Subaru Conversion? 1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback

Surely, you’ve thought to yourself, “Boy howdy, I’d love to have a VW Brasilia, VW Gol, or even the 1969 EA 276 VW Golf prototype, but golly, those are so hard to find!” Well, look no further young whippersnapper, because there is a solution to your woes: the 1968-74 VW Type 4. This car has very similar styling to those other cars, but with over 100,000 sold in North America, they are easier to find than any of the other cars (although there are a handful of privately imported Brasilias here). They are still fairly thin on the ground, and a recent spotting encouraged a search for a Type 4, which resulted in this 1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback, available in Wolfeboro, NH with bidding at $589 and 5 1/2 days left to go.

1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback left front

Part of the Type 4’s appeal is in its rarity, but in its time, it was a case of VW continuing too far with their obsolete rear-engine, flat 4 platform (aside from its dubious aesthetics and price). Interestingly, the Pininfarina 411 was restyled by designer Brooks Stevens of Excalibur, Wagoneer, and Wienermobile fame to become the 412. It also benefited from a completely flat passenger floor and suspension with control arms and McPherson struts. Rumor has it there are some platform similarities with the Porsche 914, so perhaps you could develop a 914 Squareback?

1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback rear

No so pretty from the rear either, but it does look more up-to-date than the contemporary Type 3. The car has been professionally repainted, and apparently the sale was so urgent they couldn’t remove it from the paint booth before refitting the trim. This 80,000 mile car has also got new brakes, carpet, and tires. It’s said to need a new fuel pump, but maybe a modern Subaru flat four would be more reliable and fun?

1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback front

The front bumper appears to be missing, so you’ll want to make sure all trim comes with the car. Unfortunately, this car was originally equipped with an automatic transmission, so the Subaru conversion might also include a manual box. While this car has some needs, it looks like it could be made into a fun and unique car for VW shows and weekend drives.

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One Response to “Subaru Conversion? 1974 Volkswagen 412 Squareback”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    They gotta wait till the paint dries before they push it out of the paint booth. I’m assuming it does not run.

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