East Coaster of the Day: 1972 Volkswagen 411

East Coaster of the Day: 1972 Volkswagen 411

Dale Clow has had the practically perfect 1972 Volkswagen 411 for 10 years.

Volkswagen manufactured the 411 from 1968 until 1972 then replaced it with the 412 until 1974. It was designed by Pinifarina, Italian design house responsible for the iconic silhouettes of Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Fiat, to name a few.

In the 1960s, Volkswagen was on top of the auto world with its Bug and Bus.

The 411 was offered as a two-door, like Dale’s, and, a first for VW, as a four-door sedan. It was the first unibody construction for the brand as well as introducing coil springs and a manual transmission with a hydraulic clutch. At the time, it was VW’s largest passenger vehicle with the largest engine.


When it debuted in 1968, a 1679 cc boxer engine with twin carbs producing 68 horsepower powered the 411.

The next year, Volkswagen modified the engine with Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection, increasing horsepower to 80. The same engine was used in the mid-engined Porsche 914 which also launched in 1969.


This rare 1972 VW 411, spotted at the Brackley Drive-In Hot Rod and Street Machine show on Prince Edward Island, is from Nova Scotia. Dale tells us: “An old guy bought it new but the transmission went, so it sat inside a building for 35 years. The sun did not get at the interior so it’s perfect!”

Dale has lowered the car a bit to compensate for the raised frunk and his son added the gear shift. Dale has a thing for old Volkswagens so be sure to check back for other VW treasures!

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