VW 1600 TL. A tour around ...

VW 1600 TL

I drove the VW 1600 TL with original Dutch registration, purchased by Thomas and Peter de Roy from Schalsum. It was my debut in the Type 3. A look back at a ride I made some time ago.

For a number of years, I have maintained excellent contact with Thomas and Peter de Roy, thanks to a wonderful report day. The attentive reader will remember the report, in which we described, among other things, how the purchased Spaarkever from son Thomas eventually led to a successful universal garage business for his father. In the fall of 2016 I received a text from Thomas that he and his father had bought a Typ 3. We agreed to make a tour with the model year 1600 1972 TL. I had the honor to take over the wheel of the Type 3 painted in Diamant Silber, and then get to know the 1600 TL in the vicinity of Schalsum. It was a pleasant introduction to this 1600 TL, which dates from one of the last years of construction.

Other than the beetle

Anyone who thinks that a VW 1600 TL - or any type 3 for that matter - drives the same as a basic beetle will be disappointed. The driving characteristics of this Volkswagen - among other things, due to a suspension construction that differs from the Beetle with crosswise torsion bars at the front and, among other things, angled arms behind - a smoother character that can be compared somewhat with the driving characteristics of the 1302 and 1303 models. The long Typ 3 feels like a big car. The experience surrounding this large format is firstly fed by the spatial aspect. The long nose makes a big contribution. Incidentally, this serves as an ideal marker to allow the comfortable driving German to continue his course in the right way. It means that you have to get to know and estimate the car for a while. That does not take long, and then you experience especially the properties of the VW Type 3 in a pleasant way.

Remarkably quiet, in the base rock solid

You can experience them all from the remarkably quiet interior, where despite a number of traces of use, it is still clearly visible how Volkswagen used to keep its name high in the field of finish: It is simply excellent and very solid. The seats also provide the driver and passengers with an excellent seat. Another striking detail: the air-cooled engine in the 1600 TL feels surprisingly snappy. The 1584 cc engine with two downdraft carburettors accelerates in a controlled manner but well. All in all, the 1600 TL shows why it was still very popular at the time of its production - despite the technology that was labeled old-fashioned at the time. This Typ 3 proves itself during the introduction as a slightly indirectly steering, but very solid and basically just sovereign driving car, in which you can keep it out without problems and in all probability for a long time.

Carefree existence for a carefree VW 1600 TL

This VW 1600 TL - with a number of attractive extras such as a sliding roof - dates from 1972. It has some patina both inside and out. The technology also has some points for attention. “The shock absorbers need to be replaced. And the steering feels a bit floaty, so we will also tackle that in the future ”, Thomas de Roy explains during the ride. "And we want to restore the Typ 3 to its former glory soon." You can read that the owners can work wonders in the report about father and son De Roy in AMK 11-2015. That is why we know for sure that this already hard and technically good VW 1600 TL will lead a carefree existence for many years to come. An existence that fits like a jacket with its construction and handling characteristics.

Thanks to Peter and Thomas de Roy

Also read:
- VW TL, the 'Traurige Lösung'?
- A VW TL with injection
- The VW type 3, new but familiar
- Volkswagen Fastback (1969): Passionate about classic Volkswagens from Sander and Femme. .
- VW 1600 Fastback from 1972 in the family for 35 years. 


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  1. A long time ago I was the proud owner of the 02-07-MH, a * dike * of an automobile. My version was equipped with so-called double Weber carburettors, which turned out to be a thing with adjustment. It even stopped for a while in the Maastunnel, but if you could prove that it was not due to lack of fuel, you were towed out for free by the tunnel guards.

  2. You yourself were a well-done hamburger 😁
    When the car left the production line in 1972 it is 49 years old and not 44 years old as mentioned in the article.

  3. Newly drove the first vw 1500S and the first vw 1600Tl as a daily car. They had no handling and were very dangerous to crosswind.

    • In a collision, the gasoline gushed over your lap and the engine pounded in your back. In those days, driving was still really something for tough men 😉

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