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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

C-pillar The roof support metal between the rear side window and the rear window.  On a car with 4 pillars, the rearmost pillar may be called the D-Pillar.  Also see A-pillar, B-pillar, and D-pillar

Cabriolet Model name for the convertible coupe version of the Beetle or the Karmann-Ghia Often casually abbreviated as "Cabrio". Most of the Volkswagen Cabriolets were made by the coachbuilder Karmann. Cabriolet original referred to "A two-wheeled, one-horse carriage that has two seats and a folding top."  The word Cabriolet originates from the French while the Germans used Kabriolett.

Caddy Formal name of the Rabbit Pickup.  The name which was not used for the US marketplace.
When Volkswagen released the Caddy it first was produced at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant in Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1982.
Forums thread on name origin

Cal-Look The "California Look". Originally began in Southern California back in the 1950s. The Cal-Look typically consists of a radical lowering job, removal of chrome, bumpers, and other trim, producing a more smooth-looking vehicle.

Campingbox Camping interior manufactured by Westfalia (beginning in the early 1950s) that could be easily removed from the bus.

Campmobile The term given to the Westfalia Conversion once it was 'sponsored' by Volkswagen. While there was never an official link between the two companies VW started to use Westphalia in its advertising from 1975 (?), giving the van the title 'Campmobile'.
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Canadian Standard The Canadian Standard (sometimes called Canadian Custom) was a class of Type I's unique to the Canadian marketplace. They were effectively dressed up Standards. Well over 99% of the Beetles destined for the export market were Deluxe or Export models. The Canadian Standard can be identified by some features of the Deluxe such as hydraulic brakes, export engines and chrome bumpers with towel bars, combined with features of the Standard, such as small headliner, non chrome breeze windows, no chrome on window rubber, no chrome on running boards. The Canadian dealers usually added a gas heater, block heater and radio as dealer options.

Cancer See Rust-Through

Canvas Fabric portion of a Single Cab or Double Cab tilt assembly.  See also hoops.
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Caravelle The T3 generation of the Volkswagen Type 2, also known as the Vanagon in the U.S., as the Transporter or Caravelle in Europe, and also to some in Britain and Ireland as the T25, was built from 1980 until 1991. It was the last of the rear-engined Volkswagens.
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Cargo Area Area located behind the front seat area of a Bus.  Commonly contains either two seats for a Passenger vehicle or two seats or a wide open loading bay for Commercial Vehicles. 

Cargo Door Side loading doors for a Bus.  Usually consists of a set of two opposite opening doors or a single sliding door assembly.  See also Double Door
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Cargo Floor Metal flooring in the rear of a Bus, commonly termed the Cargo Area
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Carocha Nickname for the Volkswagen Beetle sedan and convertible in Portugal.

Carrozzeria Ghia Designer of the Karmann-Ghia.  From Turin, Italy.

Centerline Aftermarket aluminum wheel popular with the racers on and off-road.

Champagne Edition The Champagne Edition was a sales campaign that VW did in 1977 and 1978. The 1978 models are referred to as Champagne Edition II. These models included special colors and accessories. The CEII Bus for 1978 was Fox Red and Datenut Brown with 3 color tape stripes and a two tone (Beige and Sienna) corduroy interior. There was also a camper version which was brown with white top. Both Buses had chrome bumpers with rubber strips.  This campaign extended to other VW models and continued on into the water-cooled VW era.

Chandelier Slang for Westfalia hanging light.

Chassis Floor pan and superstructure of a VW automobile.  Refers to the complete rolling assembly underneath the body.
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Chassis Number Identification number stamped into the Chassis of a VW vehicle.  Usually indicates the month/year of manufacture.
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Check rod Flat piece of metal on hinge side of door that prevents the door from opening too far out and damaging the hinges and door sheet metal. Cannot be used with 1-piece window glass.  After market door stops are made of thick cable which flexes thus enabling the use of 1-piece windows.

Checking Paint imperfection - Usually appears as slight breaks in the surface of the paint film. Checking cracks can assume many patterns, sometimes resembling small squares.

Cheetah A design study commissioned by VW and executed by Giorgetto Guigiaro's ItalDesign studio.  Named the "Karmann Cheetah," the car was based on mechanicals from the Beetle Volkswagen. The Cheetah was intended to be a replacement for the Karmann-Ghia.

Child's Cot Canvas attached to 2 metal poles at each end with hooks at each end of the poles.  Attaches to 4 hooks, 2 at the door pillars and 2 at the windshield posts inside the front cab of a Bus.  When mounting, it is just above the height of the steering wheel with the canvas open in the shape of a small hammock.  Large enough for a small child to sleep on.

Chopped Slang term referring to Chop-top.
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Chop-top This term refers to the practice of lowering the roof on the body of the vehicle by cutting portions of the frame and door frames and reinstalling custom glass for a custom look.

Church Key P or T-shaped metal "key" used to open the decklid on 1955-1965 Buses, the gas door on 1952-1966 Trucks and 1955-1966 Buses, and the Treasure Chest on 1952-1966 Trucks.

CKD Complete Knock Down - A complete kit needed to assemble a motor vehicle. Pre-made in Germany, these vehicles were shipped to countries such as Brazil and South Africa for assembly. CKD production started in 1953.  CKD kits were often used so that local labor could perform the final assembly of vehicles, either to provide tax benefits or to help provide jobs for local personnel.

Class 11 Open wheeled-Stock VW Sedans. Vehicles must be a stock VW sedan as delivered in the United States.

Class requirements
Engine must utilize VW series Type 1, 1600cc, U.S. model sedan and components and dimensions. Maximum 1600cc as delivered from the factory. Additional modification limitations exist. Pistons, stock 3 ring. Heads must be stock single or dual port heads 40mm. Unlimited compression, race gas OK. Stock carburetor 30 PICT 1,2 or 3. Class 11 vehicles typically have 60-80 horsepower.
Suspension is stock with minor allowances to increase ground clearance. Front torsion housing may be cut and rotated, torsion bars are open and may be of any origin. Front Shocks in stock location rear shocks may be relocated but must bolt directly to rear trailing arm or swing axle. Bypass shocks are not allowed.
Body must maintain the original shape, size, configuration, and appearance. Type 1 bodies only allowed. Additional stock limitations exist for this class.
Type 1 four speed transaxle only. Must use stock gears, differential is open, must run a 4.12 ring and pinion

Clay Bar Paint & Body product, most frequently used to remove paint over spray or contamination on a car.

Clean Slang term used to identify a straight or nice attribute of a vehicle, e.g. "That Beetle has a clean interior" or "That Bus has the cleanest sides I've ever seen."

Clipper Trim level/accessories package used for a short period of time on the Deluxe Kombi Bay Window Bus.  Included large metal sunroof, front and rear bumper trim, rear window jail bars, and chrome trim on the interior, among other items.  The Clipper name was discontinued due to copyright issues with Pan Am, who owned the Clipper term.

Clone Slang to indicate a particular vehicle or part is not original but has been modified to appear as such.  Example, a "cloned" 21-Window Bus, meaning a Bus that was not originally a 21-Window has been altered to now look like one.

Clown Bus Slang for lowered bus.

Coach-built Vehicle construction method employed by small volume manufacturers usually creating sporting or cabriolet versions of standard models. Due to the small scale nature of the work, the bodywork was usually hand formed over wooden bucks or with an English Wheel and then welding the small sections together and lead loading and grinding smooth the joins. The term "coach-builder" refers to the days when you would take your bespoke carriage chassis (and later automobile chassis) to a coach-builder to have your own special bodywork constructed.  The most famous coach-builders involved with Volkswagen include Hebmuller, Karmann, Drews, Dannenhauer & Staus, Binz, Denzel, and Rometsch.

Coat Hook Small hook used in various VW models to hold a coat or other item.

Coccinella Name given to the Beetle in Italy. Translated literally, the word means "Ladybug" in Italian.

Coccinelle In French: "Lady Bug". Widely-used nickname for the Beetle sedan and convertible in France.

Coco Mats Woven fiber mats, originally available as a dealer accessory for the Volkswagen.  Created from the natural fiber extracted from the protective husk of coconuts.
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NOS Type 3 mats

Combi A version of the VW Transporter produced in Mexico.  The Combi is a Bay Window Bus with a VW Golf-style engine and transmission. It has an 1.8L 4-cylider front wheel drive engine.

Commercials Collective slang term for all Volkswagens in the commercial class.

Commercial Vehicle VW Panelvan, Kombi, Single Cab, Double Cab, and other truck or hauling vehicles.

Concours Denotes an elegant gathering of vehicles, usually in a park or lawn atmosphere.  Typically used to describe the highest quality restoration, one that can be inspected with white gloves and still come away clean.
Often misspelled as concourse.  Concourse -  A large open space for the gathering or passage of crowds, as in an airport.

Condition Vehicle condition can be specified as follows:

1 - Excellent - A close to perfect original or a very well restored vehicle. Generally a body-off restoration, but a well done body-on restoration that has been fully detailed may qualify. The vehicle is stunning to look at and any flaws are trivial and not readily apparent. Everything works as new. All equipment is original, NOS, or excellent quality reproductions.

2 - Very Good - An extremely presentable vehicle showing minimal wear, or a well restored vehicle. Runs and drives smooth and tight. Needs no mechanical or cosmetic work. All areas (chassis not required, but may be) have been fully detailed. Beautiful to look at but clearly below a #1 vehicle.

3 - Good - Presentable inside and out with some signs of wear. Not detailed but very clean. Body should be straight and solid with no apparent rust and absolutely no rust-through anywhere. Shiny, attractive paint but may have evidence of minor fading or checking or other imperfections. Runs and drives well. May need some minor mechanical or cosmetic work but is fully usable and enjoyable as is.

4 - Fair - Runs and drives OK but needs work throughout the vehicle. Body shows signs of wear or previous restoration work. Any rust should be minimal and not in any structural areas. Cosmetics, body, and mechanics all need work to some degree.

5 - Poor - In need of complete restoration, but is complete and not a rust bucket beyond repair. May or may not run and drive. Not roadworthy.

6 - Parts or Salvage - Incomplete vehicle most useful for parts.

Connecting rod A rod that is the vital connection between the piston and the crankshaft. It is connected to the crankshaft and allows the piston to move freely up and down in the cylinder.

Continental OEM tire manufacturer for Volkswagen.

Conversion Used to describe a Volkswagen that has been formally modified by an aftermarket company.  For example: Camping conversion

Convertible See Cabriolet

Cookie Cutters Type of rim.  Originally equipped on Porsche vehicles.
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Corner window Term used to describe a 15-Window or 23-Window Bus due to the 2 "corner windows" at the rear left and right surrounding the rear hatch.
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Country Buggy Produced in Australia from 1965 through 1968, the Country Buggy used the Beetle engine and floor pan with Bus trailing arms on the front and reduction boxes in the rear. It had a respectable ground clearance of 230mm.  Country Buggies were available with 1200 cc and 1300 cc engines.  The 1300 was standard.  The electrical system was 6-volt. The body was designed in Australia and built from folded flat sheet steel for ease of manufacture and extreme ruggedness; strengthening ribs were included along the sides, and the very high sills prevented flooding when crossing streams. Only 1,956 Country Buggies were made, including about 400 left-hand drive examples. It debuted on April 1, 1965 and were sold until October, 1968 when low sales volumes and design problems prompted VW Headquarters in Germany to end production.
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Coupe Two door, hardtop body style, like the Karmann-Ghia.

Cover Car Term used (mainly by the seller/owner) to describe cars that have been featured on the cover of one or more VW Magazines.  

Cow Catchers Slang term for protective guards such as Hurst bumpers that were used to protective Buses or other vehicles from possible livestock damage.  Also see Roo Bars.
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Crabs Term used to describe the 15 X 4.5 Porsche Fuchs, because of the leaf portion sticking out of the rim.  This term originated in the early 80's in East Los Angeles.

Crank Apron Term to describe a Beetle or Bus rear apron with provisions for crank-handle usage.  Typically consisted of a small hole for the crank handle to pass through to access the crank-nut

Crank Handle Bent steel bar used to crank over the engine in case of battery failure or for usage on an Industrial engine
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Crank Nut Nut used in the center of the engine pulley for the crank handle to rotate the engine.
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Industrial nut & handle

Crankshaft A shaft consisting of a series of cranks to which the connecting rods of an engine are attached

Crank Start The action of rotating an engine with the crank handle and nut in order to start it.

Crashbox Pre-1953 transmission with no synchros.  Requires double-clutching to change gears.  Split-case design but not to be confused with a split-case transmission

Crew Cab See Double Cab

Crotch Coolers Front quarter panel vents on '51-'52 deluxe split window Beetles.
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Crow's Foot Slang term identifying the 15" Bus wheel that has indentations around each lug nut hole.

Custom General term to indicate any non-factory modification of a vehicle, from mild to radical.  Opposite of stock
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Cut Slang term to describe alterations to the body panels of a VW.  Most often seen in the wheel wells, dash, and vents.

CV Joint Axle joint used for an IRS rear end.
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