Saturday, January 30, 2016

Regret (or a sad story about a VW Type 3)

Our today’s story is about the first and only Volkswagen Type 3 in Armenia. This car can often be found both in Europe and in the USA, where it was delivered throughout all the twelve years of its production from the factory in Wolfsburg. From the period 1961-1973 the Volkswagen group released over two and a half million copies of this model with different body types and various configurations. It is worth noting that the “Typ-3”, which had a rather nondescript design and based on the components of the popular VW Beetle, has not left an appreciable trace in the history of the global automobile industry. Nevertheless, this model has lots of fans all over the world and it is appreciated by admirers of classic Volkswagen models.

By a stroke of good fortune, one of the 1.339.124 cars that had a fastback body found itself in Armenia. Unfortunately, we have not yet found the person who brought this car to Yerevan.
We first met this car in very strange circumstances: in the summer of 2014, from Ukraine, a member of the local retro-car community came to Armenia in order to find a certain car. Having found the car, we decided to spend the rest of the time with our Ukrainian guest at one of the graveyards for cars, because sometimes there can be found very interesting examples of rare cars. Among many crumpled and rusted remains, we noticed an unusual body shape- we could not immediately identify which brand it belonged to. Judging by the shape, it was clear that the car was of European origin and was made in the 1960s or 1970s. At the time, it was impossible to learn more about the car from the extant remains of the exterior. Then we left the junkyard with some anxiety, since we were aware that with time all bodies are to be gone under a multi-tone pressing machine.

Two years later, I happened to be at one of my friend’s place, where there were many retro car hunters. We started to talk about who and where had noticed abandoned rare and interesting classic cars. In conversation one of the guests mentioned about a golden fastback Volkswagen 1600 also known as Type-3. The car had been unattended for a long time in the backyard of a car workshop. As it turned out, during a relocation of that workshop, due to uselessness, the remaining property had to be consigned to the junkyard, where we saw it. We compared the photos we had, and only then we managed to identify the car, which we had not been able two years ago. It was the Volkswagen 1600 Fastback (Type-3), produced from 1965 to 1969. We immediately left for that junkyard to save the precious remains of the VW, but when we arrived, a terrible disappointment was awaiting us there…
The car had already been recycled- not a single detail was left of it- only miraculously preserved photos can remind us of it.
It is very sad that this car, which is a rarity in our little country, faced such a grim fate.