Top 5 Production Numbers: Number 1

Top 5 Production Numbers: Volkswagen Beetle

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 1945 - 1977
  Flat 4.
  1131-1584 cc
  25-50 bhp
  4 spd. man
Top Speed:
  80-135 km/h
Number Built:
Although 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 1960's.

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 in 1974.

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.
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