A Volkswagen doesn't appear to change and does. Take the Volkswagen 1500. The bug. Same familiar shape but with 78 changes to make it work better.
The '69 VW is the safest Volkswagen ever built.
It has front-end disc
brakes and a dual braking system.
If one stops, the other stops you. Vertical headlights so you can see where you're going, better and bigger tail lights so others can see where you're going better.
There are non-tilt safety locks on all seats. Soft plastic dashboard control knobs, the point
is there are no points. Recessed door handles inside have a safety lock (you have to unlock it before you can
open a door).
The steering column is collapsible. If you bump something it won't bump you. Volkswagen's big wheels are still big but now you have new safety rims, so a sudden flat doesn't have to mean a tyreless rim. Rear wheels track wider so they stick to their job better.
Two new big rear vision mirrors let you know what's going on behind your back and side. Push the inside mirror and it pops out.
The bug has lap and sash seat belts on the front seats and anchor points all round, and there are new bigger windscreen washers to wash the bigger windscreen and new two-speed wipers to wipe it quicker.
But safety is only half the story.
The '69 Volkswagen is the most comfortable VW ever made. Take the bucket seats. Over the years they've been changed fifty times.
Now they're softer and more adjustable. You actually get more head and leg room than cars feet longer. The Volkswagen's suspension has been improved.
All four wheels are independently sprung and, on the back torsion bar, an equaliser spring has been added to keep the bug flat on the road. The torsion bars keep the ride softer, even fully laden. A new, fresh-air system makes the Volkswagen a little less air-tight and a heater demister works through six outlets.
Among the other important changes in the '69 VW is a more powerful 1500 cc engine. It will take you 0-50 in 12 seconds flat and has a top speed around 80 that you can cruise at al/ Yes, it's also the fastest bug ever.
Some things haven't changed. Like the slick, smooth 4-speed all-synch gearbox. Or the ideas about rear engine traction, the aerodynamic body shape, or the reputation for dependability and economy.
You still get 32 miles a gallon and around 30,000 miles from a set of tires.
Volkswagen still believe that sometimes a change isn't always a improvement.
Hydromatic torque converter with three stage gearing, housed together with rear axle drive.
Axle shafts, each with two constant velocity joints
Single cushion disc, dry plate clutch
Rear Axle Ratio:
Hypoid bevel differential, final drive n/a
0 - 50mph: 13 seconds
Engine (4 Cylinder):
Type: 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, Thermostatically controlled air cooling by fan.
Configuration: Rear mounted, flat four
Head: Pushrod and rocker actuated ohv
with two valves per cylinder
Fuel System: Single
downdraft type carburetor with automatic choke, accelerator and oil bath air cleaner. Mixture pre-heating and automatically regulated air-intake pre-heating. Pressure lubricating with oil cooler.
Bore and Stroke: 83mm x 69mm (3.27" x 2.72")
53 bhp @ 4200 rpm
Torque: 78 ft. lb. @ 2,600rpm
Ignition and Electrical:
Coil and alternator
type with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers
type with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, torsion bar with equaliser spring
Ball and nut type
Front: Fadeless Disc
Rear: Drum, leading and trailing shoes
Parking brake mechanically operated on rear wheels
Some time ago, the Volkswagen people went to see one
of Italy's most famous automobile designers. They gave
him this assignment, what changes would you recommend
in the design of the Volkswagen.
He studied it, and studied
Then he said, "Make the rear window larger".
all? Thats all. We did, starting with the '58.
is never changed to make it look different, only to make
it work better.