Transmission ID

Trying to identify the manufacture date or type of transmission takes a little work. You’d think the part number would do it (113 301 103 C), but it’s such a ubiquitous label for so many transmissions over so many years that you need to gather more information than that. Or, at least, I couldn’t find a list of part numbers that made it clear.

In addition to the part number, there is a serial number or stamping that can get you more information. On bugs built sometime after mine, the serial number is a date stamp. But it looks like mine is just a plain ole serial number (8624859).

Some people look inside the bottom of the transmission and actually count the number of gear teeth to find out exactly what they have. Reconstructing the history of a bug is a lot like archaeology. You dig and probe and re-evaluate what you know and what you think you know. It’s tempting to look at a crud-covered transmission and say that it’s the original transmission. But a lot can happen to a car over the 48 years of its life. Parts get replaced or swapped, or their internal gears and gadgets get upgraded or downgraded or whatever. Your transmission may be original, or it may have been swapped with a transmission from a ’61 VW (with its own family tree of parts) found in a junkyard in ’73. After a while the crud re-attaches, and everything gets normalized.

Birth Certificate for the little fellow

If you go to the Volkswagen AutoMuseum and fill-in their Certificate Generator (oh, and remit 35 Euros), they will research your little hobby car, and send you a birth certificate that tells when your car was made, where is was shipped, and what options were included.

More info can be found in this thread at

Is it really necessary (and worth the money)? Maybe not. Depends on how much you want to know about your car, its history, and its original color-scheme/engine/configuration/etc. Since I want to try and keep it original, I’m curious to see if there’s something about Beevis that I don’t already know.

Car for the People

The 1963 Volkswagen 1200 (Beetle) was around $1595.00 According to an online inflation calculator, that equates to about $11,330 in 2010 dollars. That doesn’t sound inexpensive. But then again, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average cost of a new car in 2010 is more than $28,000. So it does sound good by comparison. And when you put the old Beetle alongside the list of more fuel-efficient vehicles (on, the Beetle is still near the top with 31.5 mpg.