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Volkswagen Type 1
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Also called Veedub, Volkswagen Beetle,
Volkswagen Bug (unofficially)
also see list of international names & nicknames for the Type 1
Production 1938–2003
21,529,464 built
(of which 15,444,858 in Germany, incl. 330,251 Cabriolets,[1]
and ≈ 3,350,000 in Brazil)
Assembly Wolfsburg, Hanover, Emden, Ingolstadt, Osnabrück, Germany
Melbourne, Australia
Brussels, Belgium
São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Jakarta, Indonesia
Dublin, Ireland
Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Auckland, New Zealand
Lagos, Nigeria
Manila, Philippines
Uitenhage, South Africa
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
Successor Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Jetta (Sedan)
Volkswagen New Beetle
Volkswagen Gol (in Brazil)
Class Subcompact
Economy car
Body style(s)
2-door sedan
2-door convertible
Layout rear engine,
rear-wheel drive
Engine(s) 1.1 L H4
1.2 L H4
1.3 L H4
1.5 L H4
1.6 L H4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual transaxle,
3-speed clutchless manual ("Autostick")

The Volkswagen Beetle, also known as the Volkswagen Type 1, was an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. It used an air cooled rear engined rear wheel drive (RR layout). Over 21 million Beetles were produced in all.[2]

In the 1950s, it was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars, having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn, and ultimately became the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design. It remained a top seller in the US, even as rear-wheel drive conventional subcompacts were refined, and eventually replaced by front-wheel drive models. Its success owed much to its extremely high build quality, and innovative, eye-catching advertising. The Beetle car was the benchmark for both generations of American compact cars such as the Chevrolet Corvair, and subcompact cars such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. It was the German equivalent and counterpart to the Morris Minor, Renault 4CV, Citroen 2CV, Fiat 600, Saab 92, and Volvo PV444 immediate post-war European economy cars. The 1948 Citroen 2CV was the beginning of a switch to front wheel drive by European manufacturers in the 1960s and 1970s after nearly going bankrupt[citation needed]. Volkswagen were among the last to change with the Golf. The Beetle was 13 ft (4.0 m) long and the Mini was only 10 ft (3.0 m), but they had similar interior space[citation needed].

The car was originally known as Käfer, the German word for "beetle", from which the popular English nickname originates. It was not until August 1967 that the Volkswagen corporation itself began using the name "Beetle" in marketing materials in the US. Previously, it had only been known as either the "Type 1" or as the VW 1100, 1200, 1300, 1500, or 1600 which had been the names under which the vehicle was marketed in Europe; the numbers denoted the vehicle's approximate engine size in cubic centimetres. In 1998, many years after the original model had been dropped from the lineup in most of the world (production continued in Mexico until discontinued, officially on 9 July 2003[3]), VW introduced the "New Beetle" (built on a Volkswagen Golf Mk4 platform) which bore a visual resemblance to the original.

In an international poll for the award of the world's most influential car of the twentieth century the Beetle came fourth after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.[4]




"The People's Car"

Advertisement from c.1939 says "Five marks a week you must put aside - If in your own car you want to ride!")

Starting in 1931, Ferdinand Porsche and Zündapp developed the Porsche Type 12, or "Auto für Jedermann" (car for everybody). Porsche already preferred the flat-4 cylinder engine, and selected a swing axle rear suspension (invented by Edmund Rumpler), while Zündapp used a water-cooled 5-cylinder radial engine. In 1932, three prototypes were running.[5] All of those cars were lost during the war, the last in a bombing raid in Stuttgart in 1945.

Porsche Type 12, 1931/32 by Zündapp, Nürnberg

The Zündapp prototypes were followed by the Porsche Type 32, built in 1933 by NSU Motorenwerke AG, another motorcycle company.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a "Volks-Wagen" (literally, "people's car" in German, in which it is pronounced [ˈfolksvɑːgən]). Hitler required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet),[6] at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle (an average income being around 32RM a week).[7]

Erwin Komenda, Porsche's chief designer, was responsible for the design and style of the car. But production only became worthwhile when finance was backed by the Third Reich. War started before large-scale production of the Volkswagen started, and manufacturing shifted to producing military vehicles. Production of civilian VW automobiles did not start until post-war occupation.

Production up to 1945


Initially called the Porsche Type 60 by Ferdinand Porsche, the car was officially named the KdF-Wagen by Hitler when the project was launched. The name refers to Kraft durch Freude ('Strength Through Joy'), the official leisure organization in the Third Reich. It was later known as the Volkswagen Type 1, but became more commonly known as the Beetle after World War II.

In October 1935 the first Type 60 was ready. In 1935 testing of the first three "VW3" prototypes, built in Porsche's Stuttgart shop,[8] began. Thirty "VW30" pre-production models, produced by Daimler-Benz,[9] underwent 1,800,000 mi (2,900,000 km)[9] of further testing in 1937. All cars already had the distinctive round shape and the air-cooled, rear-mounted engine. Also available was a rollback soft top called the Cabrio Limousine.[10] Early production "VW38" cars had split windows; both the split window and the dash were retained on production Type 1s until 1952.[9]

The factory had only produced a handful of cars by start of the war in 1939. Consequently, the first volume-produced versions of the car's chassis were military vehicles, the Type 82 Kübelwagen (approximately 52,000 built) and the amphibious Type 166 Schwimmwagen (about 14,000 built).

The car was designed to be as simple as possible mechanically, so that there was less to go wrong; the aircooled 25 hp (19 kW) 995 cc (60.7 cu in)[11] motors proved especially effective in actions of the German Afrika Korps in Africa's desert heat. This was due to the built-in oil cooler and the superior performance of the flat-4 engine configuration. The innovative suspension design used compact torsion bars instead of coil or leaf springs. The Beetle is more or less airtight and will float on water; indeed, it is hard to slam the door on one since the difference in air pressure pushes it back before it shuts.[citation needed]

The model village of Stadt des KdF-Wagens was created in Lower Saxony in 1938 for the benefit of the workers at the factory.

A handful of Beetles were produced specifically for civilians, primarily for the Nazi elite, in the years 1940–1945, but production figures were small. Because of gasoline shortages, a few wartime "Holzbrenner" Beetles were fueled by wood pyrolysis gas producers under the hood. In addition to the Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, and a handful of others, the factory managed another wartime vehicle: the Kommandeurwagen; a Beetle body mounted on the Kübelwagen chassis.

669 Kommandeurwagens were produced up to 1945, when all production was halted because of heavy damage to the factory by Allied air raids. Much of the essential equipment had already been moved to underground bunkers for protection, which let production resume quickly after hostilities ended.

Influence of Tatra

Much of the Beetle’s design was inspired by the advanced Czech Tatra cars, designed under chief engineer Hans Ledwinka. In particular, Tatra’s T97 and T77a models show striking similarities with the later Volkswagen from many angles.

Tatras of the 1930s used streamlined bodies with rear-mounted engines. The T97,[12] which is widely held to be the closest Tatra model to Porsche’s Volkswagen, had a four-cylinder horizontally-opposed (‘flat four’) air-cooled engine. On a smaller scale, the company’s V570, a prototype for a smaller car, also shows quite a resemblance to the later German car.

But it wasn’t just Tatra’s aerodynamic styling that influenced Porsche. Tatra had pioneered the use of air-cooling in road vehicle engines with the original T77 in 1934. Air-cooling was demanding technologically, but desirable: there was no anti-freeze in the 1930s[citation needed], so a vehicle could not be left parked for long in cold weather with its coolant in situ. Tatra’s wealthy customers could afford to pay for advanced technology, but Ferdinand Porsche was out on a limb in specifying air-cooling for his people’s car. In the end, it was subsidies from the Nazi government that paid for Porsche’s engineering good taste and brought the convenience of air-cooling to a mass audience — albeit only after World War II.

According to the book Car Wars, Adolf Hitler called the Tatra "the kind of car I want for my highways".[13] In the same book, it is said that Ferdinand Porsche admitted "to have looked over Ledwinka’s shoulder" while designing the Volkswagen.[13] Tatra launched a lawsuit, but this was stopped when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. At the same time, Tatra was forced to stop producing the T97. The matter was re-opened after World War II and in 1961 Volkswagen paid Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Marks in compensation. These damages meant that Volkswagen had little money for the development of new models and the Beetle's production life was necessarily extended. Tatra ceased producing passenger cars in 1950, then resumed again in 1954 as a manufacturer of large luxurious cars and limousines under various Communist governments in Czechoslovakia. Even the company’s last limousines were rear-engined and air cooled.

Tatra is now a truck manufacturer. All its engines are still air-cooled, despite the demands of modern emissions regulations.

Post-war production and boom

In occupied Germany, the Allies followed the Morgenthau plan to remove all German war potential by complete or partial pastoralization. As part of this, in the Industrial plans for Germany, the rules for which industry Germany was to be allowed to retain were set out. German car production was set at a maximum of 10% of the 1936 car production numbers.[14]

The Volkswagen factory was handed over by the Americans to British control in 1945; it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain.[15] Thankfully for Volkswagen, no British car manufacturer was interested in the factory; "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car ... it is quite unattractive to the average buyer ... To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise."[15] The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead.[15] Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid 1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. In March 1947, Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating

"There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a 'pastoral state'. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it."[16]

The re-opening of the factory is largely accredited to British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst (1916–2000).[17] Hirst was ordered to take control of the heavily-bombed factory, which the Americans had captured. His first task was to remove an unexploded bomb which had fallen through the roof and lodged itself between some pieces of irreplaceable production equipment; if the bomb had exploded, the Beetle's fate would have been sealed. Hirst persuaded the British military to order 20,000 of the cars,[7] and by 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month. During this period, the car reverted to its original name of Volkswagen and the town was renamed Wolfsburg. The first 1,785 Beetles were made in 1945.

The jeweled one-millionth VW Beetle

Following the British Army-led restart of production, former Opel manager (and formerly a detractor of the Volkswagen) Heinz Nordhoff was appointed director of the Volkswagen factory.[7] Under Nordhoff, production increased dramatically over the following decade, with the one-millionth car coming off the assembly line by 1955. During this post-war period, the Beetle had superior performance in its category with a top speed of 115 km/h (71 mph) and 0–100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 27.5 seconds on 36 mpg (15 km/l) for the standard 25 kW (34 hp) engine. This was far superior to the Citroën 2CV and Morris Minor, and even competitive with more modern small cars like the Austin Mini.

In Small Wonder, Walter Henry Nelson wrote:

"The engine fires up immediately without a choke. It has tolerable road-handling and is economical to maintain. Although a small car, the engine has great elasticity and gave the feeling of better output than its small nominal size."

Opinion in the United States was not flattering, however, perhaps because of the characteristic differences between the American and European car markets. Henry Ford II once described the car as "a little box."[citation needed] The Ford company was offered the entire VW works after the war for free. Ford's right-hand man Ernest Breech was asked what he thought, and told Henry II, "What we're being offered here, Mr. Ford, isn't worth a damn!" With that, the Ford Motor Company lost out on the chance to build the world's most popular car since their own Model T.

During the 1950s, the car was modified progressively: the obvious visual changes mostly concerned the rear windows.[18] In March 1953, the small oval two-piece rear window was replaced by a slightly larger single-piece window. More dramatically, in August 1957 a much larger full width rear window replaced the oval one. 1964 saw the introduction of a widened cover for the light over the rear licence plate. Towards the end of 1964, the height of the side windows and windscreen grew slightly, giving the cabin a less pinched look: this coincided with the introduction of a very slightly curved ("panoramic") windscreen, though the curve was barely noticeable. The same body appeared during 1966, with a 1300 cc engine in place of the 1200 cc engine: it was only in the 1973 model Super Beetle that the Beetle acquired an obviously curved windscreen. The flat windscreen remained on the standard Beetle.

There were also changes under the bonnet. In 1954, Volkswagen added 2 mm to the cylinder bore, increasing the displacement from 1,131 cc to 1,192 cc.[19] This coincided with upgrades to various key components including a redesign of the crankshaft. This increased power from 33 bhp to a claimed 40 bhp and improved the engine's free revving abilities without compromising torque at lower engine speeds.[19] At the same time, compression ratios were progressively raised as, little by little, the octane ratings of available fuel was raised in major markets during the 1950s and 1960s.[19]

There were other, less-numerous models, as well. The Hebmüller cabriolet (officially Type 14A), a sporty two-seater, was built between 1949 and 1953; it numbered 696. The Type 18A, a fixed-top cabriolet, was produced by Austro-Tatra as a police and fire unit; 203 were assembled between January 1950 and March 1953.[20]

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 total redesigns of the Corolla, each amounting to a new car design with the same name.


In 1951, Volkswagen prototyped a 1.3 L diesel engine. Volkswagen made only 2 air-cooled boxer diesel engines that were not turbocharged, and installed one engine in a Type 1 and another in a Type 2. The diesel Beetle was time tested on the Nürburgring and achieved 0–100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 60 seconds.[21]

Introduction to Ireland

Volkswagen began its involvement in Ireland when in 1949, Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty secured the franchise for the country at that years Paris Motor Show.[22][23] In 1950, Volkswagen Beetles started arriving into Dublin packed in crates in what was termed "completely knocked down" (CKD) form ready to be assembled. The vehicles were assembled in a former tram depot at 162 Shelbourne Road in Ballsbridge. This is now the premises for Ballsbridge Motors who are still a Volkswagen dealer. The first Volkswagen ever assembled outside Germany was built here.[24] This vehicle is now on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg.[25]

Introduction to the UK

The first Volkswagen Beetle dealer in the UK was J.Gilder & Co. Ltd. in Sheffield, which began selling Volkswagens in 1953.[26] Jack Gilder had been fascinated by both the design and engineering of the Beetle when he came across one in Belgium during the war.[citation needed] He applied for the franchise as soon as the opportunity presented itself and became Volkswagen’s representative in the North of England.

VW Beetle 1953-1957

During this period, the rear windscreen of the VW Beetle lost the "bar" in the center and as a result has been referred to as the "oval" beetle. Arguably, the oval beetle is perceived to represent the peak in quality of manufacture: for example, the grade and thickness of steel for the bodyshell was of the highest quality. Another example is the "Wolfsburg" crest on the front of the bonnet (or tailgate) was of the highest quality. In later years, as a sign of cost cutting, the crest was phased out.[citation needed]

VW Beetle 1967

1967 Volkswagen Beetle
Engine(s) 1500 cc OHV H4, 40 kilowatts (54 hp) @ 4200 rpm, 105 N·m (77 lb·ft) @ 2600,
bore 83 mm,
stroke 69 mm,
comp ratio 7.5:1
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 4,079 mm (160.6 in)
Width 1,539 mm (60.6 in)

The Volkswagen Beetle underwent significant changes for the 1967 model. While the car appeared similar to earlier models, much of the drivetrain was noticeably upgraded. Some of the changes to the Beetle included a bigger engine for the second year in a row. Horsepower had been increased to 37 kW (50 hp) the previous year, and for 1967 it was increased even more, to 40 kW (54 hp).

On US models, the output of the electrical generator was increased from 180 to 360 watts, and upgraded from a 6-volt to a 12-volt system. The clutch disc also increased in size, and changes were made to the flywheel, braking system, and rear axle. New standard equipment included two-speed windscreen wipers, reversing lights, a driver's armrest on the door, locking buttons on the doors, and a passenger's side exterior mirror.

In February 1967, inventor Don P. Dixon of San Antonio, Texas filed and was ultimately granted a patent for the first air conditioning unit specifically designed for the Beetle, which were soon offered by US dealerships.[27]

The 1967 model weighed 840 kg (1,900 lb), which was a typical weight for a European car at this time. Top speed was 130 km/h (81 mph).

For 1968, in accord with the newly-enacted U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, the clear glass headlamp covers were deleted; the headlamps were brought forward to the leading edge of the front fenders, and the sealed-beam units were exposed and surrounded by chrome bezels. At the same time, Beetles sold outside North America received the same more upright and forward headlamp placement, but with replaceable-bulb headlamps compliant with ECE regulations rather than the U.S. sealed beams.

The Super Beetle and final evolution

VW 1303 (1973)

In 1971, while production of the "standard" Beetle continued, a Type 1 variant called the Super Beetle (also known as the VW 1302 from 1971–1972, and VW 1303 from 1973 onwards), introduced MacPherson strut front suspension, which required a significant redesign of the front end. This resulted not only in a better turning radius (despite having a 20 mm longer wheelbase), but because of the replacement of the bulky dual parallel torsion bar beams which had intruded upward into a large area within the trunk, and the stretched "nose" of the vehicle which permitted the relocation of the spare tire from a near vertical to a low horizontal position, this opened up approximately double the usable luggage space in the front compartment. Air pressure was used from the spare tire to pressurize the windshield washer canister, as an electric pump was not used.

1972 Super Beetles had a slightly larger rear window, larger front brakes, and four rows of vents (versus two rows previously) on the engine deck lid. The tail lights now incorporated reversing lights. The "four spoke" steering wheel and steering column were re-engineered to the "energy absorbing" design for better crash safety. A socket for the VW Dealer Diagnosis was fitted inside the engine compartment.

In 1973, the VW 1303 introduced a more aerodynamically curved windscreen, pushed forward and away from the passengers, purportedly due to US Department of Transportation safety requirements. This allowed for a redesigned, "padded" dashboard (all pre-73 Beetles had virtually no horizontal dash area). A 2-speed heater fan, higher rear mudguards, and larger tail lights (nicknamed 'elephant's feet') were added. The changes to the heater/windshield wiper housing and curved windshield resulted in slight redesign of the front hood, making the 1971 and 1972 Super Beetle hoods unique.

For 1974, the previous flat steel bumper mounting brackets were replaced with tubular "self restoring energy absorbing" attachments, effectively shock absorbers for the bumpers. The steering knuckle and consequently the lower attach point of the strut was redesigned to improve handling and stability in the event of a tire blowout. This makes the struts from pre-74 Supers not interchangeable with 1974-79 makes.[28]

1975 brought the replacement of carburettors with Air Flow Control (AFC) Fuel Injection on U. S. and Canadian Beetles, a derivative of the more complex Bosch fuel injection system used in the Volkswagen Type III. The fuel injected engine also received a new muffler and the option of an upstream catalytic converter required on some models (e.g. California), necessitating a bulge in the rear apron sheet metal directly under the rear bumper, and replacing the distinctive dual "pea shooter" pipes with a single offset tailpipe, all of which make the fuel injected models easy to identify at a glance. Other changes were rack and pinion steering vs. the traditional worm and roller gearbox, and a larger license plate lamp housing below the engine lid. The front turn indicators were moved from the top of the fenders into the bumper bars on European models, a portend of the "Euro look" style years later by Beetle restorers.

In 1976, the hardtop Super Beetle and 1300 were discontinued (though convertibles remained Super Beetles through 1979) and replaced with an 'improved' standard Beetle with 1600 cc engine, independent rear suspension, front disc brakes, blinkers in the front bumpers, elephant's foot tail lights and rubber inserts in the bumper bars. The "Auto-stick" transmission was eventually dropped. 1976-on Super Beetles saw no significant engineering changes, only a few cosmetic touches and new paint options, including the "Champagne Edition" models (white on white was one example) to the final 1979 "Epilogue Edition" black on black, in salute to the first Beetles produced in the 1930s.

The Beetle Cabriolet

The Beetle Cabriolet began production in 1949 by Karmann in Osnabrück. It was in 1948 when Wilhelm Karmann bought a VW Beetle limousine and converted it into a four-seated convertible. After successfully presenting it at VW in Wolfsburg, production started in 1949. After a number of stylistic and technical alterations made to the Karmann Cabriolet (corresponding to the many changes VW made to the Beetle throughout its history), the last of 331,847 cabriolets came off the conveyor belt on 10 January 1980.


VW 1300 (1972) with an aftermarket rain shield over the engine hatch air vents.

Though extremely successful in the 1960s, the Beetle was faced with stiff competition from more modern designs. The Japanese had refined rear-wheel-drive, water-cooled, front-engine small cars to where they sold well in the North American market, and Americans introduced their own similarly sized rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto and AMC Gremlin in the 1970s. The superminis in Europe adopted even more efficient transverse-engine front-wheel-drive layouts, and sales began dropping off in the mid 1970s. There had been several unsuccessful attempts to replace or supplement the Beetle in the VW product line throughout the 1960s; the Type 3, Type 4, and the NSU-based K70 were all less successful than the Beetle, though aimed at more upscale markets for which VW lacked credibility. The over-reliance on the Beetle meant that Volkswagen was in financial crisis by 1974. It needed German government funding to produce the Beetle's replacement. Only when production lines at Wolfsburg switched to the new watercooled, front-engined, front-wheel drive Golf designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1974, (sold in North America as the "Rabbit") did Volkswagen produce a car as successful as the Beetle. The Golf would be periodically redesigned over its lifetime - entering its sixth generation in 2008 - with only a few components carried over between generations, while the Beetle used only minor refinements of its original design.

The Golf did not kill Beetle production, which continued in smaller numbers at other German factories until 19 January 1978, when mainstream production shifted to Brazil and Mexico, markets where low operating cost was more important. It is important to note that the Beetle Cabriolet was still produced for the North American market in Germany until 10 January 1980. The last Beetle was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in July 2003.[3] The final batch of 3,000 Beetles were sold as 2004 models and badged as the Última Edición, with whitewall tires, a host of previously-discontinued chrome trim, and the choice of two special paint colors taken from the New Beetle. Production in Brazil ended in 1986, then started again in 1993 and continued until 1996. Volkswagen sold Beetle sedans in the United States until August 1977 (the Beetle convertible a.k.a. Cabriolet was sold until January 1980) and in Europe until 1985, with private companies continuing to import cars produced in Mexico even after production of the Beetle had ended.

The Beetle outlasted most other automobiles which had copied the rear air-cooled engine layout such as those by Subaru, Fiat, Renault and General Motors. Porsche's sport coupes which were originally based on Volkswagen parts and platforms continue to use the classic rear engine layout (but water-cooled and moved forwards) in the Porsche 911 series, which remains competitive in the 2000s.

The Beetle in other countries

Other countries produced Beetles from CKD (complete knockdown kits): Ireland, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, and Nigeria have assembled Beetles under license from VW.[29]

Beetles produced in Mexico and Brazil had several differences:

Beetles in Brazil

  • Brazilian production started in 1950, with parts imported from Germany. In 1959, the cars were 100% made in Brazil. The car was made until 1986. In 1993 production started again but only continued till 1996. The Brazilian version retained the 1958-1964 body style (Europe and U.S. version) with the thick door pillars and small quarter glass; this body style was also produced in Mexico until 1971. Around 1973, Brazilian Beetles were updated with the 1968+ sheetmetal, bumpers, and 4-lug rims; although the 5-stud rims and "bugeye" headlights were produced as late as 1972 (the base VW 1200 was similar to the 1964 European/U.S. 1200). Brazilian CKD kits (complete knock down) were shipped to Nigeria between 1975-1987 where Beetles were locally produced. The Brazilian-produced versions have been sold in neighboring South American nations bordering Brazil, including Argentina and Peru.
  • In Brazil, the beetle is called "Fusca".
  • The Brazilian VW Bug have four different sized engines: 1200 cc, 1300 cc, 1500 cc, and, finally, 1600 cc. In the 1970s, Volkswagen made the SP-2 (derived from the VW Beetle chassis and powertrain) that used an air-cooled 1700 cc VW engine that was a regular 1600 cc engine with its engine displacement increased by the usage of large diameter cylinders. In Brazil the VW Bug never received electronic fuel injection (the air-cooled flat four engine from the Beetle received this, but to equip solely the VW Kombi later models), but, instead, retained single or double-single carburetion throughout its entire life, although the carburetion specs differs from engines of different years and specs.
  • The production of the air-cooled engine finally ended in 2006, after more than 60 years. It was last used in the Brazilian version of the VW Bus, called the "Kombi", and was replaced by a 1.4 L water-cooled engine with a front-mounted cooling system.
1996 Mexican Volkswagen Beetle. The last one with chrome moldings.
2003 Mexican Volkswagen Beetle.

The Volkswagen Type 1 chassis was used as the basis for an anti-mine APC called the Leopard security vehicle, which was fielded by Rhodesia during the Rhodesian Bush War.[citation needed]

Beetles in Mexico

Mexican production began in 1955 due to agreements with companies such as Chrysler in Mexico and Studebaker-Packard Company which assembled cars imported in CKD form. In 1964, they began to be locally produced. These models have the larger windshield, rear window, door and quarter glass starting in 1971; and the rear window from 1965-71 German built models was used on the Mexican models from 1972–1985, when it was replaced with the larger rear window used on 1972 and later German built Beetles. This version, after the mid-1970s, saw little change with the incorporation of electronic ignition in 1988, an anti-theft alarm system in 1990, a catalytic converter in 1991 (as required by law), as well as electronic fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, and a spin-on oil filter in 1993. The front turn signals were located in the bumper instead of the Beetle's traditional placement on top of the front fenders from the 1977 model year on, as they had been on German Beetles sold in Europe of the same time period. Starting in 1995, the Mexican Beetle included front disc brakes and front automatic seat belts, and starting with the 1996 model, the chrome moldings disappeared leaving body colored bumpers and black moldings instead.

In mid-1996, front drum brakes and fixed front seat belts were re-launched in a new budget version called the "Volkswagen Sedán City", which was sold alongside the upscale version "Volkswagen Sedán Clásico" which had front disc brakes, automatic seat belts, right side mirror, velour upholstery, optional metallic colors and wheel covers in matte finish (also found on some 1980s Beetles and Buses). These two versions were sold until 1999. From late 1999-2003, The Sedán Clásico was discontinued and the Sedán City lost its prefix and gained disc brakes, automatic seat belts and optional metallic colors. This last version was named the "Volkswagen Sedán Unificado" or simply the "Volkswagen Sedán".

Independent importers continued to supply several major countries, including Germany, France, and the UK until the end of production in 2003. Devoted fans of the car even discovered a way to circumvent US safety regulations by placing more recently manufactured Mexican Beetles on the floorpans of earlier, US-registered cars. The Mexican Beetle (along with its Brazilian counterpart) was on the US DOT's (Department of Transportation) hot list of gray market imports after 1978 as the vehicle did not meet safety regulations.

In the Southwest US (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas), Mexican Beetles (and some Brazilian T2c Transporters) are a fairly common sight since Mexican nationals can legally operate the vehicle in the United States, provided the cars remain registered in Mexico.

The end of production in Mexico can be attributed primarily to Mexican political measures: the Beetles no longer met emissions standards for Mexico City, in which the ubiquitous Beetles were used as taxicabs; and the government outlawed their use as taxicabs because of rising crime rates, requiring only four-door vehicles be used. In addition, Volkswagen (now Germany's largest automaker) has been attempting to cultivate a more upscale, premium brand image, and the humble Beetle, with its US$7000 base price, clashed with this identity, as seen in the Touareg and Passat luxury vehicles. In the late 1990s consumers strongly preferred more modern cars such as the Mexican Chevy, the Nissan Tsuru, and the Volkswagen Pointer and Lupo.

Beetles in Australia

Official importation of the Volkswagen Beetle into Australia began in 1953 with local assembly operations commencing the following year. Volkswagen Australia was formed in 1957 and by 1960 locally produced panels were being used for the first time. Australian content had reached almost 95%; by 1967, however, declining sales saw the company revert to using imported components the following year. In 1976, Volkswagen ceased Australian assembly operations, their factory in Clayton, Victoria was sold to Nissan Australia and all Volkswagens were once again fully imported.[30]

Many Australian or "Australasian" Beetles had accessories or modifications made for the Australian road[citation needed].

There was also an Australian-built vehicle based on the Type 1 known as the Volkswagen Country Buggy as well as a coupe similar to the Karmann Ghia based on the Beetle called the Ascort.

Beetle customization

Baja Bug-style modified Beetle

The Beetle is popular with customizers throughout the world, not only because it is cheap and easy to work on, but because its iconic looks can be personalised and the flat four motor is so tunable. Its very ubiquity makes even subtle changes noticeable.


There are many popular Beetle styles, from a 'Cal Looker' to a Rat rod. They vary between themselves, but are very similar in many ways. Also, the California Look has changed during the 30+ years of its lifespan. The most typical way to customise the exterior is to change the wheels and lower the suspension of the car. The favorite wheels are period-style EMPI 5- or 8-spokes, Speedwell BRMs, or Porsche factory rims like Fuchs from the classic 911. One of the original California Look modifications is to replace or remove the bumpers and trim, either to give a cleaner look or to reduce the curb weight; if bumpers are removed, pushbars are common. The stock bumpers are usually chromed or polished, sometimes painted or powder coated. There are many clubs dedicated to 'Cal Look', including the DKP ('Der Kleiner Panzers', or in English, 'The little Tanks') in the USA, which was one of the first clubs dedicated to true 'Cal Look' cars. There are also currently many big 'Cal Look' VW clubs based in Europe, including the DAS (Das Autobahn Scrapers) in Belgium, the DFL (Der Fieser Luftkühlers) in Germany and the JG54 Grünherz (Greenhearts) in the UK.

For a 'Resto Cal' look, a roof rack and similar accessories can be added. There are many other aftermarket parts that can be added to the Beetle, including wing mirrors, chrome wipers, stone guards, mud flaps, and badges. Rear light and front indicator lenses can also be changed.

VW Beetle modified in 70s California Look style

For a more custom look, smoothing and shaving the body (removing trim and other parts) is done, including door handles, badges and driprails, and replacing taillights and front indicators with smaller, simpler units. Frenching (tunnelling) headlights, frequent in non-VW customs and rods, is not common, but dramatic lowering is, and unusual hood and trunk hinging are commonplace. Another exterior modification that is seen occasionally is for the roof to be chopped and lowered just like other non beetle hot rods and customs, giving a meaner, lower and sleeker appearance.

violet 1966 beetle


Many Beetle owners try to keep their Beetle interior stock. Others will fit a sound system, which usually consists of a head unit and possibly some speakers and a subwoofer (usually mounted in the front of the car). Aftermarket steering wheels can be added along with auxiliary gauges. For a true race look, the interior can be stripped and a full roll cage installed, along with bucket seats and race harnesses although bucket seating is already the default seating for a Beetle.

The VW Type 1 chassis, being easily separated from its original body without removal of engine, transmission, or suspension, has provided the basis for countless custom re-bodyings, usually of fiberglass and usually replicating other, less humble vehicles. Mercedes, MG and Porsche replicas are among the popular choices. The more successful being the Sterling sports car in the 70's Fiberglass body kits with its all original body styling. These "kit cars", although derided by many for their lack of authenticity, provide to their owners a much cheaper, often more-reliable means of enjoying a dream vehicle.


Volvo B18/B20 engine fitted to VW Beetle for racing.

Because most parts of the flat-4 engine other than the crankcase are bolted on, they are easily exchanged with larger or more high-performance items. The standard VW engine has been modified from 1600 cc (the largest factory-produced Type 1 engine) to configurations well over 2400 cc using larger piston/cylinder kits. Various performance-enhancing parts, from cylinder heads to superchargers (such as that offered by Judson for the Type 1 as early as 1952)[31] to turbochargers, are available. A variety of other powerplants, including the VW Type 4 (also used in the 914) 2 L flat four, Chevy Corvair and Porsche 911 flat sixes have been used; some hot rodders even occasionally fitted Chevy V8s. Turbocharged flat 4s from Subaru or Alfa Romeo have been used as well. Kits for installing Rover V8 engines have also been available. These variants tend to be mated to the stronger Type 2 (Bus, Combi) transmission. Dual carb setups are very common on Beetles (especially the 1600 cc dual port engine) as well as EFI. Also a wide range of exhaust systems are available. 4-into-1 headers are very popular, and are often used with a stinger, glasspack, or more modern "quiet pack" mufflers.

Beetles in motorsport

Drag racing

The Beetle is widely used in drag racing;[citation needed] its rearward (RR layout) weight distribution keeps the weight over the rear wheels, maximizing grip off the starting line. The car's weight is reduced for a full competition drag beetle, further improving the grip and also the power to weight ratio. Combined with the beetle's RR layout, wheelies can be achieved easily, but time "in the air" worsens 1/4 mile time. To prevent this, "wheelie bars" are added.

Formula Vee

The Beetle is also used as the basis for the Formula Vee open-wheel racing category — specifically, the front suspension crossmember assembly (the shock absorber mounts are sometimes removed, depending on regulations in the class), and the engine and transaxle assembly (usually the earlier swing-axle type, not the later double-jointed axle).

The beetle components are used because of their availability, low cost and durability. The front suspension geometry and rear suspension geometry (almost always used with a z-bar on the rear) lend the cars a benign handling character, ideal for beginners.[citation needed]

Uniroyal Fun Cup

Volkswagen Beetle-style bodies are fitted to space frame racing chassis, and are used in the Uniroyal Fun Cup, which includes the longest continuous motor-race in the world, the 25 Hours of Spa. It is an affordable entry-level series that gentleman drivers race.

Rally and Rallycross

Especially the Austrian sole distributor Porsche Salzburg (now Porsche Austria) seriously entered the Volkswagen in local and European contests in the 1960s and early 1970s. Starting with the VW 1500, in the mid 1960s the peak of their racing performance was achieved with the VW 1302S and VW 1303S (known as the Salzburg Rally Beetle) from 1971-1973. The vehicles were entered in such famous races as TAP (Portugal), Austrian Alpine, Elba, Acropolis etc. Drivers were top performers such as Tony Fall (GB), Guenter Janger (AUT), Harry Källström (S), Achim Warmbold (D), Franz Wurz (A), etc. The engines were fully customized 1600's delivering 125 hp (93 kW), later on mated to a Porsche 914 five-speed manual gearbox. Victories were achieved in 1973 on Elba for overall and class, Acropolis for class (5th overall), Austrian championship 1972, 1973 January Rallye for overall and class. Rally of 1000 minutes for overall 2nd (1st in class).

The fuel crisis, along with the arrival of the Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit), put an end to the unofficially by Volkswagen supported rally days in 1974. All vehicles either used for training or actual racing were sold off to privateers, and keep racing with noticeable results until the early 1980s.

Trans Am

Beetles were used in Trans-Am in the two liter class from 1966–67 and again in 1972.

Baja 1000

The Baja 1000 off-road race in the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico includes specific vehicle classes for both standard Beetles and Baja Bugs. These can be seen in the documentary movie Dust to Glory.

The classes are as follows :

  • Class 5: Unlimited Baja Bugs
  • Class 5-1600: 1600 cc Baja Bugs
  • Class 11: Stock VW Sedans

Beetle Challenge

The Beetle Challenge is a UK-based circuit racing championship for classic aircooled Volkswagen Beetles. The general concept is to take any Beetle, of any age or model from the 40s through to 1303s, and with minimal restrictions, allowing parts from various years to be interchanged, and of course the cars being prepared to the MSA safety requirements (cage, restraints, fire system etc.) Essentially the cars must be aircooled Beetles (any age and parts can be swapped between years and models), with a 15 in × 6 in max wheel size with a control tyre. Engines must be based on a Type 1 engine case, with no electronic fuel injection or ignition and no forced induction, with an unlimited capacity. Other regulations apply.[32]

New Beetle

2000 VW New Beetle

At the 1994 North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the J Mays-penned "Concept 1", a concept car with futuristic styling deliberately reminiscent of the original Beetle's rounded shape.[citation needed] Strong public reaction[citation needed] convinced the company[citation needed] to move the car into production, and in 1998, close to 20 years after the last original Beetle was sold in the United States, Volkswagen Passenger Cars launched the New Beetle, designed by Mays and Freeman Thomas[citation needed] at the company's California design studio.[citation needed]

New Beetles are manufactured at Volkswagen Group's Puebla, Mexico assembly plant where the last line of factory-built air-cooled Beetles were removed from production.

The New Beetle, with its (water-cooled) engine at the front of the car driving the front wheels, is related to the original only in name, general shape and some styling cues.

In an attempt to stem a trade in grey market imports into the UK,[citation needed] in 1998 VW made available a limited number of New Beetles to those who had signed up to a web campaign a few years earlier.[citation needed] These, officially the first New Beetles in the UK, were available in full UK spec (albeit only in left-hand drive), and started to arrive in the UK in April 1999.[citation needed] Right-hand drive versions arrived at the beginning of 2000, and have sold fairly well.[citation needed]

Phase-out of the original Beetle

The final original beetle (No. 21,529,464, VIN 3VWS1A1B54M905162)

By 2003, Beetle annual production had fallen to 30,000 from a peak of 1.3 million in 1971. On 30 July 2003,[3] the final original VW Beetle (No. 21,529,464) was produced at Puebla, Mexico, some 65 years after its original launch, and an unprecedented 58-year production run since 1945, the year VW recognizes as the first year of non-Nazi funded production. VW announced this step in June, citing decreasing demand. The last car was immediately shipped off to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. In true Mexican fashion, a mariachi band serenaded the last car. In Mexico, there was also an advertising campaign as a goodbye for the Beetle. For example, in one of the ads was a very small parking space on the street, and many big cars tried to park in it, but could not. After a while, a sign appears in that parking space saying: "Es increíble que un auto tan pequeño deje un vacío tan grande" (It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void). Another depicted the rear end of a 1954 Beetle (year in which Volkswagen first established in Mexico) in the left side of the ad, reading "Había una vez..." (Once upon a time...) and the last 2003 Beetle in the right side, reading "Fin" (The end). There were other ads with the same nostalgic tone.[33]

  • Engine: Fuel injected (Bosch Digifant) 4 Cyl horizontally opposed,1584 cc, 50 hp (37 kW), 98.1 N·m (72.4 lb·ft) @2200 rpm, 3-way catalytic converter
  • Rated fuel milage: 32.5 mpg-US (7.24 L/100 km; 39.0 mpg-imp)
  • Max cruising speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)
  • Brakes: front disc, rear drum
  • Passengers: Five
  • Tank: 40 L (11 US gal; 9 imp gal)
  • Colors: Aquarius blue, Harvestmoon beige.

Alternative uses for VW Beetle engines

VW Beetle engine, front view. With cooling casing and fan removed

The air-cooled 4-cylinder horizontally opposed cylinder (a flat four) has been used for many other purposes.

  • From the 1960s, it has been used as an experimental aircraft engine. Companies still produce aero engines derived from the Beetle engine: Limbach, Hapi, Revmasterl and others.
  • Owner-built Kitplanes, notably the Volksplane, are specifically designed to use these engines.
  • Until 2001, Beetle engines were also used to run several of the ski lifts at the Thredbo resort in New South Wales.
  • In remote Australian opal mining communities, VW motors are used as air compressors for air-powered equipment. Two cylinders are used as a motor while the others are modified to produce a flow of compressed air. Dunn-Right, Incorporated of Anderson, South Carolina offers a similar conversion kit.
  • Volkswagen engines have also been use in Australia for fire fighting. Country Fire Authority have often used the engines to drive water pumps,[34] colloquially known as 'Godiva pumps' after the pump the engine drives.[35]
  • In Europe, Beetle engines were used to power mobile water-pumps used by the fire brigade. These pumps have been used from the 1950s till the present day.
  • A Beetle engine drives the rotating Mercedes-Benz emblem on the top of the Europa-Center in Berlin[citation needed].
  • The Zamboni HD ice resurfacer is powered by an LPG-powered Beetle engine.
  • In 1967-68, the portable sawmill maker Mighty Mite of Portland, Oregon used VW engines to power the circular saw blades of light sawmills. Later, as the US market for VW Beetles declined, the sawmill was modified for other power.[citation needed]
  • The Amazonas, a Brazilian-built motorcycle manufactured from 1978 to 1990, uses a modified 1,600 cubic centimetres (98 cu in) Beetle engine and gearbox. With a dry weight that could top 350 kilograms (772 lb), the Amazonas was billed as the world's heaviest production motorcycle. The VW transmission's reverse gear, rare in a two-wheeled vehicle, was a useful feature in such a heavy motorcycle. There was later the Kahena with similar construction.
  • Many "trikes" have been built with Beetle engines.
  • Dune buggies and sandrails are commonly constructed with Beetle engines and other Beetle components.
  • In the United States, many farmers still use the AGCO Corporation "SPRA-COUPE" for fertilizer and pesticide spraying, which were manufactured from the 1960s until the mid 1990s, and due to the good availability of parts are still supported.

In popular culture

Flower Covered Beetle in the greenhouse of Montreal Botanical Gardens

Like its contemporaries, the Mini, the Citroën 2CV, and the Fiat 500, the Beetle has long outlasted predictions of its lifespan. It has been regarded as something of a "cult" car since its 1960s association with the hippie movement and surf culture; and the obvious attributes of its unique and quirky design. (For example, the Beetle could float on water thanks to its sealed floor pans and overall tight construction, as shown in the 1972 Volkswagen commercial [36])

National Lampoon's fake Volkswagen Beetle print ad mocking Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick incident written by Anne Beatts.

In the United States, Volkswagen enthusiasts frequent large Volkswagen-themed car shows, especially in the summer months. Many of these shows feature camping, a car show called a "show 'n' shine", drag racing, parts swap meet, raffles, burnout contests, and other events. Die-hard and loyal "VW-heads" or "Dubbers" attend these shows regularly, often traveling 500 miles (800 km) or more (even abroad) to attend their favorite event.

VW-Vincent, 1999, ARTwork by Heikenwaelder Hugo

Much like their Type 2 counterparts, Beetles were psychedelically painted and considered an ancestor of art cars. One of the logos used by the Houston Art Car Klub incorporated a Beetle with a cowboy hat. Texas artist Bob "Daddy-O" Wade transformed a Beetle into a New Orleans Saints helmet. Currently, there are a wide array of clubs that are concerned with the Beetle. The fans are quite diverse. Looks include the resto-look, Cal Look, German-look, resto-Cal Look, buggies, Baja Bugs, old school, Disney's Herbie the Love Bug replicas, ratlook, etc. Part of their cult status is attributed to being one of a few cars with an air-cooled, horizontally-opposed engine design, and the consequent ease of repair and modification, as opposed to the more conventional and technically complex watercooled engine design. The original flat-four boxer design had fewer than 200 moving parts.

The Beetle has made numerous appearances in Hollywood films, most notably The Love Bug comedy series (Disney) from 1968 to 2005, starring as "Herbie", a pearl-white, fabric-sunroofed 1963 Beetle—racing number 53. In the 1984 series The Transformers, key Autobot character Bumblebee transformed into a Beetle, as well fellow Autobot Glyph and the Decepticon Bugbite. In Cars (2006), every bug or insect is represented by a VW Beetle. In the Nickelodeon TV Series As Told by Ginger, the title character's mother drives a blue Volkswagen Beetle. In Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Ginny Field (Amy Steel) drives a red Beetle Cabrio from circa 1971. In Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Rick (Paul Kratka) drives a beige Beetle from circa 1966. In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Lizbeth (Nancy McLoughlin) drives a white Beetle Cabrio. In Dazed and Confused (1993), a white 1303 appears outside the high school, later one of the students drives a white Beetle Cabrio, and there is another green 1303 standing in the street.

Beetles used as taxis in Mexico City

By 2002, over 21 million Type 1s had been produced. On 30 July 2003, the last Type 1 rolled off the production line in Puebla, Mexico. It was car number 21,529,464, and was immediately shipped off to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. In true Mexican fashion, a big celebration and a mariachi band serenaded the last car in the 68-year-old history. The last car was nicknamed El Rey, which is Spanish for "The King", named after a legendary Mexican song by José Alfredo Jiménez. The last 3000 type 1s were called the "Última Edición" or the final edition.

Names for the Type 1

The VW Beetle is known under many names in many countries, usually local renderings of the word "beetle". Among these are:

  • Käfer in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Volkswagen Sedan
  • Volkswagen Bug
  • Pichirilo in Ecuador
  • Pulga ("Flea"), or "Escarabajo" ("Beetle") in Colombia
  • Coccinelle (ladybug) or Kever in Belgium
  • Vocho or Vochito in Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia (mostly a shortening of "Volkswagen"; Vochito is affective diminutive)
  • Fusca in Brazil and Paraguay
  • Escarabajo (meaning "Beetle") in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, El Salvador and Venezuela
  • Peta ("turtle") in Bolivia
  • Folcika in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sedan, then Fusca (popularly, Fusquinha that means Little Fusca) in Brazil
  • Косτенурка (Kostenurka) (meaning turtle) or Бръмбар (Brambar) (meaning bug) in Bulgaria
  • Bug, Beetle, Choupette (Herbie's name in the French version of the movies) or Coccinelle (ladybug) in Canada
  • Escarabat (means "beetle") in Catalan
  • Poncho in Chile
  • Jiǎ Ké Chóng (甲壳虫) (means "beetle") in China
  • Buba in Croatia
  • Brouk in Czech Republic
  • Boblen (the bubble), Bobbelfolkevogn (a distortion of 'the bubble' and a translation of 'Volkswagen', the people's car), gravid rulleskøjte (pregnant rollerskate) or Hitlerslæden (The Hitler-sled) in Denmark
  • Cepillo ("Brush") in Dominican Republic
  • خنفسة - Pronounced khon-fesa (Beetle in Arabic) in Egypt
  • Fakrouna ("Tortoise") in Libya.
  • Põrnikas (means "beetle") in Estonia
  • Kuplavolkkari (kupla meaning bubble) in Finland
  • Coccinelle (ladybug) in France, Quebec and Haiti
  • Буба in the Republic of Macedonia
  • Jin-guei che (金龜車) in Taiwan
  • Σκαθάρι (Scathari meaning beetle), Σκαραβαίος (Scaraveos meaning Scarab), or Χελώνα (Chelona meaning Turtle) in Greece
  • Cucaracha or Cucarachita (Cockroach or little cockroach) in Guatemala and El Salvador.
  • Bogár meaning bug in Hungary.
  • Cucarachita (little cockroach) in Honduras.
  • Bjalla in Iceland
  • Beetle in India
  • Kodok (frog) in Indonesia
  • Folex(قورباغه ای) meaning frog in Iran
  • Agroga عكروكة (froggy)or Rag-gah ركـّة (small turtle)in Iraq
  • חיפושית ("Hipushit," beetle) or Bimba in Israel
  • Maggiolino (may bug, cockhafer) or the unofficial name of Maggiolone (can indicate Super Beetle) in Italy
  • Kabuto-mushi (カブトムシ) (means "drone beetle") in Japan
  • Kifuu in Kenya
  • Vabole in Latvia
  • Vabalas in Lithuania
  • Kura (turtle) or Kodok (frog) in Malaysia
  • Sedán, Pulguita (little flea), Vocho or Vochito (sometimes spelled "bocho/bochito") in Mexico
  • Scoro-Scoro in Namibia
  • Bhyagute Car in Nepal literally: "Frog Car".
  • Kever in the Netherlands
  • Boble (bubble) in Norway
  • Foxi or Foxy in Pakistan
  • "Pendong", kotseng kuba (literally, 'hunchback car') /"pagong" (turtle),"Ba-o", turtle in Cebuano dialect "Boks" in the Philippines
  • Garbus (literally, 'Hunchback') in Poland
  • Carocha in Portugal
  • Volky in Puerto Rico
  • Broasca / Broscuţă (little frog/froggy) or Buburuza (ladybird) in Romania
  • Фольксваген-жук (Folksvagen-zhuk) in Ukraine
  • Жук (Zhuk) (Bug) also in Russia (Former Soviet Union)
  • Буба or Buba in Serbia
  • Volla, Kewer - Pronounced Folla in South Africa
  • Chrobák in Slovakia
  • Hrošč in Slovenia
  • Volks / Beetle/ ibba (turtule) in Sri Lanka
  • Mgongo wa Chura” (Frog Back) or Mwendo wa Kobe” (Tortoise Speed) in Swahili
  • Bagge (short for skalbagge, beetle), bubbla (bubble) or folka in Sweden and Finland
  • Kobe in Tanzania
  • รถเต่า - Pronounced Rod Tao (turtle car) / โฟล์คเต่า (Volk Tao) in Thai
  • Kaplumbağa or tosbağa (meaning turtle) or "vosvos" in Turkey.
  • con bo in Vietnam
  • Bhamba datya in Shona - Datya is frog in the vernacular from Zimbabwe
  • Poncho
  • Popoy
  • Pulga
  • Punchbug
  • Tortuga in Panama
  • Escarabajo, Bocho o Rana in Perú
  • Kupla in Finland
  • Цох in Mongolia
  • Escarabajo o Cucaracha in Colombia
  • Escarabajo (Bettle) and popularly Fusca or Fusquita in Uruguay
  • ´´Pichirilo in (Colombia)
  • Bao(turtle),Cebuano Philippines
  • Volgswagen (pronounced: Folghswaghen) in South African
  • Bobute in Venezuela
  • Boks in the Philippines

See also


  1. ^ Oswald, Werner (2003). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 3. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. p. 39. ISBN 3-613-02116-1. 
  2. ^ Clodfelter, Tim (2010-03-02). "The Bug Doctor: Former dealership mechanic opened a shop to work on VWs in 1973 and never looked back". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  3. ^ a b c "Am 9. Juli wird die Produktion des VW Kaefer in Mexiko eingestellt...". Auto Motor u. Sport Heft 13 2003: Seite 10. date 11 June 2003. 
  4. ^ "This Just In: Model T Gets Award", James G. Cobb, The New York Times, December 24, 1999
  5. ^ :: Gallery Search
  6. ^ Gilmore, p.45.
  7. ^ a b c Volkswagen Beetle History 1938 to 2003 (abridged)
  8. ^ Gilmore, Bob. "The KdF Brochure", in VW Trends, 4/85, p.45.
  9. ^ a b c Gilmore, p.47.
  10. ^ Gilmore, pp.45 & 47.
  11. ^ Gilmore, p.46.
  12. ^ "File:TatraT97-front.jpg - Wikimedia Commons". Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  13. ^ a b Car Wars, Jonathan Mantle, Arcade Publishing, 1997
  14. ^ Truman Library: Draft, The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria, Report 3, March, 1947; OF 950B: Economic Mission as to Food…; Truman Papers
  15. ^ a b c Ivan Hirst | News | The Guardian
  16. ^ UN Chronicle | A magazine for the United Nations
  17. ^ The Sun newspaper online
  18. ^ Gloor, Roger (1. Auflage 2007). Alle Autos der 50er Jahre 1945 - 1960. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02808-1. 
  19. ^ a b c "Knowing your Volkswagen". Practical Motorist 7 (nbr 81): 943. May 1961. 
  20. ^ Hot VWs, 7/84, p.38.
  21. ^ "The Diesel Beetle". Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  22. ^ Brian Carey (2003-09-14). "Motor moguls facing end of an era". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  23. ^ "The Motor Moguls". Irish Independent. 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  24. ^ "Rich List 2003 - MICHAEL and NIGEL O'FLAHERTY". Sunday Times. 2003.,,22800,00.html. Retrieved 2003-06-11. 
  25. ^ "Speech by Minister Cowen in Frankfurt". Dept of Foreign Affairs. 2001-03-06. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  26. ^ Gilder Group Company History
  27. ^ US Patent number 3,381,492
  28. ^ Volkswagen "Bentley" Official Service Manual
  29. ^ Volkswagens of the World
  30. ^ Tony Davis, Aussie Cars, 1987, page 80
  31. ^ Hot VWs, 7/84, p.43.
  32. ^ Beetle Challenge
  33. ^ Mexican VW Beetle TV Ad
  34. ^ Romsey Fire Brigade Website [1] accessed on 5 June 2009
  35. ^ Whittlesea Fire brigade Website [2] Accessed on the 5th of June 2009
  36. ^ 1972 Volkswagen commercial at Youtube accessed 9 Jul 2009


This article incorporates information from the revision as of 2008-02-29 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

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