very few were actually produced prior to 1945, the Beetle undoubtedly
went on to become one of the major success stories of the 20th Century.
The car that needs little introduction, Adolf Hitler's dream of
building a low-cost car for the masses has proved to be a huge hit
for decades and now boasts over 21 million sales, and production
continued until recently in South America.
Designed by Ferdinand Porsche
with a rear-engined, air-cooled design,
very few were actually produced prior to 1939 and production did
not continue until 1945, then as a 1100cc model with non-syncro
gearbox, cable brakes and very little chrome.
Growing in size from 1131cc to 1200cc through the 50's, the range
expanded with the attractive Karmann Ghia
sports models and a cabriolet
with a pram-like hood.
As other vehicles became faster and more powerful, the beetle too
had larger engines installed (1300 and 1500 models) throughout the
Buyers did however start to tire of the Beetles noisy and slow characteristics,
and German made beetles began to decline after VW introduced the
incredibly popular front-engined Golf
Production finally ceased in 1977. Today, the Beetle is somewhat
of a 'cult' car, and "split-window" models from the early 50's,
as well as Karmann Ghia and Cabriolet models can command high prices.