Annual Identification 1961-1965

1961-62: The first-year production was from February-August 1961. These are extremely rare. It is believed that the ivory steering wheel (seen in press photos & brochures) were not fitted to actual production cars. The map pocket had an ivory knob & flap design (instead of the later stretchy-ribbed design), and the ivory fresh-air knobs were printed with black text (possibly only on German models). The quarter window seals were fitted to the body (not the window frame). 1962 was the last year for the large 1500 script on the decklid and round front VW emblem (ended in mid-1962) & introduction of VOLKSWAGEN & 1500 scripts (mid-1962 thru 1963). All 1961-62 T3s had solid ivory shift knobs. Round blue dots were introduced to the ivory fresh-air knobs in 1962.

1963 Last of the Oldies: These are identified by the new VOLKSWAGEN & 1500 scripts on the decklid and the new two-toned gearshift knob. It was the last year for the side marker lights above the beltline, half-moon horn ring, 90mph/140kph speedo, rotary heater knob on the tunnel, gray armrests, bullet turn signals, and painted rear reflector bases. All 1961-63 models had single-carb engines and flat rear tail light lenses.

1964 New Chrome & Performance!: These are easily identified by relocation of the side marker lights inline with the new beltline trim, S script on the rear panel (Variant) or license hood (Notchback), 100mph/160kph speedo with white needles, straight horn bar on the steering wheel, front hood trim, chrome wraparound front turn signal bases & chrome rear reflector bases, larger tail light lenses, and the dual-carburetor "S" higher-compression 54hp engine (previously low-compression 45hp). Aluminum slotted wheel trim rings were introduced (previously outer rim hugging rings). The heater controls changed to the flat dual controls on the top of the tunnel. Last year for painted VW logos in hub caps.

1965 Last Stylish T3: 1965 VW 1500's are identified by white needles in the gauges and the dual horns were relocated to the front bumper (previously inside the spare tire area). Also hub cap logos were not painted. Last year for 5-lug rims, high-compression 1500cc engine, thin-slotted beauty rings, wrap-around dashpad, two-toned door panels, rubber floormats, & front drum brakes.

1961 Dash
Fresh-air knob text

1961 Door Panel
Ivory knob map pocket & chrome trim

1961 Variant
Ivory steering wheel

1961 Notchback
Ivory steering wheel

1961 Quarter Window Seals
On body not window frame

1962 Notchback
Black steering wheel

Red Needle Gauges

Early 1500 Script
1961 to mid-1962

Single Carb Engine
1961-63 & N-Models

Wide Windshield Trim

Early Front Design

Early Front Emblem

Variant Rear Scripts
1964-65 USA

Variant Rear Scripts
1964-65 Non-USA

Slotted Trim Rings

Push-button Controls
1961 to late-1964