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History of the Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle History


Are you a Beetle driver? If not, you’ve without a doubt seen plenty of these instantly memorable cars cruising down the highway over the years. Believe it or not, the Beetle has an interesting history that reveals much more than a clever design. Read here for a brief history of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle!

In the early days of the Volkswagen Beetle, Ferdinand Porsche was busy designing Mercedes touring cars and racers. But he also had on his mind a scheme to mass-produce an affordable car. ​ Porsche earned himself world recognition in his days at Astro-Daimler, when he began putting out extremely successful racing cars and the Mercedes SSK road car. He was Germany’s best and most well-known engineer.

In 1931, Porsche left Daimler to begin his own design bureau. He had challenges getting his designs looked at, and went through a couple design companies before losing hope that his vision of an affordable car would ever be seen.

Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor in 1933, and at 1934’s Berlin Motor Show, Hitler promoted Porsche and the car he wanted built through his speech. Afterwards, the two met, and this is where the design of the VW Beetle was born. Hitler wanted the car to be named KdF-Wagen, but this name, just like Hitler, didn’t last.

Porsche hated the name KdF-Wagen and preferred “Volkswagen.” This was the informal name that the car had been developed under, and even by 1938, people were nicknaming it the “Beetle.”

The Beetle outlasted Hitler’s regime, and rose through with positivity. The first post-war Beetles were changed officially to the “Volkswagen” name and began being rebuilt thanks to the British government. The Beetle gained popularity in Europe and began exporting to other continents in 1949 when the Deluxe Beetle was introduced.

Since then, the VW Beetle has become an icon. It was seen as a light at the end of the tunnel, a small smidgen of hope that came out of the war. While this icon seemed to fade away in the 1970s, it didn’t disappear completely. It experienced a resurgence in popularity in the late 1990s that has continued through today.

The Beetle is, and will always be, a classic.

Check out a new 2016 Volkswagen Beetle today at Gossett VW Porsche! Our inventory includes plenty of new Beetles, as well as great new cars and SUVs like the Tiguan, Passat, Jetta and Golf. Browse our website or give us a call today to learn more!

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