VW Beetle from 1957-1964. The Dickholmer

Auto Motor Klassiek » History » VW Beetle from 1957-1964. The Dickholmer

In the August 2019 edition of Auto Motor Klassiek we paid attention to Richard van der Bijl, his Siku collection and especially his VW 1200 Export. His 1964 Beetle, newly delivered and personalized today, is a Dickholmer. Fans and connoisseurs know that it was the last Beetle with small side windows and thick mullions. This Beetle generation lasted seven years, and is more than worth a description. 

The Volkswagen Typ 1 got in 1957, among other things, a larger front and rear window. This heralded the end of the Oval era. The modified Beetle did keep the thick door/window styles, that's why the Beetle as it was produced from 1957 to mid-1964 owes the nickname Dickholmer. The enlarged rear window heralded the end of the Oval Age, including the windshield. Between 1957 and 1964, the Volkswagen Typ 1 was traditionally updated annually.

34 PK engine, other carburation and Startautomatik

For example, during the Dickholmer era, the Beetle got a new windshield washer reservoir in the trunk. This had the property that it had to be manually put under pressure by the user on a regular basis. Furthermore, adjustments were made to the petrol tank, in order to be able to use the trunk more effectively. In addition, from July 1960 the Beetle was also supplied with a 34 hp engine (destined for the Export version) with a higher compression and different carburetion. The 34 HP engine got the Solex 28 PICT-1 with automatic choke. The construction of the strongest 1192 cc version also corresponded basically to the engine as it served in the Transporter from May 1959, and was constructed to also allow for larger cylinder capacities.

Improved climate control

The Export also received a fully synchronized gearbox. In those years the Beetle also got turn signals in the rear lights, and the use of heat exchangers allowed occupants to enjoy fresh warm air in the interior (instead of heated air that was mixed with liquid and exhaust vapours). For that improvement, the air heated by the cylinders was routed directly to the interior. The braking system was also hydraulically operated in the Standard version from the beginning of the XNUMXs, a feature that the Export version had already had from the XNUMXs.

Various modifications also in the last model year

The Dickholmer from the last model year can be recognized by the steering wheel with horn push buttons, instead of the horn ring. Other changes during the model year were the front shock absorbers (Monotube with plastic housing), and the elimination of the folding roof on the Export models. Instead, the customer could order a steel sliding roof. The VW logo on the wheel covers was no longer black. The turn signals on the front fenders were enlarged, and at the rear of the chassis, the cutout for the shifter linkage was increased.

Even more details for 1964

The wool cloth headliner was replaced by a plastic variant. Other matters, such as the operation of the door lock from the inside, enlarged contact surfaces for the backrest adjustment mechanism, the installation of the windscreen washer reservoir and the changed section on the engine lid (with changed mounting location of the number plate lighting) indicated that Volkswagen was always working on changes to the Beetle.

Complete wax preservation

In 1964, the last Dickholmers still benefited from Volkswagens' decision to perform a full wax preservation, rather than a partial one. This preservation was followed, among other things, by the next generation. From 3 August 1964 a (mainly optically modified) new generation replaced the last Beetle with the small (er) side diamonds. This also eliminated the rotating handle for opening the bonnet and the rotary knob for the heater, which was mounted next to the gearbox. What else changed about the VW Type 1 for model year 1965 You can read here.


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  1. My father had the 1958 model, large rear window, but still with the semaphores on the side instead of flashing lights. attached the only photo I have of this beetle.

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