The Volkswagen Super Beetle is one of the best-selling cars of all time. By the time the 1974 Super Beetle was available in the U.S. market, over 15 million had been sold worldwide. The 1974 model-year featured the 1303 Super Beetle model platform, the fourth generation of Beetle to be produced. This generation featured a spare tire inside the front cargo area which gave the car increased storage space over previous models.
Engine and Transmission
The 1974 Super Beetle is equipped with a 1,600 cc, 60-horsepower, three-cylinder engine with an external oil cooler. It generates 77 foot-pounds of torque at 2,600 RPM, and has an 83-millimeter bore and a compression ratio of 7.5:1. As with previous Beetles, the engine is mounted in the rear, which was cosmetically modified to fit the larger 1303 generation's engine. The 1974 Super Beetle uses an open-differential, rear-wheel drive system. The engine can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 18.6 seconds and has a maximum speed of 86 MPH. A four-speed manual transmission was standard equipment.
Braking and Suspension
The 1974 Super Beetle has front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. At the front, the car features a pair of MacPherson struts and coil springs, an anti-roll bar and trailing arms. The rear suspension is a semi-swing axle and is independent from the chassis, like the front portion.
Exterior and Interior Features
The 1303 generation of Super Beetles featured a redesigned dashboard with airbags in mind for future production, though the car was not equipped with them. The windshield was also widened to comply with pending safety legislation to increase the distance between the passengers and the front glass. Because of this new front windshield, the front hood was modified and shorter than in previous model-years, its primary visual distinction being the loss of the front VW emblem.
- Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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