The difference between a Beetle and a Beetle

The difference between a Beetle and a Beetle
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It’s not easy to see the difference between one Volkswagen Beetle and another. And yet, differences can make a huge impact on the value. 

For Volkswagen, the late 1960’s were a period of transition. The original design of the Beetle was 30 years old and many consumers wanted something new. Other car brands came up with new designs, new technical improvements and simply better cars. It was also during this period that cars from Japan entered markets in Europe and the USA. The competition for VW became stronger each year.

Volkswagen came up with the 1500/1600 Pontoon-models (the Typ3) and later the 411/412 (Typ4). But those cars, although bigger and roomier, were still based on Ferdinand Porsche’s design from the 1930’s.

The core of the Volkswagen programme was still the Beetle, or Käfer, as they are called in German. Although 30 years old, this model was still being improved and modernised. These two Beetles illustrate one of the major updates of the Beetle.

Church windows and dickholmers

The white car is a 1964 Volkswagen 1200. It is a luxury version, the steel sunroof was available this model year for the first time.

This model is one of the last of the so-called ‘dickholmers’, as of the model year 1965 the window posts and doorposts got slimmer, thus making the side windows slightly bigger.

You can see the effect on the beige Beetle, which is from 1968. It’s not an ordinary Beetle but a 1500 automatic, that is to say, that it’s a semi-automatic transmission, i.e. a gearbox with no clutch pedal.

The differences between both cars are many. The older white one has a white steering wheel and gear knob, in the beige car they are black.

The white car has the old wheels and the old, oval rear lights. On the beige car, the rear lights are in the ‘churchwindow’ shape.

An important difference is in the headlights. On the white car, the glass of the headlights is sloping backwards, on the beige car the headlights are standing upright.

The bumpers have a square profile instead of round and these models are the first to have the chromed model name on the engine lid.

These are the most obvious differences between the older and the newer Beetles from the 1960’s. In those days, such differences really mattered. And today? Today they matter as well.

We found these two Beetles on But are charming and very appealing Volkswagens. Both are looking to be in great condition, both are for sale in Germany.

But one of these cars is offered for EUR 12,400, the other one for EUR 29,900. Can you guess which is which?