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The 1973 Type 3 Basic Compact (Reference Thread)
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akcapsamb
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: The 1973 Type 3 Basic Compact (Reference Thread) Reply with quote

This list consolidates and and updates what we know about the build specs
of the 1973 Type 3 Basic Compact. Follow-up here with discrepancies,
additions, owner photographs, Canadian information, etc., and this post will
be updated accordingly.
(last updated: November 6, 2010)

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The Type 3 Basic Compact was a one-year-only,
reduced content model, marketed in the US.

Build Features: (per Russ Wolfe)
without belt line chrome
without clock
without rear window defogger
with painted frames around the vent windows
with a black cardboard front trunk liner over the gas tank
without a liner on the sides of the trunk or over the firewall
with plain vinyl door panels
without door pockets
with rubber mats in lieu of interior carpet
available in three colors: Marina Blue, Bright Orange and Texas Yellow.

Similar models from VWoA:
The Type 3 Basic Compact preceded the 1975 Model 110, an equally esoteric
and similarly reduced-content variant of the Type 1 -- offered also
for one year, only. In Germany, VW had begun offering a broader
range of Type 1 models, with lower content models including the 1973-75
Sparkäfer.

Historical Context:
The reduced content models came as Volkswagen
struggled to remain competitive with their aging air-cooled
platforms against a new onslaught of competition from other
manufactures as well as volatile fuel prices and inflation.
VWoA increased MSRPs in quick succession, offered the lower
content models, opened a factory in the US, and eventually
replaced their entire model lineup with water-cooled models.

Threads pertaining to the Type 3 Compact:
* 1973 basic model fastback
* Type 3 clock?
* Type 3 Fast Back - To Buy or Not to Buy

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Russ Wolfe
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 1973 Basic Compact. Produced, 07/72
Purchased as a non-running vehicle. (fuel pump power wire was off the fuse box) Had 73K actual miles when purchased, and had a tired engine. Rebuilt the engine, and now has 76K miles. Interior still needs rebuilt.
Since they were very limited production, maybe they are the fat chick "Pigalle"? Rolling Eyes Wink

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akcapsamb
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.
I'm reminded what a huge difference a thin strip of chrome can make on the exterior of a car... the Basic Compact looked... er... sober.

I'm also reminded that VWoA could be somewhat slack in their marketing materials. The Basic Compact model and the 1973 'tombstone' headrests, clearly visible on your car, were both one-year-only. Notice that this didn't keep VW from circulating a flyer that showed the pre-73 headrests!

Those errant headrests might explain why the Samba Literature Archives had the Basic Compact's flyer (which doesn't mention its build year, front or back) categorized as a 1972 model.

In my collection, its fun to go through and see where photos were re-used from year to year, despite glaring errors. Air-brushing (as we would say in the days before Photoshop) could only go so far, apparently. For Type 3 models, in many instances, VWoA even had the "fat chick" bumpers cut and pasted into older marketing materials... it's fairly easy to spot.

Russ, do you have any photos of the interior and the trunk... the door panels and trunk liners specifically? Also, what year did VW 'step' the parcel shelf behind the back seat?


PS: By the time Mazda introduced the Miata in 1989, they'd pretty much figured out that 'Basic' was a dirty word in automotive marketing. They begged and pleaded with automotive journalists to NOT use the word basic in their reviews and tests... and came up with the word "elemental" instead... as carrying less 'baggage.'
.
.


Last edited by akcapsamb on Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Russ Wolfe
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interior is pretty torn up. It was a farm car, and in its later years was even used to haul hay, in the back seat.
The rear trunk looks the same as any other, and mine is in pretty good shape. The front trunk was as stated, just a black cardboard liner over the gas tank, and nothing on the sides or rear wall.
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akcapsamb
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ, my father had two fastbacks before he bought a 1970 Beetle for my mother: Pastel White with Pigalle... though by then it was simply called Red!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Detroit figured out "Basic" was a poor name choice, so they tended to use "Custom" as a euphemism for "bottom of the line stripped down model."

I think the stepped rear shelf came with the fat chick body style, no?
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Russ Wolfe
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someplace, I have bulletin that says the stepped shelf can be retro-fitted to earlier models, and that they were discontinuing the original part.
I cannot find it right now.
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sharkskinman
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stepped back came along with the 71 model year
adamsfasty and cccfabioccc both have 1970 (fastback and a squareback)
and they are slopped
my 71 has a stepped back
perfect for speakers

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70/71
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Russ Wolfe
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those have had the moldings removed, and the holes filled.
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blankmange
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ Wolfe wrote:
Those have had the moldings removed, and the holes filled.



like mine...
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66311
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ Wolfe wrote:
My 1973 Basic Compact. Produced, 07/72
ince they were very limited production, maybe they are the fat chick "Pigalle"? Rolling Eyes Wink

Maybe that explains why I've always like that car. Because it's cool in it's plain way.
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