Type 3 Tachometers

As far as I know, with one exception (see below, VW Australia), there was never an "official" tachometer for the Type 3 Volkswagen. There are no records of them in parts books. There are German parts book that list "tachometer", but that is because in German, what we English speakers call a Speedometer is called a Tachometer. That being said, these are the "aftermarket" Type 3 tachometers I have come across in the past few years. I actually purchased every one of these on eBay, so they are out there, you just have to know where to look! The diameter of a Type 3 tachometer is 85mm. You can click on any of the pictures to get a full size shot. All of these tachometers, with the exception of the Australian Tacho were purchased from Germany.


The Weigand tachometer may or may not have been produced for the type 3, but the fact is that it is a perfect fit. The first one pictured is a 6,000 RPM tachometer and is 6 volt. There is no production date listed.

 Another Weigand. This one is an 8,000 RPM. Once again, a perfect fit.  6 Volt, no production date. 

A third Weigand. 7000 RPM. This one is NOS, but I find no production date. 6 or 12 Volt. These three look great with late model, black face instruments.

Here is a Weigand single page brochure. Front and back are both shown.


This Gossen tachometer has numbers that approximate the font used on standard type 3 instruments. It does not have a recessed face. This has a production date of June 1966 and voltage is not listed.


The second Gossen tachometer is set up much like the first one. The numbers don't follow the Type 3 scheme that well, but these look good the the late model instruments. This model of tach has two problems that I have noticed. Both of them deal with the face of the tach. First, it tends to pull away from the internals, causing the tach needle to "stick" when it hits a high spot. Second, the finish on the face cracks quite a bit, giving it an "alligator skin" look. Marked 8.67, but no voltage is listed.

The third Gossen tachometer has a recessed face and deep bezel like our Type 3 instruments. This has a user adjustable "redline" marker and actually has the VW emblem on the face. Did VW sanction this tachometer? I have to believe they did, as I have an NOS one in my possession. It came in a VW style parts box and contained the instruction sheet shown below. If you notice, it says "Volkswagen Approved Accessory" and has an accessory part number of 000 054 403. Date code is August 1971, but once again, no voltage is listed.

Here's are two Gossen's I don't have yet. I snagged the first picture from an eBay auction that I missed. The second was e-mail to me by a fellow Type 3 owner who has it. I know nothing about these tachs, other than the back is identical to all the other Gossen's. Notice, however, that the first tach also has the VW logo on the face, just like the one above.


Tacho-Thomas Reproductions

This is the current reproduction VDO tachometer that is going around. These pop on on eBay quite often and built from the VDO Cockpit International series of tachometers. They are built by Thomas Beckers in Germany. He goes by the name Tacho-Thomas, which accounts for the "TT" on the face of the tach. Quality of the reproduction is pretty good. The numbers are painted directly on the flat metal of the gauge and the "notch" marks are painted on an internal metal bezel. The entire needle, except for the tip, is covered by a standard style gauge center. They do not mount as easily as the standard VDO gauges with the "clips" on the side. Printed on the face it "RPM"; "x100" and "TT". These generally sell on eBay for about $250. You can contact Thomas at tacho.thomas@t-online.de

Here is Tacho-Thomas's late model black tach. It is quite a disappointing reproduction. You can see all the original markings of the faceplate under the repaint. It wouldn't be too bad if he would have taken the time to sand the old marking off before painting on top of them. Other than that, the quality and build are pretty much the same as the grey face tach. You can see the old markings in the third picture.


Here is the Type 34 version of the Tacho-Thomas reproduction. This picture was lifted from an eBay auction.




Here is the "Rarest of the Rare" as far as Type 3 tachometers go. This is an original VDO Type 3 tachometer. It matches the stock instruments perfectly, as it was made by the same folks who made the gauges. The numbers are painted on the bottom of the internal plastic, just as the speedometers are. The "notch" marks around the edge are on the back of the front clear plastic, once again, like the speedometer. The entire needle is visible and just the center part of the gray center circle turns when the tachometer is operating. Says "UPM", "x100" and "VDO" on the face. There is NO VW part number on this tachometer.  This is date coded October 1968 and is for either 6 or 12 volt operation. It also has the standard "clips" on the side for mounting, just like the rest of the standard Type 3 instruments. This one was also an approved VW accessory. An NOS one sold on eBay in April 2004 for approximately $500US. The box was marked with the accessory part number 000 054 402 (see picture below)

Another VDO tach commonly used in Type 3's. I've seen these in early cars (pre-65's) mostly, although this one is dated 9.67 and is 12 Volt. I don't own a red needle version yet, but I'm looking. The red needle pictures are courtesy of Everett Barnes. According to the Technical Bulletin below, this style tach was accessory part number 311.018.533.

Here it is. The only "official" tachometer to come from the factory in a Type 3. It came from VW Australia for just the 1972 and 1973 model years. It has a totally different face from the other Type 3 instruments that were see in the rest of the world. This was in part to satisfy the demands of the Australian government. They required a certain percentage of parts be built in country, so when VW changed the instruments for the last two years, the whole world, except Australia, got black. Australia got their own design. There is an official part number on the back of this tach. It is 31A 919 003. The 31A is an Australia specific part number. The tach was built by VDO Australia. This one is dated 5.72 and of course is 12 volt. I've pictured the matching Type 3 speedometer with it.

Here are the instructions from Volkswagen on how to install the VDO tach. This is official Technical Bulletin number 533.915.20 from 1964 that shows the proper way to install the tach. Thanks again to Everett Barnes for the scans.

last updated 24 Aug 06

With the exception of the Weigand brochure, Gossen installation instructions and VW Technical Bulletin, all text and images contained herein are owned by and are copyright 2001-2006 Neil Mast.
None of the contents of this site may be reproduced or republished without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

Hit Counter
Free Website Counters