The People's Car

January 02, 1998

Volkswagen Beetle was originally known as Kafer, a word in German which means "Beetle." The VW then became the most famous small car model in the world due to its superiority in comfort compared to other European small cars and also because of its unique design. It also becomes the generation trade mark style for many decades until now.

Adolf Hitler was the inventor of VW Beetle in 1924 while he was imprisoned in jail. He came up with the idea when he was trying to find the solution to the unemployment problem in Germany. His passion in cars, although he never obtained a driving license, definitely played a big part in the idea. With the production of the people's car (aptly named "Volkswagen"), the average man would be able to afford a small, compact vehicle and the government would need to build autobahns as the infrastructure support for the cars. His ideas was proposed as a solution for a fledging economy. Once the Nazi ruled the project was started immediately.

There were no other cars which could compete with the momentum the Beetle had seized. No other creators could compete with the comfort, price, and reliability. The Beetle came with 62 mph max speed for 42 miles per gallon, air-cooled engine, and space for 2 adults and 3 children for under $200 market price. In other words, the Beetle had been the support of West Germany economic miracle.

VW Beetle also served as a change in trend and style. It symbolized the stability, self-discipline and lust for life. It was soon becoming the best seller in USA and a benchmark for US compact cars. Beetle also ranks fourth in the 20 most influential cars in 20th century.

Small variations then took place in 1970's. Super Beetle was launched offering MacPherson strut front suspension. There were also several changes in design and fuel injection system from 1971 to 1976.

The 1976's version did not only undergo engineering changes, it also underwent some cosmetic changes mainly in paint and interiors such as adjusted and improved seats, full carpets, blinkers in front bumpers, etc. In complete, the engineering changes in 1976 Beetle were dual port 1600cc engine, rear window defogger, front disc brakes, two speed air fresh fans, elephant's foot tail lights, trim chrome plated, and rubber inserts in the bumper bars. The Beetle stopped being produced in Germany on January 1978. In 1979 the United States stopped the importation of air-cooled Volkswagens. Production of the Beetle continued until 2003 in Puebla, Mexico.

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