Beautifully detailed and strikingly handsome, it was VW’s most expensive car in the Sixties but like the clever VW 914, they mucked it up by silly pricing (it cost twice the price of a Beetle), weak marketing, not selling it to the American market at all and only listing it in the UK in 1964. Built on the Type 3 floorpan it had a 1500cc flat ‘pancake’ engine, lots of room, big wraparound rear glass and – on the 1600 versions – fuel injection, disc brakes, power windows and the option of an automatic gearbox. Only 42,000 Type 34s were built compared to over 400,000 of the more familiar roundy-round Type 14 Karmann Ghia. Survival rates are low too, with around 1500 reckoned to still exist.
However, VW enthusiasts are wise to the Razor’s rarity, with projects starting at £10k and minters nearing £35k. Their rise has been recent – only three years ago Silverstone Auctions sold a RHD 11,000-mile 1967 in perfect nick for £26,900. That car is worth £50k now. Dutch dealer Big Boys Toys has a white ’1968 with original interior and one repaint for £26k; and I saw a green ’68 RHD on eBay at £20k two months ago. Prices and demand are hardening. Believe it or not, the 34’s desirability is now linked to movements in classic Porsche values as buyers see the same engineering precision and distinctive design cues. UK deliveries ran from 1964 to 1969 so the odd one pops up for sale here and any original, unmodified RHD Razor Edge is always worth buying.
What you must avoid, though, are the lowered, modified and brutalised versions, of which unfortunately there are quite a few. Find a stock original Type 34 and you’ll have one of the rarest and most unusual VWs that’s well worth keeping.
‘Any original, unmodified RHD Type 34 is always worth buying’