There are automobiles that have what it takes to become classics right from the start. Whether it is because of their design, their racing successes, because their technology was way ahead of its time, or because famous drivers took them to the Car Olympus in real life, or even in films. The majority of those oldtimers that also fit into this intersection of the “classics” are part of that pantheon.
Only very rarely does a story play a trick and swim against the current. Yet it happens, an automobile matures, becomes more beautiful, and attracts people during its construction period, until it is indispensable. Now it has become part of automotive history, or better still, it molded it because it laid the foundation for the success of a company that now combines many different strong brands and was able to determine the mobility of the future .
The Volkswagen Type 1, better known as the VW Beetle, belongs to this rare genus of classics
The political midwives of the 1930s had something else in mind than the post-war economic miracle. Unlike many others of its time, the Volkswagen Type 1, the VW Beetle, was not an icon for high earners, but a reward for those who had achieved something.It was more of a symbol for a new Germany after the dictatorship. A symbol for a country looking into the future, which nevertheless invoked early virtues such as German craftsmanship and engineering.
Although many other nations build cars, the most popular automobile in the world comes from Germany. An ironic twist of fate - It was only knocked off of this pedestal by its own successor. The automotive bestseller was an automobile whose basic lines remained unchanged for more than four decades, although it did benefit from improvements over the course of the long construction period. At a time when "Made in Germany" was not yet on everyone's lips, the VW Beetle stood for this term like hardly any other product.
Success, it is commonly said, is no coincidence and has many fathers. This is not quite the case with the VW Beetle. It is only the name of one of the most outstanding automotive engineers that is associated with him: Ferdinand Porsche.
Born in Austria, he started his career in Vienna at Austro Daimler, then he helped Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart as head of development to achieve considerable success in racing.
Only, it was Porsche's dream of a car for the people to hasten mass motorization based on the American model, but it did not fit the image of the now-unified automaker Mercedes-Benz. The young engineer consequently vacated his job and founded a development office for the automotive industry, today one would probably call it a “think tank”.
Far from elitist conceit, the Austrian, despite his undisputed extraordinary skills as an engineer, was a controversial guest on the boardrooms of the automaker at the time. For the regime of that time, however, the idea of a "people's car",developed by an ambitious engineer far from the glass palaces of the corporations, came in handy.
The hour of birth of the KdF car (Kraft durch Freude) was a fortunate circumstance for the young design office, which was able to devote itself to the development of a car, largely left alone by political leadership, which was actually, as previously mentions, successful not only in Germany, but world wide
The basic concept of the VW Beetle was already clear back then: a central tubular frame, independent wheel suspension, and a boxer engine at the rear. Even the occupying powers recognized this potential and had production resumed in the former KdF factories, which have now been renamed Wolfsburg in honor of his contributions.
The economic upswing in post-war Germany laid the foundation for the extraordinary success of the VW Beetle. During its long construction period, this car has been driven and loved by at least three generations..
|Model variants / construction time:||1970 – 1972|
|Motor:||Four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled|
|Motor installation position:||Rear|
|Length / Width / Height (mm):||4.080 / 1.585 / 1.500|
|Power (kW / PS - at min-1):||37 / 50 / 4.000|
|Max. Torque (Nm - at min-1):||106 / 2.800|
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