Volkswagen Beetle was officially known as the 'Type 1', it was an
economy class car. It was originally designed by Ferdinand Porsche as
Hitler's "People's Car,". The idea was to have a car available
at an affordable price for every German household.
officially began in 1938 and ended in 2003. During that time over 21
million Volkswagen Beetles were produced.
The VW Beetle was designed to be simple as possible mechanically, so
that there was less to go wrong The suspension design used compact torsion
bars instead of coil or leaf springs. The VW Beetle is nearly airtight
and will even float for a few minutes.
The VW Beetle was modified progressively throughout the '50s. The most
obvious changes were the rear windows when in 1953 the small oval two-piece
rear window was replaced by a larger oval window. By 1955, the one millionth
VW Beetle came off the production line.
In 1957, a much wider rear window replaced the oval one and 1964 saw
the introduction of a wider cover for the rear number plate light. At
the end of 1964 the side windows and windscreen were enlarged slightly.
At the same time the lightly curved windscreen was introduced. When
the Super Beetle was introduced in 1973, it had a more obviously curved
Beetle sales boomed in the 1960s, thanks to clever advertising campaigns,
and the Beetle's reputation for reliability and sturdiness. On 17 February
1972, when Beetle No. 15,007,034 was produced, Beetle production surpassed
that of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. By 1973, total
production was over 16 million, and by 23 June 1992, over 21 million
had been produced.
As of 2009, the Beetle is arguably the world's best-selling car design.
More units of the Toyota Corolla brand have been sold, but there have
been 10 total redesigns of the Corolla, each amounting to a new car
design with the same name.
Beetles Around the World
The Volkswagen Beetle is known by various names in different
countries, most, but not all are translations of the word "beetle".
Among these are:
Käfer, Fusca, Kupla (bubble) Coccinelle (ladybug) and Peta (turtle)
VW Type 2
The Volkswagen Type 2, officially known as the Transporter
or informally as Bus or Camper, was a panel van introduced in 1950 by
Volkswagen as its second car model following the Type 1 (Beetle).
Type 2 was available as a:
Panel Van: a delivery van without side windows or rear seats.
Walk-Through Panel Van: a delivery van without side windows or
rear seats and cargo doors on both sides.
High Roof Panel Van: a delivery van with raised roof.
Kombi: from the German, kombinationskraftwagen (combination motor
vehicle), with side windows and removable rear seats, both a passenger
and a cargo vehicle combined.
Bus: also called a Volkswagen Caravelle, a van with more
comfortable interior reminiscent of passenger cars.
Samba-Bus: a van with skylight windows and cloth sunroof, first
generation only, also known as a Deluxe Microbus. They were marketed
for touring the Alps.
Flatbed pickup truck: or Single Cab, both also available
with wider load bed.
Crew cab pick-up: a flatbed truck with extended cab and two rows
of seats, also called a Doka, from the German: Doppelkabine (double
Westfalia camping van: these were Type 2 conversions carried
out by Westfalia who were subcontracted by Volkswagen.
Adventurewagen camping van: with high roof and camping units
from Adventurewagen, previously called Adventure Campers of California.
Semi-camping van: that can also still be used as a passenger
car and transporter, sacrificing some camping comforts. 'Multivan'
Apart from these factory variants, there were a multitude of third-party
conversions available, some of which were offered through Volkswagen
dealers. They included, but were not limited to, refrigerated vans,
hearses, ambulances, police vans, fire engines and ladder trucks, and
camping van conversions by companies other than Westfalia. Like
the Beetle, the van has received numerous nicknames worldwide,
such as the 'Microbus', 'Minibus', 'Kombi' and, due to its popularity
during 60s, the 'Hippie Van'.