The Beetle

The Small and Nice German Car

The Volkswagen Type 1 is also known as the Beetle, Cucaracha, Escarabajo, Vocho, or Fusca in different Spanish-speaking countries.

Image above: M2 Machines 1956 VW Beetle (Grey Open Roof) version and 1951 VW Beetle (Red) Greenlight version

It was first designed at the request of Adolf Hitler in 1933. He wanted an affordable car for the Germans so that they could use the different highways that were being built all over Germany at that time.

For designing the car, Ferdinand Porsche and his chief designer Erwin Komenda took ideas from the design of a Czechoslovakian car named the Tatra V570 and the Tatra T97 that were presented in 1930.

In the beginning, it was known as KDF-WAGEN, which means “The car of the force through happiness” in German.

The chassis and engine of Volkswagen Type 1 were utilized in many military vehicles, such as Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen.

After World War II, a British officer named Ivan Hirst rebuilt the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg and started to produce the first commercial Beetles in 1945 and exported them to the Netherlands in 1947.

Volkswagen Cabriolet

This model was released on the market in 1949. They produced 696 of these first models, which are very coveted nowadays.

The image above: Johnny-Lightning 1975 Volkswagen VW Beetle Cabrio

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

There is another Volkswagen Cabriolet model that was manufactured in Osnabrück by Karmann.

Other models that were manufactured as a Volkswagen’s Type 1 spin-off were the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupé and other vans and station wagons

It is important to say that Volkswagen suffered many modifications in its 65 years of production. The aspects in general remained almost the same, but the engine was changed several times. It received more than $78,000 in its lifetime.

In popular culture, the car has been used to make movies such as Herbie, Transformers G1, Footloose, etc. Many people saw it on a record of The Beatles called “Abbey Road”. It was also taken into account in the lyrics and video of the Latin-American songwriter Ricardo Arjona’s “Taxi”.

The image above: Hot Wheels Volkswagen Käfer Racer-2017 


Volkswagen New Beetle

In 1998, this vehicle was the sensation in the showroom of Detroit, United States. It offered many advantages because it was safe, fast, and had a powerful engine besides a high performance. However, it differed a lot from the classic versions due to the fact that it was expensive, sporty, and less customizable. The engine cooling system was by water and it was located in the front part.

The image above: Hot Wheels New Beetle Lime Green with Black from 2016 Volkswagen 5 Pack

In 2003 the model broke a record of more than 21 million sales all over the world and that year the last Volkswagen Type 1 was manufactured in Puebla, Mexico on July 30th, 2003. Nowadays that same car is shown in the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg.

In 1997 VW Group started to build a new generation of Beetle named “New Beetle” inspired by the “old beetle” but with some differences, a motor engine in the front, luggage store at the back, and driving in the front wheels. The first models were built in Germany, the second generation in a Mexico factory, and nowadays in Vietnam.

The image above: Majorette New Beetle Red

The most famous VW Beetle till today is Herbie. Herbie is a 1963 VW featured in Walt Disney Studio Movies in 1968. This movie beetle has the ability to think and drive itself and loves car race competitions.

Image above: Hot Wheels 2014, Volkswagen Beetle. Herbie The Love Bug