type 1 engine & chassis

By | September 6, 2015
A Technical Sensation: Volkswagen Short-Stroke Flat 4 OHV Air-Cooled Engine
SOURCE: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot, by John Muir.
Volkswagen Type 1 Chassis

VW Type 1

Type 1 Sedan “Beetle”

Type 14 Karmann Ghia

Type 14 “Karmann Ghia” The Ghia designed, Karmann built coupe shared the same chassis and engine as the Type 1. The specially built body was fitted to a standard backbone-reinforced steel platform frame widened by 12 inches.

Early 1961 VW 40hp Engine

Early 1961 VW Type 1 40hp E-Motor

VW Type 1 oil coolingVW air-cooled engineVW E-Motor air cooling

Why the engine in the back?

In conventional cars, a front engine turns the rear wheels through a long drive shaft.

But Volkswagen’s rear engine gives direct power to the wheels, saving weight and power. It is the most efficient and economical design. It means greater visibility when driving–you see over VW’s snub nose. And the rear engine gives your rear wheels better traction. In mud, sand, ice, snow, where other cars skid, you go.

Its location, however, is the least unusual feature of the Volkswagen engine. For one thing, it is air-cooled, an astonishing advantage when you think about it. No water to boil over in summer, or to freeze in winter. No anti-freeze needed. No radiator problems.

The engine is ingeniously cast of aluminum and magnesium alloys and is very light and powerful; undoubtedly the toughest 198 lbs. going.

It is beautifully machined for minimum friction; you will probably never need oil between changes. And so efficient that top end cruising speeds are the same.

Your VW runs at 70 mph all day without strain. You get an honest 32 miles to the gallon (regular gas–regular driving).