Culture

The Volkswagen Beetle: #OnThisDay

On the 19th of January 1978 the last Volkswagen Beetle was produced in Germany. Production was to continue in South America.

Labelled the ‘people’s car’ by Adolf Hitler the Beetle was to be an affordable family vehicle.

Production of the first vehicles started in 1938. Between 1938 and 2003,  21,529,464 were manufactured.

The  design was claimed by Ferdinand Porsche but  this was successfully challenged by  Béla Barényi who had come up with the concept years earlier in 1925.

Volkswagen Beetle

Presseball 28 January 1939 Der Volkswagen, der den Hauptgewinn der Tombola darstellte, stand im Mittelpunkt des Interesses. Rechts Heinrich George neben ihm Bengt Berg, weiter links der Konstrukteur des Volkswagens Dr. [Ferdinand] Porsche mit Frau Elsa Ellinghausen, der glücklichen Gewinnerin. Fot.: Wag 28.1.1939 [Herausgabedatum] Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-E01426 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Hitler was given the very first convertible Beetle built in 1938.

Like many car designs which became classics there were different models and conversions. By the 1960s it was extremely popular but sales gradually declined as fashion tastes changed and newer more efficiently designed cars were produced.

The iconic shape of the Beetle has insured it is fondly remembered by many.

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  1. Maybe in this day and age of climate change, some thought should be given to a modern-day, modern design ‘Beetle’ because if the Government does not tackle this then a huge number of people simply will not be able to afford to replace their petrol/diesel cars and public transport is just not capable of accommodating all car commuters that will be driven off the roads. The sins and mistakes of Beeching and his Tory masters are fast catching up with us. Take a look at Europe where they took the diametrically opposite approach to railways, trams, etc than to what happened here, they were building ‘High-Speed Trains, Double-Decker coaches’ from the 1960’s onwards and you might start to appreciate the real predicament that we now about to find ourselves in now and then the $64,000 dollar question, “Where is all the extra electricity to come from?”

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