Paint: Red, White or Blue
Technical data: 1200cc Sparkäfer
Context: The Cartune 1200 was available from Cartune in Middlesbrough Teesside. Cartune was a major player in the VW performance/accessory world back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The tuning and accessories arm of the business operated from Ashford Middlesex, whilst the northeast branch was a full VW-Porsche, Audi and NSU dealership. It’s chairman Mike Griffin was a major player at Volkswagen GB and previously AFN (Archibold Frazer Nash) Porsche.
Having spoken to Ron Turnbull who was head of Teesside, Cartune were very much aware of EMPI in the USA. Cartune decided to take the basic 1200 model (Sparkäfer), and improve it for a British market. It was sold for the same price as a stock 1200 (£660) ‘So why not have a bit extra’. Numbers sold are a guess from Cartune owner Ron Turnbull – 100 cars approximately each identifiable by a sticker on the glovebox “Cartune VW 1200”
- Fuel gauge (cars, therefore, featured both a reserve tap and gauge)
- passenger sun visor
- grab handle
- bumper over riders
- chrome running board trim
- rear stone guards
- hand operated dip switch, mounted between the ashtray and radio aperture deleting the foot operated switch
- front parcel shelf
- 14mm Front anti-roll bar, this compensated for the lack of Z-bar at the rear. This was Cartune’s own performance product and really was the business handling wise.
- Cartune exhaust taper tips, which the author now reproduces, and replaced the plain black tailpipes on 1200
- Cartune adjustable carburetor main jet (seen just behind the return spring, knurled brass disc).
0-60 22.1 seconds (stock 1200 was 26 seconds, 1300 was 20.5), 30-50 MPH 9.6 seconds (stock was 11.7), top speed: 77 MPH (3/4 more than stock 1200).
Text and pictures courtesy Martin Lee. The Cartune website.