Thursday, March 5, 2009

Volkswagon Beetle

Probably everyone at some time or another has been exposed to a Volkswagen Beetle. The people's car was produced from 1938 until 2003. The car was originally known as the "Kafer", which is German for "beetle". In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a "Volks-wagon, and production began in 1938. Yes, the Third Rich was responseable for the development of the Beetle. War broke out before large scale production could commence and manufacturing capacity was switched over to war production. The car was designed to be as simple as possible mechanically, so less could go wrong.

After WWII, this car ultimately became the longest running and most produced automobile of a single design with over 21 million produced. The Beetle was produced in a number of countries. In Britain, it was known as the Type 1 or by engine size 1100, 1200, 1300, 1500 or 1600.

The Beetle was a benchmark for American compact cars such as the Chevrolet Corvair, Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. It is also considered a German equivalent of the Austin/Morris Mini. The Beetle also was voted the fourth most influential car of the twentieth century. The original Beetle was rear drive with an engine in the rear.

Show below is a version of the New Beetle, which was introduced in 1998. It is not the same car since it is based on the Volkswagon Rabbit and has front wheel drive. Strong public reaction to a concept car persuaded Volkswagon to produce the new Beetle. The New Beetle was designed by J. Mays and Freeman Thomas at the company's California design studio. The New Beetle is related to the original only in name and appearance.


  1. Thanks Pete .. mine was orange & had a curved windscreen .. slightly easier to see out of .. I travelled all around South Africa in it.

    It lasted well .. until someone went straight through a red light on a Friday afternoon .. fortunately the car was wiped out & not me .. but as they say "accidents happen within a small radius of your house" .. too true I was feet away!

    My car life was never the same again! I miss my orange beetle ..

    Thanks - hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

  2. Hilary,

    Thanks for your comment on the Beetle! They were fun small cars! The Beetle did not have a lot of power but they did have a unique personality. Also, they did get great fuel economy!

    The New Beetle is fun especially in the Turbo version!

    Best Regards


  3. Hi Pete
    Nothing like a old Beetle in perfect condition... :-)
    Two of my friends have the new Beetle and they are very cutie and fast.
    Thank you,
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  4. Giovanna,

    Thank for you commenting on my blog! I appreciate your comments!

    Volkswagons are economical cars that drive well! Both cars are fun but in different ways!

    Best Regards


  5. This isnt the only car Hitler influenced. He actually helped design the Volkswagon "Thing." A very ugly car but ran well and was often used in war. Great post. Do you like the new or old style beetle more?

    Dr. Bob

  6. Dr. Bob,

    Your correct historically! Hitler impacted the auto world today, he was very influential in a number of ways!

    My favorite is the new Beetle Turbo - it's a fun and fast!

    Best Regards