The Volkswagon Beetle is one of the World’s most recognisable cars and boasts a deep history stretching all the way back to 1931.
Ferdinand Porsche and Zundapp were the men behind the development of the Porsche Type 12 (beginnings of the Beetle) which was known as a car for everyone as essentially ended up formulating the Beetle design.
Most people credit German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with the idea of the beetle and although it was true that in 1933 he commissioned the Beetle to be built as a car that could seat 2 adults and 2 children, as well as house room for their luggage, it was Porsche who did the work.
As well as being the ‘peoples car’ (hence the Volks Wagon name was born) it was commissioned to be able to run at 62 miles per hour and be affordable for the population in a sort of finance system devised by Hitler himself.
However, initially, the car was known as the Porsche Type 60 and later became the Volkswagen Beetle which ran a modest 25hp engine.
Over the next ten years, the power output became 36hp and then 40hp as Autobahn restrictions were lifted.
After the second World War, the Volkswagon factory was handed to the British by the Americans but no manufacturer across the channel wanted it.
Eventually, British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst convinced the British Military to order 22,000 cars and the factory re-opened and the town became known as Wolfsburg.
It was now boom time for the Volkswagon Beetle with global sales well into the millions with the car becoming one of the most recognisable models in the world.
In 2003, Volkswagon announced it was ceasing production of the Type 1 Beetle after a reported 21,529,464 had been rolled into production since 1938.
By this time, Volkswagon had produced a more up to date version of the car. This was met with widespread speculation but was another strong hit for Volkswagon and in 2011, started to produce the Beetle A5 which is still on sale today.
Chances are you have come across a VW a number of times in your life and it is easy to see why when you take into consideration the numbers sold globally above since it first hit the roads in 1938.
The Beetle shape is one that has gone down in motoring folklore especially due to its beginnings.
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