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Volkswagen 411 is 50

Deur Daantjie Badenhorst.

Hoewel die Volkswagen Beetle die gewildste motor was wat tot nog toe vervaardig is, het hy een gebrek gehad; hy was nie groot genoeg vir ‘n gesin nie.

Die Volkswagen Kombi, wat in 1950 die eerste keer op die mark gekom het, het nie noodwendig by almal byval gevind nie en die Tipe 3, wat in 1961 bekendgestel is, het net twee deure, of drie in die geval van die Variant-stasiewa, gehad.  Wat Volkswagen nodig gehad het, was ‘n groter motor met vier deure, en dit was presies wat in 1968 internasionaal bekendgestel is.

Die 411 is in 1969 bekendgestel en anders as in oorsese mark het hy die Tipe 3-reeks in Suid-Afrika vervang. Soos elke Volkswagen op daardie stadium het hy ‘n lugverkoelde bokser-enjin gehad, wat agter gemonteer was, maar die verplasinginhoud is na 1,7 litrer verhoog.  Die aanvanklike Suid-Afrikaanse reeks het uit ‘n twee- en vierdeur sedan bestaan; albei het skuins agterkante gehad en soos die Tipe 3 het hulle ‘n groot bagasiebak in die neus gehad. Die eerste modelle kon onderskei word deur die groot ovaalvormige kopligte waarmee hulle toegerus is.

Vir die 1970-modeljaar was daar ‘n paar groot veranderinge. Die ovaalvormige kopligte  is met vier rondes vervang en ‘n outomatiese ratkas was as ‘n opsie beskikbaar. Die groot nuus was egter die bekendstelling van die 411 Variant teen die middel van die jaar. Soos sy Tipe 3-voorganger het hy twee bagasiebakke gehad; een in die neus en een bokant die agtergemonteerde enjin. As die sitplekke platgevou is, kon twee mense gemaklik slaap. Die Variant het gou die gewildste stasiewa op die Suid-Afrikaanse mark geword maar die sedans het nie juis goed verkoop nie.

Die belangrikste verandering aan die 411-reeks was die bekendstelling van die LE-modelle in 1971. Dié modelle het een belangrike tegniese kenmerk gehad wat hulle van feitlik enige ander motor in hul prysklas onderskei het, naaklik brandstofinspuiting wat toe nog ‘n nuwigheid was. Die gewone L-modelle met die vergasserenjin het egter op die mark gebly.

Vir die 1973-modeljaar het die 411 ‘n nuwe neus en ‘n paar ander kleiner detailveranderinge gekry, en hy is herdoop na die 412. Meganies was hy egter onveranderd. Hoewel die eerste voorwielaangedrewe Volkswagen, bekend as die K 70 toe al internasionaal beskikbaar was, is hy nooit in Suid-Afrika bekendgestel nie.  Die verskil tussen die Suid-Afrikaans-vervaardigde 412 en die oorsese modelle was dat die oorsese modelle ‘n nuwe 1,8-liter enjin met twee vergassers gekry het, en as die 412 LS bekendgestaan het.  Hierdie enjin is dalk nie in die Suid-Afrikaanse 412 gebruik nie, maar dit is wel in 1974 in die plaaslik vervaardigde Microbus bekendgestel.

Die einde was egter naby. Teen die middel van 1973 het die eerste waterverkoelde Volkswagen wat werklik suksesvol sou wees, die Passat, die Tipe 3-reeks internasionaal  vervang. Die 412 het op die mark gebly totdat die Passat hom in 1974 hier vervang het.

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