Hi Guys

This post is to provide you with some useful information and to explain what the "Type" definitions are that VW has used for some many years.

The following information is from Club VW Sydney Clubvw.org

From the very earliest days, Volkswagen has identified its various different models and designs by assigning them a series of Type designations. Originally they were only used within the VW organisation, but over the years they have become widely known and used by VW enthusiasts.

The Type designations really apply to air-cooled Volkswagens only. While the factory did apply Type designations to later water-cooled models, they are little known outside the VW organisation. Since 1980 VW has not referred to VW ‘Types’ at all, and model codes now form part of the 17-digit VIN. Modern VWs tend to be organised by ‘platform’ instead.

For this section, we will only consider Volkswagens made before 1980. For newer VWs, refer to the VIN listing page.


1938-1945

VW’s model Type designation began when Dr Ferdinand Porsche was designing the prototypes that led to the VW Beetle. Porsche’s engineering company assigned Type Numbers to individual design projects he was working on. The Volkswagenwerk continued using the Porsche Type designations through World War 2. These early model Types have no connection with modern VWs, but are listed here for historical interest. Some of the most commonly encountered early Porsche/VW model Types are as follows:

 Type 12  Porsche-designed VW-like prototype for Zundapp (1932
 Type 34  Porsche-designed VW-like prototype for NSU (1934)
 Type 60  VW30 & VW38 prototypes that became the KdF-Wagen (1935)
 Type 62  Military conversion of the Type 60 – the first Kübelwagen (1939)
 Type 64  Sportwagen Berlin-Rome race car (1939)
 Type 82  Kübelwagen
 Type 82E  Kommandeurwagen 2WD
 Type 87  Kommandeurwagen 4WD
 Type 88  Flat-bed pickup truck version of KdF-Wagen
 Type 92  Kommandeurwagen 2WD with sunshine roof
 Type 138  Schwimmwagen with KdF-Wagen platform chassis
 Type 166  Schwimmwagen with 2000mm wheelbase
 Type 205  Maus 185-tonne tank

 

 

1945-1949

At the end of the war, one of the first things the British did was to introduce a new system of model numbers. This was to replace the Porsche design numbers and refine those made by the Volkswagenwerk during the war. The British allocated the following Type numbers (but not all of them were made):

 Type 11  Two-door saloon
 Type 13  Saloon with sliding roof
 Type 15  Drophead coupe
 Type 21  Kübelwagen
 Type 25  Kübelwagen fire tender with high-pressure pump
 Type 27  Kübelwagen-based van with canopy
 Type 28  Kübelwagen-based closed delivery van
 Type 51  Saloon on Kübelwagen chassis
 Type 53  Saloon with sliding roof on Kübelwagen chassis              
 Type 55  Drophead coupe on Kübelwagen chassis
 Type 81  Saloon-based delivery van with canopy
 Type 83  Saloon-based closed delivery van
 Type 91  Trailer, open
 Type 93  Trailer, closed
 Type 100  Short-wheelbase saloon-based road tractor

 

 

1949-1979

The British handed the VW factory back to the Germans in September 1949, the year the three former Allied zones were united to form the German Federal Republic. Former Opel director Heinz Nordhoff was appointed General Manager of the Volkswagenwerk.

Under German control, VW released two new Cabriolet models in 1949 alongside refinements and expansion of the sedan line-up. VW took the opportunity to reorganise the British model Type numbering system, and a new system was put in place. This saw the VW range divided into 4 basic types (eventually), with each type further divided into models described with three-digit numbers. This basic system lasted until the end of German air-cooled models and the introduction of the modern VIN system.

The four basic Volkswagen Types are:

Type 1:  Beetle, Hebmüller, Cabriolet, Superbug, Karmann Ghia, Fridolin, Thing, Country Buggy

Type 2:  Panel Van, Microbus, Kombi, Single-Cab Pickup, Double-Cab Pickup, Ambulance

Type 3:  Sedan (Notchback), Squareback (Variant), Fastback, Karmann Ghia

Type 4:  2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, 2-door Variant, VW-Porsche 914

Within these four Volkswagen Types, the individual models were identified by a three-digit code – the first digit always being the Type number above. VW’s first model lists for the Types 1 and 2 were drawn up in 1949 and 1950. They were reorganised and renumbered in 1966 for the 1967 model year, so there are two separate lists for each Type. After 1966, the first two digits of the Type number were used on the chassis number. Models were separated depending on whether they were Left or Right-Hand Drive.

Type 1 (1949-1966)
 111  Standard Beetle Sedan (LHD)
 112  Standard Beetle Sedan (RHD)
 113  Export (Deluxe) Beetle Sedan (LHD)
 114  Export (Deluxe) Beetle Sedan (RHD)
 115  Standard Beetle Sunroof Sedan (LHD)
 116  Standard Beetle Sunroof Sedan (RHD)
 117  Export (Deluxe) Beetle Sunroof Sedan (LHD)
 118  Export (Deluxe) Beetle Sunroof Sedan (RHD)
 141  Hebmüller Cabriolet
 141  Karmann Ghia Cabriolet (LHD)
 142  Karmann Ghia Cabriolet (RHD)
 143  Karmann Ghia Coupe (LHD)
 144  Karmann Ghia Coupe (RHD)
 147  Fridolin (Klein Lieferwagen) – LHD only
 151  Beetle Cabriolet (LHD)
 152  Beetle Cabriolet (RHD)

 


Type 1 (1966-1979)
 111  Torsion bar, swing-axle Beetle (LHD)
 112  Torsion bar, swing-axle Beetle (RHD)
 113  Torsion bar, CV-joint Beetle (LHD)
 114  Torsion bar, CV-joint Beetle (RHD)
 131  McPherson strut Superbug (LHD)
 132  McPherson strut Superbug (RHD)
 133  McPherson strut Superbug (LHD – USA, Canada)
 141  Karmann Ghia Cabriolet (LHD)
 142  Karmann Ghia Cabriolet (RHD)
 143  Karmann Ghia Coupe (LHD)
 144  Karmann Ghia Coupe (RHD)
 147  Fridolin (Klein Lieferwagen) – LHD only
 151  Beetle Cabriolet (LHD)
 152  Beetle Cabriolet (RHD)
 153  Beetle Cabriolet (LHD – USA, Canada)
 181  Kurierwagen, Thing, Safari (LHD)
 182  Kurierwagen, Safari, Trekker (RHD)
 192  Beetle (Australian manufacture)
 197  Country Buggy (Australia Only)

 


Type 2 (1949-1967)
 211  Panel van, right-side load doors (LHD)
 213  Panel van, left-side load doors (LHD)
 214  Panel van, left-side load doors (RHD)
 215  Panel van, load doors both sides (LHD)
 216  Panel van, load doors both sides (RHD)
 221  Microbus, right-side doors, 9-seat (LHD)
 223  Microbus, left-side doors, 9-seat (LHD)
 224  Microbus, left-side doors, 9-seat (RHD)
 225  Microbus Sunroof, right-side doors, 9-seat (LHD)
 226  Microbus Sunroof, left-side doors, 9-seat (RHD)
 231  Kombi, right-side load doors (LHD)
 233  Kombi, left-side load doors (LHD)
 234  Kombi, left-side load doors (RHD)
 235  Kombi Sunroof, right-side doors (LHD)
 237  Kombi Sunroof, left-side doors (LHD)
 238  Kombi Sunroof, left-side doors (RHD)
 241  Microbus (Samba), 8-seat (LHD)
 242  Microbus (Samba, Alpine), 8-seat (RHD)
 251  Microbus Walk-Thru (Samba), 7-seat (LHD)
 261  Single-cab Pickup, right-hand locker (LHD)
 263  Single-cab Pickup, left-hand locker (LHD)
 264  Single-cab Pickup, left-hand locker (RHD)
 265  Double-cab Pickup, right rear door (LHD)
 267  Double-cab Pickup, left rear door (LHD)
 268  Double-cab Pickup, left rear door (RHD)
 271  Ambulance, right-side load doors (LHD)
 273  Ambulance, left-side load doors (LHD)
 274  Ambulance, left-side load doors (RHD)
 281  Microbus Walk-Thru, 7-seat (LHD)
 285  Microbus Sunroof Walk-Thru, 7-seat (LHD)

 


Type 2 (1968-1979)
 211  Panel van, right-side sliding door (LHD)
 213  Panel van, left-side sliding door (LHD)
 214  Panel van, left-side sliding door (RHD)
 215  Panel van, sliding door both sides (LHD)
 216  Panel van, sliding door both sides (RHD)
 221  Microbus (7, 8 or 9 seats), right sliding door (LHD)
 223  Microbus (7, 8 or 9 seats), left sliding door (LHD)
 224  Microbus (7, 8 or 9 seats), left sliding door (RHD)
 231  Kombi, right-side sliding door (LHD)
 233  Kombi, right-side sliding door (LHD)
 234  Kombi, left-side sliding door (RHD)
 235  Kombi Sunroof, right-side sliding door (LHD)
 237  Kombi Sunroof, left-side sliding door (LHD)
 238  Kombi Sunroof, left-side sliding door (RHD)
 241  Microbus Sunroof (8 or 9 seats) (LHD)
 242  Microbus Sunroof (8 or 9 seats) (RHD)
 261  Single-cab Pickup, right-hand locker (LHD)
 263  Single-cab Pickup, left-hand locker (LHD)
 264  Single-cab Pickup, left-hand locker (RHD)
 265  Double-cab Pickup, right rear door (LHD)
 267  Double-cab Pickup, left rear door (LHD)
 268  Double-cab Pickup, left rear door (RHD)
 271  Ambulance, right-side sliding door (LHD)
 274  Ambulance, left-side sliding door (RHD)
 281  Microbus Walk Thru (7 seats) (LHD)
 285  Microbus Sunroof Walk Thru (7 seats) (LHD)

 


Type 3 (1962-1973)
 311  Fastback (LHD)
 312  Fastback (RHD)
 313  Fastback Sunroof (LHD)
 314  Fastback Sunroof (RHD)
 315  Notchback (LHD)
 316  Notchback (RHD)
 317  Notchback Sunroof (LHD)
 318  Notchback Sunroof (RHD)
 343  Karmann Ghia Coupe (LHD)
 344  Karmann Ghia Coupe (RHD)
 345  Karmann Ghia Coupe Sunroof (LHD)
 346  Karmann Ghia Coupe (RHD)
 361  Squareback (Variant) (LHD)
 362  Squareback (Variant) (RHD)
 363  Squareback (Variant) Sunroof (LHD)
 364  Squareback (Variant) Sunroof (RHD)
 365  Squareback (Variant) A Wagon and Panel Van (LHD)
 366  Squareback (Variant) A Wagon and Panel Van (RHD)
 367  Squareback (Variant) A Sunroof (LHD)
 368  Squareback (Variant) A Sunroof (RHD)

 


Type 4 (1968-1975)
 411  2-door L Sedan (LHD)
 412  2-door L Sedan (RHD)
 415  2-door Sedan (LHD)
 416  2-door Sedan (RHD)
 421  4-door L Sedan (LHD)
 422  4-door L Sedan (RHD)
 425  4-door Sedan (LHD)
 426  4-door Sedan (RHD)
 461  Variant L station wagon (LHD)
 462  Variant L station wagon (RHD)                          
 465  Variant station wagon (LHD)
 466  Variant station wagon (RHD)
 471  VW-Porsche 914 (LHD only)

 

Other VW Types

Volkswagen water-cooled models of the early 1970s were also given similar-style Type numbers, and these are listed below. However, unlike the air-cooled models, these are not well known and hardly ever used, even by VW sales staff, mechanics and enthusiasts. VW Type numbers are generally only used when referring to air-cooled models.

While Type designations do show up in modern, post-1980 VIN codes, their importance has greatly diminished except for their use in spare parts codes. They often do not have any historical connection with previous Types. The T3 Transporter has a VIN type descriptor of ‘24’ (pickups) or ‘25’ (vans and buses) for example, and can still be said to be a Type 2. The T4 Transporter on the other hand, has a VIN descriptor of ‘70’ and is thus not a ‘Type 2’ at all. For Australia the New Beetle is a ‘9C’ and has no connection with the ‘Type 1’ (so it really isn’t a Beetle). The first Polo was Type 86, but newer ones are 9N.

So while VW has an internal system for type designations, these are no longer used outside of Volkswagen. We don’t refer to newer Golfs as Type 1G or Type 1H; they are Golf 2 or Golf 3.

For the record, here are some other VW model types used prior to the introduction of the VIN in 1980.

Type 147 - Golf Mk 1-based Caddy pickup
Type 15 - Golf Mk 1 cabriolet
Type 16 - Jetta Mk 1
Type 17 - Golf Mk 1
Type 24 - T3 Transporter pickups
Type 25 - T3 Transporter vans and buses
Type 28 - LT series of light trucks
Type 32 - Passat Mk 1 sedan
Type 33 - Passat Mk 1 station wagon (variant)
Type 53 - Scirocco Mk 1
Type 86 - Polo Mk 1
Types 6/8/9 - VW-MAN Trucks