Volkswagen 411 1968 posters

Volkswagen 411

Forty years ago, on September 19, 2008 Volkswagen revealed the groundbreaking VW 411 to anticipated journalists in Wolfsburg. To demonstrate the vehicle's capabilities, the journalists had been invited to test-drive it on the Volkswagen proving ground of Ehra-Lessien. A total of 367,728 units of this model were produced until July 1974 and as of September 2008, 416 of these have passed as old-timers.

The ads called it 'unlike anything Volkswagen have done before', and this came with no surprise, as the VW 411 was the first model of its kind with a unibody, four-door availability and a longer wheelbase compared to the Volkswagen Beetle. Providing a powerful 68 bhp air-cooled 1.6-liter boxer engine situated in the rear end, the model was equipped for long-distance journeys and reached a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The sophisticated sport chassis with MacPherson strut front suspension and rear suspension with double joint axles, also found in the Porsche 911, allowed for a stable ride. The mid-size vehicle promised luxury, space, safety, a whopping 570 liters of luggage in the front and rear compartments and an optional automatic transmission.

It all started in 1962 when VW developed the project EA 142. After the series production began in February 1967, Volkswagen wanted to sell 822,500 units over a four-year period with a daily production rate of 1,000 cars. With the prices of the VW 411 ranging from 7,770 to 9,285 DM, this car had become a popular sight in Germany.

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