Tuesday, May 17, 2016

4-door Brazilian Type-3 Volkswagens

With a short production run from '68 to '70, the Volkswagen 1600 4 portas (4-door in Portuguese) was meant as an option for those who praised the simple mechanics of the traditional Volkswagen Beetle but required the practicality of a 4-door bodystyle, such as taxi drivers. However, the square design led to the nickname "Zé do Caixão" (Coffin Joe), in a reference to the filmmaker José Mojica Marins. Another nickname for the model was "saboneteira", soap-dish in Portuguese. The door handles were pointed to resemble the handles used to carry a coffin too. This one in the pictures is a '69 and had been subjected to some alterations, most notably the '99-'02 Ford Fiesta wheelcovers and the Chevrolet Opala "donkey ass" taillights.

More successful was the Volkswagen 1600 TL, with a production run from '70 to '76 and also available in a 2-door bodystyle, more favored by the Brazilian market than the 4-door at the time. TL standed for "Touring Luxe", but it was often nicknamed "Tereza Louca" (Mad Thereza). The low-profile engine cooling fan allowed it to have two luggage compartments, one in the front and the other above the engine bay.
In spite of the limited availability in the Brazilian market, where the 4-door TL catered mostly to taxi drivers, police forces and a few government offices, it was a valuable asset for Volkswagen in regional export markets in other South American countries. This derelict TL is a '74 model. Introduction of the Passat to the Brazilian market in that very same year led to some fierce competition for the TL.


  1. Are you sure those are Type 3? They bear more resemblance to the German Type 4, in spite of the fact that Type 4 was available only in TL fastback-sedan and Variant station-wagon bodystyles? No such thing as a notchback-sedan Type 4 ever happened in Germany.

    1. Despite the styling cues resembling the Type 4, these are Type 3. They still rely on the good old body-on-platform layout instead of the unibody of the German Type 4.

  2. I am sure I saw a Brazilian TL at least once during a trip to Portugal (I am Russian), but it had only 2 doors.


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