-pillar, and D-pillar

Abarth Abarth is a racing car maker founded by Carlo Abarth of Turin, Italy in 1949. Its logo is a shield with a stylized scorpion on a red and yellow background. Abarth produced high performance exhaust systems and race tuning kits. It provided design inputs to cars produced by Porsche and Fiat.

Aardappelkist "Potato Box" in Dutch. In the Netherlands, a nickname for the post-1967 Transporter.

Acapulco Version of the Type 181 Thing. The brightly-colored Acapulco had a fringed top, running boards, and a large rack for luggage. It was intended to be a tourist vehicle around Mexico's resort hotels, hence the name.
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Accessories Optional items sold either with a VW, either factory or dealer installed, or as aftermarket parts.  Examples include: Blaupunkt or Sapphire radio, mudflaps, roof rack, gravel guards, gas heater, or rims.

ACVW Abbreviation for Air-Cooled Volkswagen

Adjuster Small nut/bolt/plate arrangement that could be welded into a VW Beetle or other model front end to allow for height adjustment.  See dropped beam

Adventurewagen An aftermarket camping conversion package for the Transporter. It was manufactured in the U.S. until the 1980s.

Aftermarket Denotes a product produced for the Volkswagen automobile not by Volkswagen itself.

AG German: The acronym for "Aktien Gesellschaft" - in Germany, a public stock corporation, as in Volkswagen AG.

Air Cooled Typically refers to the cooling design used by the Volkswagen engine where the heads and oil are cooled by air propelled by a fan which was, in turn, rotated at a given speed by an attachment to the engine crankshaft. 

Albert Aftermarket accessory maker, usually associated with mirrors from the 1950s-60s.
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Alf An English cartoon character who appeared in the 80s. Alf was a VW fanatic and appeared regularly on the pages of VW Motoring magazine. Cartoons were drawn by Pete Dixon and Rob Cole. The ideas were supplied by Dave Cantle. Over 80 original cartoons exist.

Allen bolt Bolt with a hexagonal socket head that uses an allen aka hex key to tighten or loosen it.

Ambulance Conversion for the VW Bus to allow for the transport of the sick or infirm from an external location to the hospital. Known as the Krankenwagen in Germany.  A factory-built special model of the Transporter, introduced in 1951, the gas tank and spare wheel were relocated, the decklid was made smaller, and the rear cargo hatch was hinged at the bottom so that a stretcher could be passed in from the rear.
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Ambulance Divider Solid divider window installed as standard in Ambulance conversions.  Consisted of a sliding glass window with a small handle surrounded by a metal frame.  Optionally available to other vehicles and has been observed installed in a number of Kombis and Standards as well as an original German Police Bus.
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(Visible near top)

Ambulance Fan The ambulance fan was standard on Krankenwagen conversions, and was an optional accessory (M-code 121) available for the VW Transporter from 1952 thru 1967. For Barndoor Buses, the installer cut a hole in the front peak of the roof, just above the windshields.  When VW updated the Type 2 design (March, 1955 through 1967) and overhead fresh-air vent was made standard on all models, the ambulance fan assembly replaced the removable cover between the passenger and driver sun visors. The option consisted of two fans, a three-position switch, a frame assembly to house the fans, and a replacement cover plate with indentations to allow clearance for the fan bodies.
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Ambulance Step Cargo-area step.  Standard on Ambulance vehicles.  This step had a small foot pedal that would pop the step out when pressed to aid in loading the Ambulance stretcher.  It was also available as an optional accessory on other vehicles and came in 2-styles:  Belly-pan and non Belly-pan, to account for the differences in the undercarriage of various Buses.  Some ambulances also had spring-loaded front door steps.
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Amescador Contraction for AMES CAmper DORdrecht. This was a third-party aftermarket camper conversion made in Dordrecht, Zuid-Holland Province, southwestern Netherlands, by the country's largest VW dealer, Ames, starting in 1968 with a bunch of '67 Buses.

Apron Bottom "U" shaped piece of metal on the front and rear of the Beetle, between the bottoms of the fenders.  On a Bus, it usually refers to the bottom piece of metal in the rear above the exhaust.  See also crank apron.
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Arcomobile VW Bus camper conversion with square-shaped raised roof.  Also see Grawomobile

Asfalt-Bubbla Swedish: "Asphalt Bubble". A common nickname in Sweden for the Beetle sedan and convertible.

ASI See Riviera

ATF Automatic Transmission Fluid

Atogas An after-market VW engine tuning kit from the 1950's.  It adds an extra air-intake line next to the intake manifold. The line has it's own valve that is connected to the throttle valve. The extra air provided for the engine plus a bigger jet in the carburetor increased power.  It improved both miles per gallon as well as the 0 to 100 km/h time by 3.5 seconds. In the 1950s, the cost was 98.50 DM.  More information

Auf-Zu German: "open-closed". 
1. Before Beetles had gas gauges, the gas tank had a one-gallon sump, providing an emergency reserve. When your car began to sputter, you simply switched a lever on the bulkhead down by your feet from "zu" to "auf", then proceeded directly to a gas station.  See also Reserve Valve
2.Used on early Type 3 engine lid covers to indicate the position of the engine lid latches
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Auriga A VW-based kitcar manufactured in Gainsville, Florida by the Auriga Corp.

Aussie Flash Trim Australian accessory side trim

Auto sleeper A third-party, aftermarket camping conversion for the Transporter.

Autogerma S. p.A. The first official Volkswagen importer for Italy in 1954.  Founded by a German citizen, Mr. Gerhard Gumpert in Bologna. Then Autogerma moved to Verona (Romeo and Juliet's city) closer to Germany port of entry: Brennero.  In 1984 became directly property of Volkswagen A.G (www.autogerma.it)  In 2007 the name changed to Volkswagen Group Italia S.p.A.

Autostick Semi-automatic transmission used in Beetles and Karmann Ghias.  Uses a torque converter, paired with a 3 speed standard transmission which uses a vaccum-operated clutch to shift between gears. Put your hand on the gearshift, the clutch disengages, move the shifter to the gear you want, let go, and the clutch engages. The torque converter lets the engine run while in gear so you can drive the Beetle like it has an fully automatic transmission in it. 3 speeds were used: super low, low and high.

die Autostadt German: "The Automobile City". One of the original names of the Volkswagenwerk company town. It was also called "die Stadt des KdF-Wagens", which translates to "the City of the Strength-through-Joy Cars". See Wolfsburg.

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