By now we’re sure you’re familiar with Volkswagen’s basic ‘Type’ codes – Type 1 (Beetle), Type 2 (Bus) plus Type 3 and Type 4 – but how well do you know the 3-digit reference number system? With the first number identifying the model range, the second expands on that information by explaining the particular model or body style, for instance a Type 34 is a Razoredge Ghia while a Type 36 is a squareback (Variant). Further information is provided by the third digit, hence 361 at the start of the chassis number would identify the vehicle as a LHD Variant while 362 would be a RHD model.


But there’s more! Volkswagen went on to use number codes to identify special options and extras, hence a 363 would be a LHD Variant with the optional sunroof (364 being the RHD sunroof model and so on). Incidentally, if the third digit is an odd number, it refers to a LHD car while an even number would be the equivalent RHD model.


Type 3 model codes…

 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)


The one that got away…

Volkswagen mentioned the Type 351 in the initial brochures (and even listed parts for the model in the ’61 workshop manuals) however the decision was made to axe the model from the launch range at the very last moment. If you’re wondering what the 351 was, it’s the gorgeous Notchback cabriolet. Only a handful of prototypes exist today and you can read about the restoration of one of the best examples anywhere in the world by picking up a copy of the July 2018 mag (available to order here)


Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Summer ’21 Type 3 special issue
Click here to order your copy NOW!