Unverified Ownership It's Weird Under-Appreciated Aircooled Time! 1971 Volkswagen 411

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
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Austin
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'10 Lulzcer GTS, '84 Porschelump 944, '71 VW 411
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It has come to my attention that my Volkswagen 411 doesn't have a thread yet. It's a good car! Eventually! Sometime when I can make it stop overheating, it will be a good car!

A 24 Hours of Lemons team offered me their Volkswagen 411 for free if I wanted it, and you bet your sweet hindquarters I did. It's the holy trifecta of Stef wants:
  1. Aircooled engine shared with a Porsche 914 (sorta, the 914 had some upgrades—but 914 advice is what's kept mine going, so cool)
  2. Engine in the trunk WHERE IT BELONGS
  3. Weird Volkswagen product you've probably never heard of

Not many people bought the Type 4 when it was new here, but it was Volkswagen's last stab at aircooled, rear-engined glory and the largest, most advanced aircooled car VW ever made. It's PERFECT.

A quick rundown of its history, because race car:

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The car first appeared on Jalopnik way before I got it, in Murilee Martin's Down on the Street series. It was a neighbor's car, and he misidentified it as a 1972 when the title says 1971. Whatever, it has internet history: https://jalopnik.com/1972-volkswagen-411-sedan-5517573

Murilee, of course, is Judge Phil to the Lemons racing set nowadays. So, a Lemons team bought that exact car and turned it into a race car. I drove it at its first race, flying out sight unseen only to discover it had no cooling tins at all, and we were running it at roasty Buttonwillow. The car overheated and was slow as hell, but was weird enough and turned enough achingly sluggish laps to earn us Index of Effluency: https://jalopnik.com/im-racing-a-volkswagen-411-and-towing-it-home-in-the-ul-1819018242

I drank out of my shoe in celebration. It was DELICIOUS: https://jalopnik.com/i-now-know-what-winning-tastes-like-because-i-drank-out-1819076998

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I towed it home in a then-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas press loaner. Not a bad tow-pig for a relatively lightweight older Volkswagen: https://jalopnik.com/the-2018-volkswagen-atlas-towed-my-classic-vw-race-car-1825590448

The 411 was pretty broken when I got it: https://jalopnik.com/everything-wrong-with-my-free-race-car-1819153463
I mean, melty piston broken: https://jalopnik.com/heres-what-happened-inside-my-badly-overheating-volkswa-1819961495

We attempted to race it at MSR-Houston shortly after I got it back in Texas, but it just wasn't ready and sorted in time. I had the cooling tins back on, but it didn't help enough. Still overheated. I think the carb ran lean, and it appears as though the timing was a bit off. We finished one lap under the Buttonwillow lap count and won I Got Screwed. I drank out of my shoe anyway. It was DELICIOUS.

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It also annihilated all of my clothes and I hate laundry: https://jalopnik.com/my-stupid-volkswagen-annihilated-my-clothes-and-i-hate-1821030349

Currently, it runs again! But it still runs hot, and needs a lot of cleaning up. Bees keep building nests in it, too. But all my cars technically run, and did I mention that I love having a weirdo aircooled that few other people seem to recognize? Hell yeah. https://oppositelock.kinja.com/all-my-cars-actually-run-right-now-suckaaaaaaaas-1834932047
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
6,639
Location
Austin
Car(s)
'10 Lulzcer GTS, '84 Porschelump 944, '71 VW 411
Fancy People's Car update: I have rear windows in it again!


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The mechanism was getting hung up at the top, so I couldn't slide glass in and out. Slightly more difficult than expected. I'm deeply surprised at how good of a shape the rear door cards were in when we popped them out, though. Hardly any of the usual water lines. Looked almost new all over. I got them to clean up super well before Lysol wipes became somewhat of a premium item, heh.
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
6,639
Location
Austin
Car(s)
'10 Lulzcer GTS, '84 Porschelump 944, '71 VW 411
Heh, they came off of one of Thomas' old cars, but the FG works here.
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
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Ah yes, the last attempt by stubborn VW execs to try to convince the world that RR aircooled is the way forward. I love it.
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
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Finland
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Insignia CT 4x4 CDTI Biturbo
Don't forget this, introduced in 1979:

Ah yes, of course. But I guess commercial vehicles at the time weren't as technologically advanced as passenger cars.

Also, they had to scramble and make it watercooled because of emissions regulations. This is an early aircooled one since it doesn't have the lower plastic grille. Also also, I was told that a glow plug job on the 1.6D isn't something you want to do. Ever. 😅
 

captain_70s

Forum Addict
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
6,286
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Car(s)
'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
Fucking love these things.

Sadly they're worth a fortune in the UK because OMGAIRCOOLEDVWSLAMITRATLOOKM8.
 
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