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gt1953 Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:52 pm

I always thought the 1977 was last year of standard in USA, well read this;

https://autos.yahoo.com/junkyard-treasure-1976-volkswagen-beetle-190000496.html

mukluk Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:24 pm

And it's probably some small electrical gremlin with the fuel injection that sent it there.

1977 would be correct for the last model year Beetle sedan sold in the US.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/lit/77beetle.php

oprn Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:42 pm

Does anyone know what year the standard Beetle stopped coming from Germany and came from Mexico?

I could be wrong but I understood that the Super Beetle and the convertible only came from Germany.

Is this correct?

Oh and was '73 the last year for the Super? The last year for the convertible in Canada was '79.

mukluk Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:05 pm

To the best of my knowledge, the last model year of the German made Beetle sedan was 1977, so 1978 and later would have been imported from Mexico. The 1978 and 1979 convertible were the last of the German made Beetles overall (including some leftover 1979 models that were sold as 1980 models). Since all Beetle convertibles from 1971 through 1979 were Supers, technically 1979 would be the last year for the Super -- the last year for the Super sedan was 1975.

Correction: the last German Beetle sedan was a '78 1200 model, built 19 January 1978.

oprn Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:19 pm

Interesting! My '73 Standard was a swing axle and had a "made in Mexico" sticker on the driver's door post. I just assumed that the later standards were all Mexican made.

janerick3 Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:31 pm

1975 was the last model year for the Emden-built Super Beetle worldwide (including the U.S.).

1977 was the last model year for the Emden-built Beetle in the U.S.

1978 was the last model year for the Emden-built Beetle worldwide.

1979 model year Karmann cabriolets were assembled into January 1980.

Mexican/Brazilian Beetles are legal for import into the U.S. with their original pans/VINs as long as they are 25 model years old. There were "new" Mexican Beetles privately imported into the U.S. in the late 1990's/early 2000's, either mounted on pre-1978 chassis' or with a pre-1978 rear tunnel section grafted in, and titled with the pre-1978 VIN.

oprn Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:51 am

Thanks for that!

Did the dealers bring in new standard Beetles from Mexico to sell? They most likely would be able to do that as easily as importing new ones from Germany. The 25 year old rule applies here too but only for private individuals importing used cars. This was legislation enacted to protect the new car dealers.

Here in Canada, Rabbits originally were imported from Germany from '75 until '80 then they came from a USA VW assembly plant.

raygreenwood Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:18 pm

oprn wrote: Thanks for that!

Did the dealers bring in new standard Beetles from Mexico to sell? They most likely would be able to do that as easily as importing new ones from Germany. The 25 year old rule applies here too but only for private individuals importing used cars. This was legislation enacted to protect the new car dealers.

Here in Canada, Rabbits originally were imported from Germany from '75 until '80 then they came from a USA VW assembly plant.


As far as i have read:


There were no legal Mexican built Beetle imports into the US. The problem is that they do not meet the same DOT regs for a whole slew of items. And were very different mechanically from what was being sold up to 1979 in the US.


The Mexi beetle for the most part is made from either 1966 or 1968 die set....with lots of systems mods.

The glass shape and distance from driver (flat dash) did not meet DOT specs, or crash worthiness mods (bumpers, crumple zones)...tail lights and lights were different.....and especially lots of hardware details. The dash knobs and switches were different from both Germany and Brazil. A lot of parts like that.

And...none of them met then current US emissions. Ray

hitest Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:07 pm

Holy smokes there were a lot of shady title/pan deals flying around back in the 80s when a local business was importing those in Boise. I'll leave it at that.

ach60 Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:46 pm

I remember Beetle Mex.
Beetle Mex bought VW Bug from 69 to 73 Pans with good titles where ever they could get them.
The pans were "rebuilt" using parts from a New Mexican Beetle, and then installed the Body of a New Mexican Beetle.
The result was a "new" 69 to 73 Beetle with front disc brakes, and a swing axle.
Honestly, I have no real way of knowing,
but the Mexican Beetles always seemed to be of a lower quality than a German Built Beetle.

ach60 Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:59 pm

raygreenwood wrote: oprn wrote: Thanks for that!

Did the dealers bring in new standard Beetles from Mexico to sell? They most likely would be able to do that as easily as importing new ones from Germany. The 25 year old rule applies here too but only for private individuals importing used cars. This was legislation enacted to protect the new car dealers.

Here in Canada, Rabbits originally were imported from Germany from '75 until '80 then they came from a USA VW assembly plant.


As far as i have read:


There were no legal Mexican built Beetle imports into the US. The problem is that they do not meet the same DOT regs for a whole slew of items. And were very different mechanically from what was being sold up to 1979 in the US.


The Mexi beetle for the most part is made from either 1966 or 1968 die set....with lots of systems mods.

The glass shape and distance from driver (flat dash) did not meet DOT specs, or crash worthiness mods (bumpers, crumple zones)...tail lights and lights were different.....and especially lots of hardware details. The dash knobs and switches were different from both Germany and Brazil. A lot of parts like that.

And...none of them met then current US emissions. Ray

Everything Rays said is true, they didn't meet the safety standards, or US emissions standards of that time period (late 80's early 90's).
Mostly it must have been US emissions standards, because Rabbits, or Golfs(Jetta) up until the Mk 4 versions where not that safe either.

oprn Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:57 am

The quality of the Rabbits from '81 and on were inferior too.

So there were actually swing axle Beetles coming out of Germany after '68? I'm surprised that Ralph Nader was not all over that like ugly all over an ape!

kpf Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:17 am

oprn wrote: So there were actually swing axle Beetles coming out of Germany after '68? I'm surprised that Ralph Nader was not all over that like ugly all over an ape!
I believe German Beetles had so-called IRS from Ď69 on. Ralph Nader was only concerned with cars sold new in the US, so it didnít matter to him if Beetles built in Mexico, etc. still had swing axles.

mukluk Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:50 am

kpf wrote: oprn wrote: So there were actually swing axle Beetles coming out of Germany after '68? I'm surprised that Ralph Nader was not all over that like ugly all over an ape!
I believe German Beetles had so-called IRS from Ď69 on. Ralph Nader was only concerned with cars sold new in the US, so it didnít matter to him if Beetles built in Mexico, etc. still had swing axles.
Germany still made swingaxle Beetles all the way up to the end of their production, they just didn't export any of them to the US. The very last German Beetle sedan made, shown in my earlier post, is actually a 40hp with swingaxle equipped car, ie, a 1200 model or Sparkafer. All US market cars were Deluxe models, having the later trailing arm IRS rear from the '69 model onwards.

kpf Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:07 pm

Thanks, mukluk.

oprn Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:06 pm

mukluk wrote: kpf wrote: oprn wrote: So there were actually swing axle Beetles coming out of Germany after '68? I'm surprised that Ralph Nader was not all over that like ugly all over an ape!
I believe German Beetles had so-called IRS from Ď69 on. Ralph Nader was only concerned with cars sold new in the US, so it didnít matter to him if Beetles built in Mexico, etc. still had swing axles.
Germany still made swingaxle Beetles all the way up to the end of their production, they just didn't export any of them to the US. The very last German Beetle sedan made, shown in my earlier post, is actually a 40hp with swingaxle equipped car, ie, a 1200 model or Sparkafer. All US market cars were Deluxe models, having the later trailing arm IRS rear from the '69 model onwards.
That is exactly what I thought but I keep getting guys here saying "Oh no, there were swing axle Beetles sold here way into the '70s". I had never seen a swing axle newer than '68 here in Canada until recently and both of those had "Made in Mexico" on them.

So all newer swing axle cars are imports from abroad. Thanks for clearing that confusion up!

mukluk Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:52 pm

oprn wrote: That is exactly what I thought but I keep getting guys here saying "Oh no, there were swing axle Beetles sold here way into the '70s". I had never seen a swing axle newer than '68 here in Canada until recently and both of those had "Made in Mexico" on them.

So all newer swing axle cars are imports from abroad. Thanks for clearing that confusion up!
Not so fast, note I said they didn't export the later swingaxle cars to the US. In Canada you could still get the stripped down "Custom" 1200 model as well through at least 1970, unlike the Deluxe-only US market.

Read the note on the 1969 Canadian Custom model at the right side of the page (click to make larger/readable):

1970 Canadian brochure, note the exception about the double jointed rear suspension not available on the Custom model:


In 1970 they introduced the Custom 1600 model, sold alongside the old Custom 1200 and the Deluxe models. All the Canadian brochure references I see from 1971 onwards seem to only mention the Custom 1600 (or later on the basic Beetle), which it's unclear whether this basic Beetle is equivalent to the Deluxe or Custom models or whether they still sold the 1200 or not. This is in addition to the Super Beetle.

Volktales Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:01 pm

Canadian Customs featured the swing-axle and were most definitely made in Germany. They were much more common then most people realize as well. I had a '72 version with the original 1600 dual port and swing-axle. As mukluk has mentioned, 1970 seemed to be the last year the 1200 was available in Canada in the Custom model. I have seen several of these over the years, and almost bought one, but didn't pull the trigger...

oprn Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:45 am

There seems to be much conflicting opinions on these Canadian Custom cars. I personally have never seen one in my 53 years of owning and driving VWs here in Canada. That doesn't mean they don't exist but it does mean they are far from the norm here.

Volkstales, you say the last year for the Custom was '70 which sounds reasonable but in the same post you said you owned a '72 which is a contradiction to the first statement. I am confused.

My '73 swing axle had a "made in Mexico" official sticker on the driver's door post and did not have a gas heater (Standard fit in all later Canadian cars, not an option) so it was not one of your Canadian Custom cars.

My Manx copy is supposedly built on a '73 Super Beetle pan but I dispute that because it has a ball joint beam and a swing axle. No SB ever had those two items but the engine number is correct for that year. I suspect that if the pan is a '73 then it is another Mexican import.

Helfen Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:42 am

oprn wrote: There seems to be much conflicting opinions on these Canadian Custom cars. I personally have never seen one in my 53 years of owning and driving VWs here in Canada. That doesn't mean they don't exist but it does mean they are far from the norm here.

Volkstales, you say the last year for the Custom was '70 which sounds reasonable but in the same post you said you owned a '72 which is a contradiction to the first statement. I am confused.

My '73 swing axle had a "made in Mexico" official sticker on the driver's door post and did not have a gas heater (Standard fit in all later Canadian cars, not an option) so it was not one of your Canadian Custom cars.

My Manx copy is supposedly built on a '73 Super Beetle pan but I dispute that because it has a ball joint beam and a swing axle. No SB ever had those two items but the engine number is correct for that year. I suspect that if the pan is a '73 then it is another Mexican import.

I have a 65 1200 "A" Custom, There are no seat tracks ( stud in floor , claw and wing nut to secure the seats, it's also the last year for the 36 hP engine which is a fresh air 36hp, however the 65 Canadian 1200 Custom has the 40 hp engine and I believe has seat tracks.



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