©2000-16

1960 Beetle Improvements & Idiosyncrasies

Please, if you feel something written here is in error, by all means notify me. I want this info to be as accurate as possible. This information is shared from various sources and common knowledge.

   
MODEL YEAR 6. August 1959 through the end of July 1960
  Chassis #2528668 to #3192506
 
LITERATURE 1960 owner's manual
 
WIRING Semaphore 60 wiring
  Blinker 60 wiring
  Blinker 60 fuse block
 
COLORS Sedan
  L41 Black
  L225 Jupiter Grey (Standard only)
  L346 Mango Green
  L349 Jade Green
  L363 Arctic
  L419 Ceramic Green
  L436 Indigo Blue
  L440 Flint Grey
  L451 Indian Red
   
  Cabriolet
  L41 Black
  L264 Rock Grey
  L349 Jade Green
  L361 Slate Blue
  L445 Sargasso Green
  L452 Paprika Red
  L473 Alabaster
  L10009 Yukon Yellow
  L10017 Alaska White
  L10018 Brunswick Blue
TRANSAXLE  
1960 only - Nose cone mount is one piece and fastened over studs on the torsion tube.
1960 only - Nose cone, hockey stick, and shift rods
1960 only - Frame horns droop about 1/8 inch (two degrees) lower, tipping the engine and transaxle towards the rear. This was apparently an effort to reduce positive camber which caused oversteer.[2]
last year for - Split-case "crashbox" transaxle with 1st gear not synchronized
new for 1960 - Shift rod bushing without tension ring introduced during July 1960 at chassis #3140046. The tension ring was added August 1960 for the 1961 model year[2]
note - I upgraded to a 1963 synchro transmission. It's possible to use the one-year only trans mount already found on your 1960. Use this bus nosecone #211-301-205-H , this hockey stick #113-311-541 , and this new gasket kit .
 
SUSPENSION  
new for 1960 - Needle-bearings instead of bushings in front torsion bars
new for 1960 - 8 shims for wheel camber adjustment on each steering knuckle
new for 1960 - Steering dampner added March 1960, chassis #2921552[2]
new for 1960 - Rear torsion bars thinner and shorter
new for 1960 - Rear torsion bar covers smaller[1]
 
ENGINE  
1960 only - Oil dipstick painted red (#1, #2 ) at chassis #2528668/engine #3072320. The full mark was set 40mm from the end, rather than the previous 44mm. The add mark was not changed. Part #111-115-611-A[2]
1960 only - Spark plug wires fastened to the fan shroud using rubber "cookies" that held two wires[2]
last year for - 36hp engine with 28 PCI carburetor and manual choke
new for 1960 - Generator output increased to 180 watts[1]
confirm? - Original factory muffler redesigned in a teardrop shape to have the tailpipes also at a two degree tilt preventing rattling against the apron. (Good luck finding one!)[2]
 
EXTERIOR  
1960 only - Door handle key slot is vertical
1960 only - Front apron lacks wiring clips[2]
1960 only - Front fender walls redesigned for compatibility between the hump gas tank and the new headlight tubes[1]
new for 1960 - Rubber headlight wiring tubes
new for 1960 - Door handles with rectangular pushbutton
new for 1960 - Wolfsburg hood crest redesigned (red, blue, black)
   
INTERIOR  
1960 only - Dashboard chrome trim is cast and sharp
last year for - Aluminum trim on the carpet around the heater outlets and fuel tap
last year for - Gas tank with hump from the oval-window-era.
new for 1960 - Steering wheel dished inwards for safety, with chrome half horn ring
new for 1960 - Rearview mirror redesigned[2]
new for 1960 - Sunvisors are padded textured vinyl
new for 1960 - Door panels redesigned with lack of trim[1]
new for 1960 - Door armrest redesigned[1]
new for 1960 - Front seat bottom widened and backs reshaped for improved comfort[2]
new for 1960 - Seat pleats are now heat-sealed rather than stitched together[1]
new for 1960 - Passenger footrest
new for 1960 - Rear seat kick panels without heat duct outlets and have dimples and little pull tabs for removal[2]
confirm? - Body number plate size reduced at some early point in the model year. A friend's early 60 has a big plate, yet mine has a small plate.
   
ELECTRICAL  
1960 only - Six-wire (w/turn signals) or 3-wire (w/semaphores) turn signal switch that matches the contour of the new steering wheel
1960 only - Ignition switch with three screw terminals
last year for - Screw terminals on most electrical items
last year for - 80mph clear needle speedometer. July through October 1959 have two light sockets; November 1959 begins one light socket[2]
new for 1960 - Complicated horn wiring change for 1960-1961. Read about it HERE and HERE. There are three spring-loaded pins under the horn ring (#1, #2 , #3 ). They put the springiness in the horn ring/button and connect the horn circuit. Trying to get the horn to work with an aftermarket steering wheel (such as my EMPI GTV wheel) did not work for me.[2]
   
1960 IMPORTS
Changes were made to bring imported/gray-marketed Beetles up to USDOT specifications, but it's not guaranteed that the car was completely changed. You might find the following on your car:
note - A basic Canadian model, known as the Canadian Standard (aka Canadian Custom) Beetle has no chrome on the rear window, rear-side windows, vent windows, or running boards (#1,#2). Inside there was a black 3-spoke standard steering wheel and turn-signal switch, no radio, basic seat covers, no passenger foot rest, no dash chrome trim, and small headliner. Usually Canadian dealers added a gas heater, engine block heater, and a radio.
note - May have only one sunvisor if from Europe.
note - The car may still wear single-blade bumpers, although they could be ordered with US-style overriders for added protection.
note - The windshield may not have USDOT-spec safety glass.
note - Headlights' lenses may be fluted and may not use a sealed beam bucket
note - Look at the door pillars . There may be evidence of semaphore turn signals. Sometimes the semaphores remained in working order , sometimes the wires were simply cut, sometimes they were completely removed and the holes welded shut (#1 , #2 ), and possibly the weirdest move of all was sometimes the semaphores were left in, and the holes were sealed shut! Hand-drilled holes had to be made for the turn signals that were now placed on top of the fenders. Those with a sharp eye may notice inaccurate placement of the fender signals.

Citations/Sources:
[1] Kimball, Rich. "1960" Dunebuggies and Hot VW's. April 1992: 54-55.
Volkswagenwerk AG. "Progressive Refinements 1949-1961"
[2] Various knowledgable people on TheSamba.com
Color data from WolfsburgWest.com
Wiring diagrams from VintageBus.com
European transmission info confirmed by Anders L.