1969 Volkswagen Type 3 – $3700

1969 VW Type 3, automatic v1600 dual port lowered new mags and tires. Call Dan 604-314-7483.

Although 95% of humanity equates Volkswagen’s existence pre-1974 with the Beetle (the other 5% are intrepid enough to recall the Type 2, or Bus, undoubtedly through a haze of acid trips and marijuana smoke), the reality is that Volkswagen actually offered more than just their tiny rear-engined runabout for public consumption. Like this: the Type 3. More frequently seen in its squareback, station-wagon-esque format, the Volkswagen Type 3 debuted in 1961 as the predecessor to what would become the first generation Passat. Slightly larger than the Beetle and subsequently offering a substantial increase in both passenger and cargo space, the Type 3 retained the famous Volkswagen rear-engined, rear-wheel drive layout made famous by the Beetle, but possessed a larger 1500cc engine (enlarged to 1600cc in ’65) and could be had in four distinct body styles throughout its run, ranging from a small notchback coupé to a flowing sports coupé (better known as a Karmann Ghia here in North America), to squared-off two-door wagon known in the North American market as a squareback, to a flowing fastback coupé body unveiled in 1965. Although relatively popular in Europe, the Type 3 struggled to get a foothold in North America, with the notchback model specifically having trouble finding buyers over its sportier, and more practical siblings.

Which is precisely what makes this one so alluring. Having been produced in 1969, this Type 3 is of a particularly good vintage, coming out one year before Volkswagen muddled the design with a refresh in 1970, but after the adoption of the larger 1600cc engine and front disc brakes in ’66. Of course, being a Volkswagen engine, there’s absolutely no shortage of parts and aftermarket supplies available for it, and it’s entirely reasonable to expect the little four cylinder to keep chugging away for years to come. Sadly, bodywork is a different story, and the rarity of the Type 3 notchback will undoubtedly make any future repairs or parts replacements a bit… er… challenging. That said, Volkswagen owners aren’t so much fanatical about the brand quite so much as they worship it as a surrogate religion, so there’s undoubtedly quite a strong support network of individuals that would be happy to keep an automotive oddity like this on the road! Being a Volkswagen, the maintenance and running order of the drivetrain should take a very, very distant second place to ascertaining the solidity of the bodywork, so bring along your best Bondo-tapping knuckle and/or magnet collection before inspecting this little VW. But given the price point, and the crazy following classic Volkswagen’s enjoy, don’t be surprised if this one goes quick. As always, click on the blue text up top to go to the ad and contact the seller.

1969 Mazda 1500 – $1700

“Moving, must sell! Any reasonable offers accepted, cash sale. Vintage Mazda 1969 model 1500. The car was originally designed by Italian design-house Bertone. It is a very gorgeous little car, in excellent original condition. All lights original in working order. White with black interior , one small tear in back seat at windshield. 4 cylinder, New Voltage regulator, new rebuilt water pump–well maintained DAILY DRIVER. Minor body rust on front hood. As with all vintage vehicles, will need ongoing work.”

It’s always a little odd when you stumble across old Japanese cars. I mean, when it comes to cars from the summer of love, you always expect to find a Blue Oval or Bowtie on the hood… not a Mazda emblem. Subsequently, they make for intriguing and interesting collector cars that, to be honest, aren’t without their own challenges. And so it is with the Mazda 1500. One of the largest sedans Japan produced during the period, the 1500 served as a good stop gap measure between the smaller import cars like the Mini, and the bigger American-made six-cylinder sedans like the Falcon and Nova. Available in two trim levels, the 1500 could be had in standard and deluxe trims, with the deluxe models receiving folding armrests, a power antennae, and a clock in the dashboard. Performance was middling from the 82 horsepower four cylinder, but the car curried favour with drivers looking for a true mid-size sedan with reasonable fuel economy and good safety features.

Being a very uncommon car, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when walking up to one such as this. Undoubtedly, being made of Japanese steel circa Creedence Clearwater Revival, there’s going to be some concerns of rust, as evidenced by the ad’s admission that the hood is apparently rusty… although that’s a pretty weird place for rust to appear. However, if the car is indeed used as a daily driver, there shouldn’t be all that much wrong with it… but my concern would be fixing what is wrong with it. Like so many other little known Japanese classics, parts and support will prove the largest hurdle for any potential owner, and all that one can really hope for is to find at least a couple good suppliers. Then again, if the running gear or suspension is one its last legs, perhaps it would be a great vehicle with which to experiment with Miata/rotary parts swaps?

1969 Toyota Corona – $2500

“1969 Toyota Corona. Two owners since new. Approx. 98,000 miles. 1900cc engine, 2 spd Toyoglide automatic transmission. Runs well, needs some transmission work, but could be driven home. Clean interior with good upholstery. Radial Tires in good condition. This is an early North American Toyota in good original condition. Some rust on the fenders. Also included: complete 1970 Toyota Corona parts car. Same colour, same model. I have papers for this one as well. $2500 for both cars. Located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.”

If it’s something different you’re looking for, but yesterday’s Rolls Royce was a little out of your price range, then this might be the car for you: a 1969 Toyota Corona. Yup, just like the beer. Which is ironic, since much of the early criticism levelled at early Japanese cars was their “beer can” construction… so perhaps Toyota’s decision to name their early sedan after a beer only available in glass bottles was their attempt at pre-empting the criticism. In any case, the Corona needed all the help it could get in the domestic market, where it’s diminutive size, tiny 1.4L to 2.0L engines, and odd styling kept it marginalized.

Which means owning one 42 years after the fact might prove difficult. Although still doing a ridiculous amount of business, Japanese manufacturers typically don’t provide the same support for older models as many of the domestic manufacturers, which means parts availability can be a problem. The only upside is that this being a Toyota, you’re guaranteed a relatively large amount of parts sharing, especially when it comes to the powertrain and running gear. However, the downside is that this being a Toyota, it’s got rust… and the things that are rusting are probably a little less easy to locate. But for the right owner, it will undoubtedly provide interesting, and willing, transportation… and hey, you definitely won’t need to worry about any “unintended acceleration” incidents!