1. VOLKSWAGEN

    'BEETLE' DE LUXE Meer informatie

    1951

    Standard Silhouette VOLKSWAGEN - 'BEETLE' DE LUXE - 1951

This early Volkswagen Beetle has the distinctive split rear window. In 1953 this was replaced with an oval window and later it became rectangular. The rest of the car effectively remained unchanged and for years the parts were interchangeable. This, together with the fact that the car was virtually indestructible, contributed to the enormous popularity of the Beetle. In 2003, when production ceased, this model achieved the highest production rate until that time, with a total output of 22 million cars.

Its ruggedness was due to the fact that the Beetle had already been tested extensively in difficult circumstances before and during World War II. It was used in different versions for military purposes. The compact, air-cooled rear engine proved its worth in low as well as high temperatures; it did not freeze or overheat.

The Volkswagen, or ‘people's car’, was commissioned by Adolf Hitler and developed by Ferdinand Porsche. However, there is strong evidence that in fact it was not Porsche who developed the VW, but rather Josef Ganz, a Jewish engineer and automobile designer. Shortly after the start of World War II Ganz escaped from Germany and fled to Switzerland.

After the war, the Allies ensured the Beetle was made available to consumers, and in 1947 the Netherlands became the first country to import the Volkswagen. The millionth Beetle rolled off the production line in 1955.