VW Beetle

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VW Beetle (model 1965, built from September 1964 to August 1965)
VW Beetle (model 1965, built from September 1964 to August 1965)
Production period: 1938-2003
Class : Lower middle class
Body versions : Limousine , cabriolet
Petrol engines : 1.1–1.6 liters
(18–40 kW)
Length: 4070-4140 mm
Width: 1540-1585 mm
Height: 1500 mm
Wheelbase : 2400-2420 mm
Empty weight : 730-930 kg
successor for 1303 Sedan:
VW Golf I Sedan
for 1303 Cabriolet:
VW Golf I Cabriolet
VW Standard, built in 1950
Prototype of the KdF car :
Porsche Type 60 prototype V3
Engine noise of a Beetle (year of construction 1984, 1,600 cm 3 , Mexico Beetle)

The VW Beetle (VW Type 1) is a passenger car model of the lower middle class of the brand Volkswagen with an air-cooled four-cylinder - opposed engine and rear-wheel drive , which was built by the end of 1938 until the summer of 2003.

With over 21.5 million vehicles, the Beetle was the best-selling automobile in the world before it was surpassed by the VW Golf in June 2002 .


KdF car

Ferdinand Porsche received on 22 June 1934 by the National Federation of German automotive industry a development contract for the prototype of a fuel-efficient and affordable cars after Adolf Hitler in the previous year as part of the 24th International Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition (IAMA) in Berlin to build a had demanded cheap cars for the German population, a Volkswagen . In particular, the replacement of imported raw materials with products from the German chemical industry should contribute to lowering production costs; For example, the panes should be made of plastic instead of flat glass , synthetic leather was intended for the upholstery , and the tires were to be made of Buna .

When the foundation stone was laid for the Volkswagen factory on May 26, 1938 , the term Volkswagen was officially replaced by KdF-Wagen (“ Kraft durch Freude ”). At the end of 1938, some pre-series cars were produced that were used as demonstration cars and shown at exhibitions, but were not delivered to customers. The specially built production facility , also officially known as the Volkswagen factory , was not completed until the Second World War .

Volkswagen (Type 1)

When production in the Volkswagen factory, then renamed Wolfsburg Motor Works by the British military government, began in the second half of 1945 after the Second World War , the KdF car was given the official name Volkswagen . For almost five years it remained the only model in the product range of what would later become Volkswagen AG and was only given the factory-internal name Type 1 in 1950 with the launch of the VW Transporter (Volkswagen Type 2 ) .

VW Beetle

The New York Times had on July 3, 1938 in an article may be the first time the English name Beetle (dt. Beetle ) uses which the vision of "thousands and thousands of shiny little beetles that soon the German motorways will populate" colored:

“[…] In a short time Der Fuehrer is going to plaster his great sweeps of smooth motor highways with thousands and thousands of shiny little beetles, purring along from the Baltic to Switzerland and from Poland to France, with father, mother and up to three kids packed inside and seeing their Fatherland for the first time through their own windshield. "

"[...] will soon be the leader pave over his large network of flat highway roads with thousands and thousands of shiny little beetles, which are from the Baltic Sea to Switzerland and from Poland to France before them humming, father, mother and up to three children fit in, those who see their country for the first time through their own windshield. "

- New York Times, July 1938

After the car had been exported to the USA with increasing success in the early 1950s and became popular as an affordable, economical and robust utility car, the nickname Beetle, or Bug, which was meant with mockery and affection, became established there. In Germany, the name Beetle only became generally accepted to distinguish it from the 1961 notchback VW 1500 model (internally called Type 3 ). It was not until the second half of the 1960s that the VW group took over the name, which is now also common in Germany, for its advertising campaigns. When you said in 1960 that you drive a VW, it was clear to everyone that they were referring to Type 1; because the Volkswagenwerk did not build any other model besides the Transporter / Bus (Type 2).

The term beetle is also widespread internationally, for example in the English-speaking world Beetle or, more rarely, Bug, Kever (Dutch: beetle), Coccinelle (French: ladybird), Maggiolino (Italian: cockchafer), Buba (Serbo-Croatian: beetle), Bogár ( Hungarian) and Escarabajo (Spanish). Volkswagen AG adopted the respective designation as the official model name in many countries.

The VW Beetle also has some nicknames, in Germany for example Kugel- or Humpel-Porsche, in Sweden Bubbla (German: bubble), in the Dominican Republic Cepillo (German: brush) and in Brazil and Uruguay people have always spoken of Fusca (German: beetle). In Bolivia he is called Peta, in Poland Garbus (German: the hunchback), in Turkey Kaplumbaga (German: turtle). After all, in Mexico it is called Vocho (probably derived from Volkswagen). The real-life comedy Ein toller Käfer, produced by Disney in 1968, and its follow-up films in the 1970s and 2000s also contributed to the car's popularity . The car bore the start number 53 - black on a white circular disk.


Ferdinand Porsche

The origins of the VW Beetle go back to state efforts by the Nazi state to create a Volkswagen affordable for broad sections of the population, called KdF.-Wagen after the abbreviation for the Nazi organization of the same name . Ferdinand Porsche , who is generally known as the creator of the Beetle, played a major role in the development . However, not only was the idea of ​​a technically simple and inexpensive to manufacture Volkswagen in its basic features older than its development during the Nazi era , the technical concept with rear-wheel drive and rear swing axle was not new either.

The KdF car was not produced in series before the Second World War because the Volkswagen factory near Fallersleben (now part of Wolfsburg ), founded in May 1938, was not yet ready. During the war, military vehicles and other armaments were manufactured there, so that series production of the car, then known as Volkswagen , could not begin until the summer of 1945. By the end of 1945, 1,785 cars had been produced and delivered to the occupying powers and the Deutsche Post. From 1946 the VW could also be bought privately at a price of 5000 Reichsmarks, but only with a voucher .

With the export to the USA and many other countries and as a result of the so-called German economic miracle , for which the Volkswagen was symbolic, the Beetle production in Wolfsburg and numerous production and assembly plants all over the world reached unimagined heights. In the USA - the most important VW market after Germany - the Beetle gained great popularity in the 1960s as a cheap, economical vehicle in local terms, but above all as the embodiment of a counterculture to the road cruisers. At the beginning of the 1970s, sales fell because the Beetle had increasingly faced competition from much more modern small cars.

With the start of production of the successor VW Golf I , Beetle production in Wolfsburg ended in mid-1974; the Emden plant continued to build the Beetle sedan until early 1978. After that, the car was only manufactured in Mexico and Brazil and sold by VW in Germany until 1985. Production of the convertible at Karmann in Osnabrück ended in January 1980. In July 2003, the last Beetle to be built worldwide rolled off the assembly line in Mexico.

A total of 21,529,464 VW Beetles were produced; of these, almost 15.8 million units (including around 330,000 convertibles ) were produced in Germany.

The body shapes of the Mexico- made VW New Beetle (1998 to 2010) and its successor VW Beetle (from 2011) are based on those of the Beetle.

Influences and copyrights

Béla Barényi

Béla Barényi designed many details of the Beetle as early as 1925, which was contested for a long time by the automobile manufacturer Porsche, who named Ferdinand Porsche as the designer. Barényi had denigrating representations of his achievements sanctioned in court in 1952. In 1953, Barényi was able to enforce his authorship and thus his claims through a court ruling. He was able to prove that he had presented the Beetle concept to Porsche in detail as early as the 1920s; but it was not sufficiently protected by patents . This included the air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine in the rear, the gearbox in front of the rear axle, the lengthways crankshaft and the streamlined, humped shape. The head of the historical archive of Porsche, Dieter Landenberger, later confirmed that Barényi had done a “decisive part in the authorship of the later VW Beetle”.

Standard superior

First model of the Standard Superior, presented in 1933 at the IAMA automobile fair in Berlin

The possible early contributions of Josef Ganz to the development of the original Beetle are controversial and not clearly clarified . The Nürnberger Ardie -Werke built the first prototype from Ganz in 1930 . Josef Ganz designed a type of car, the so-called cockchafer , which is similar to the Volkswagen Beetle. Adolf Hitler saw the car at a car show in 1933. The Standard Superior , designed by Ganz for the standard vehicle factory , had further similarities due to the teardrop shape on a central tubular frame with a rear swing axle and rear engine. The car was manufactured in Ludwigsburg from 1933 to 1935 as "Volkswagen". The factory was founded by Wilhelm Gutbrod and had no connection with the English company Standard Motor Company, which had a similar name . The design of these small cars followed Josef Ganz's patents and had a two-cylinder two-stroke engine in front of the rear axle. However, two years before the introduction of the Standard Superior, Porsche had already developed the Type 12 for Zündapp, which featured many of the design features of the later Volkswagen Beetle.

Tatra Mountains

Prototype of the V570 from 1933
Beetle based & engine concept and design a. on the Tatra 97 ...
... as well as the prototype Tatra V 570

The Austrian automobile developer Hans Ledwinka was a contemporary of Porsche who worked for the Czechoslovak vehicle manufacturer Tatra . In 1931 Tatra built the prototype V 570 with an air-cooled boxer engine over the rear axle. The second prototype of the V 570 followed in 1933 with a streamlined body similar to the Porsche Type 32 built by NSU . The air-cooled rear engine required new technical solutions from the designers, which is why Tatra applied for many patents on air ducting during the development of the significantly larger Tatra 77 in 1933. The use of these patents for air cooling was one of the 10 issues that Tatra sued VW in 1938.

Hitler and Porsche were influenced by the Tatras. As a car lover, Hitler himself had used Tatras when driving in Czechoslovakia and also met with Ledwinka on several occasions. He is said to have told Porsche that such cars were the right ones for his roads. From 1933 Ledwinka and Porsche met regularly to discuss design issues and Porsche is said to have later admitted that they were working together on the design of the Volkswagen. The Tatra 97 from 1936 had a 1749 cm³ air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with rear-wheel drive. For 5600 RM it offered space for five people. The streamlined four-door hatchback had a trunk under the bonnet and storage space behind the rear seats. It also had a medium tunnel like the beetle.

Even before the start of the war, Tatra sued Porsche in 10 cases for infringement of patent rights. Ferdinand Porsche was about to pay for a settlement with Tatra when Hitler stopped him and told him he would solve the problem. Tatra then filed a lawsuit, but before the trial began, the invasion of Czechoslovakia by German troops began, so Tatra was placed under German administration in October 1938. The Tatra models T 97 and T 57 were not allowed to be shown at the Tatra stand in the 1939 Berlin Motor Show. Tatra later had to convert its production to heavy trucks and diesel engines, other models with the exception of the Tatra 87 were discontinued. After the Second World War, the patent infringement issue was reopened. In 1965, Volkswagen paid Ringhoffer-Tatra 1,000,000 DM in an out-of-court settlement. According to other sources, in 1961 Tatra received compensation of DM 3,000,000  from Volkswagen. The judgment was made by the court for patent infringements on the engine and design of the Tatra 97 .

Prototypes from Zündapp and NSU

Before the official path in Volkswagen history began with the NSU prototypes, the Porsche design office developed the Porsche Type 12 for the Zündapp -Werke GmbH in Nuremberg in 1931 (the counting of Porsche developments began with the number 7, presumably in order to obtain a to generate greater trust in the young company).

Zündapp-Volkswagen, Porsche Type 12 (1932), reconstruction in the Museum of Industrial Culture (Nuremberg)
Zündapp (Porsche Type 12)
Parameter Data
engine 5-cylinder star
Displacement 1193 cc
Bore × stroke 70 × 62 mm
power 26 hp (19 kW) at 3600 rpm
transmission 3 forward gears, high gear, reverse gear
wheelbase 2500 mm
Gauge 1200 mm
Empty weight approx. 600 kg

In 1932, Zündapp built three cars that could accommodate four people. The bodies with front hinged doors designed by Erwin Komenda were manufactured by Reutter in Stuttgart. For the prototypes, they were made of steel and wood in a mixed construction and mounted on a U-profile frame. A self-supporting all-steel body was planned for the series. The chassis had opposed the then standard swing axles with transverse leaf springs , similar to that of Hans Ledwinka constructed Tatra Type 11. The client, Zündapp owner Fritz Ludwig Neumeyer , the use demanded a water-cooled radial engine . The four-stroke engine with five cylinders and a central camshaft was installed (as the first Porsche construction of its kind) as a motor-gear unit in the rear. With an output of 19 kW and an empty weight of 600 kg, 80 km / h should be achieved. The transmission (three-speed with overdrive) was in front of the rear axle. Although Porsche was against the radial engine in this prototype, the Dr. Ing.hc F. Porsche GmbH patented the "arrangement of the drive motor designed as a radial engine on motor vehicles, in particular on those with swingable semi-axles and a central supporting body as a car frame" and pointed out the high degree of uniformity of radial engines as a particular advantage.

During test drives, the engine cooling turned out to be inadequate and the transmission did not work satisfactorily either, whereupon Zündapp General Director Fritz Neumeyer decided not to pursue the small car project any further. Even more than the deficiencies to be rectified, the high investments associated with series production were probably the reason to abandon the project. Porsche received 80,000 Reichsmarks and one of the vehicles for its work  .

The Zündapp prototype owned by Porsche - a convertible - survived until 1945, but according to other information only until 1944, before it was destroyed in one of the air raids on Stuttgart ; the two Type 12 sedans were likely scrapped much earlier. A model of a limousine is now in the Nuremberg Museum of Industrial Culture .

In 1933, NSU D-Rad Vereinigte Fahrzeugwerke AG in Neckarsulm planned to return to automotive engineering with a small car. General director Fritz von Falkenhayn commissioned Porsche to design an economical small car. In contrast to Zündapp, NSU made no specifications, so that Porsche was able to implement an air-cooled rear engine for the first time .

VW Beetle prototype by Ferdinand Porsche, built by NSU in 1934
NSU (Porsche Type 32)
Parameter Data
engine 4-cylinder boxer
Displacement 1447 cm³
Bore × stroke 80 × 72 mm
power 28 hp (20.5 kW) at 2600 rpm
transmission Four-speed
wheelbase 2600 mm
Gauge 1200 mm
Empty weight approx. 870 kg

Under the internal name Porsche Type 32, a car was created which, with an air-cooled 4-cylinder boxer engine behind the rear axle, a central tubular frame , the front crank- link axle patented for Porsche , rear swing axle , torsion bar suspension and shock absorbers came close to the later KdF car or VW Beetle. The engine had a central camshaft which operated overhead valves via bumpers and rocker arms ( OHV valve control ). Three prototypes were built, two with a body in a mixed construction (with synthetic leather cover) from Drauz in Heilbronn and one with an all-steel body from Reutter . In contrast to the Zündapp, these bodies had rear-hinged doors. The maximum speed of the prototypes was 90 km / h.

The test drives at the end of July 1934 were promising. The only difficulties were with broken spring bars and considerable noise development at high engine speeds, but both problems could be resolved. Nevertheless, it did not come to series production, the realization of which would have cost around ten million Reichsmarks according to a calculation by NSU.

Order of the Reich Association of the German Automobile Industry

In 1933 Ferdinand Porsche accepted Adolf Hitler's order to design a Volkswagen. The car should have space for two adults and three children, reach a top speed of 100 km / h , consume no more than 7 liters of fuel per 100 km on average and cost less than 1,000 Reichsmarks.

VW 30 (Porsche Type 60 1936/37)
Parameter Data
engine 4-cylinder boxer
Displacement 985 cc
Bore × stroke 70 × 64 mm
power 22 hp (16 kW) at 3200 rpm
transmission Four courses
wheelbase 2400 mm
Gauge 1250 mm
Empty weight approx. 650 kg

On January 17, 1934, Porsche presented a detailed plan ( exposé ) for the implementation of the project, which was followed on June 22, 1934 by a contract with the Reich Association of the Automobile Industry for the construction of a prototype of the Volkswagen. Porsche undertook to complete this prototype within ten months. Work was delayed, however, so that the first two Type 60 vehicles - a sedan (internally referred to as V1) and a convertible (V2) - could not be presented to the public until February 24, 1936 in the Daimler-Benz AG showroom in Berlin . These prototypes and three others (VW 3 series) were made in the garage of Porsche's private house in Stuttgart in 1935/36 .

The cars were based on the NSU prototype, but showed more the shape of the VW Beetle, but with doors hinged on the rear of the B-pillar . In contrast to the NSU, the headlights were not in the fenders , but rather in the front cover, standing close together. The hood reached the roof; it hid the almost vertical rear window behind the rear seats and had wide ventilation slots through which one could look to the rear.

Ferdinand Porsche had proposed a four-cylinder four- stroke boxer engine or a three-cylinder two-stroke radial engine in the exposé concerning the construction of a German Volkswagen . Porsche experimented with both and also with different concepts, with the boxer engine proving to be the most suitable. When visiting the New York Auto Show in 1936, according to contemporary witnesses, Porsche was inspired by the radical and modern streamlined design of the Lincoln Zephyr by John Tjaarda for the further development of the shape of the Beetle. But Tjaarda's “Briggs Dream Car” with rear engine from 1933 also looks similar to the Beetle.

After successful tests with the VW 3 series, Daimler-Benz built 30 pre-series vehicles with the internal designation VW 30 (29 sedans and one convertible) at the Sindelfingen plant . Test drives began at Easter 1937, primarily to provide information about the stability of the engines. The vehicles covered a total of 2.4 million test kilometers. The cost of the test drives amounted to 1.7 million Reichsmarks.

The KdF car

Advertisement for the KdF car in 1939

At the beginning of 1938, the Reutter bodywork plant built the pre-series VW 38 with an all-steel body, doors hinged at the front, front and rear bumpers and the split rear window (commonly known as pretzel window), which was retained until March 1953. The division of the window was necessary because curved glass was very complex to manufacture at that time and was correspondingly expensive.

Technically, the car essentially corresponded to the previous models: It had the central tubular frame with a base plate made of sheet steel, torsion bar suspension and the air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with initially 985 cm³ in the rear; Top speed 100 km / h with an output of now 24 HP (18 kW) and an empty weight of 750 kg.

Erwin Komenda , Porsche's chief designer, developed the shape of the Beetle body (which is said to be based on the Tatra prototype V-570 ), while Franz Xaver Reimspieß designed the boxer engine and is said to have designed the VW trademark. However, there is a legal dispute about the authorship of this symbol between the former Munich business graphic artist Nikolai Borg and VW AG.

History from 1938

The Third Empire

Wehrmacht Beetle with all-wheel drive :
sand-colored VW Type 87 of the German Africa Corps (DAK)

Adolf Hitler was enthusiastic about the Volkswagen and on May 26, 1938 laid the foundation stone for the Volkswagen factory near Fallersleben . On July 1, 1938, the associated town of the KdF car was founded near Fallersleben (from 1945: Wolfsburg ). Delivery of the KdF wagons was to begin around a year later.

Originally, the car was supposed to be available for 990  Reichsmarks (RM) (around 4,300 euros today). A cash payment was not planned, but the interested parties could buy tokens in unlimited numbers of 5 RM each (today about 21.6 EUR) and stick them on KdF-Wagen savings cards. The first savings card (basic card) also served as a purchase application.

Before participating in the savings scheme, a written application had to be made, which was available from the DAF and Kdf offices . Wives or minors require the signature of the husband or legal representative . After checking, the applicant received a Kdf-Wagen-Sparkarte , for which 1 RM (today approx. 4.3 EUR) had to be paid and from which the expected delivery year of the vehicle emerged. Savings had to be made on a weekly basis, with savings stamps worth at least 5 RM each week, which could be obtained from all DAF and Kdf offices. Higher weekly contributions could be paid, provided they were divisible by five. It was also possible to pay the total price in one fell swoop by purchasing a corresponding number of savings tokens; Because the year of delivery entered on the card was binding, the vehicle could not be received immediately in order not to penalize minimum savings. Purchasing in cash (i.e. without entering the savings system) was fundamentally excluded. Withdrawal from saving was only possible in exceptional cases, whereby administrative costs were retained. In the first years of production, the Kdf wagon was only supposed to be available in one color ("dark blue-gray"). Inexpensive driving school training and workshops that were affordable for everyone were promised in 1938 without any specific solutions. For the surcharge of special designs - e.g. B. 60 RM (today approx. 260 EUR) for the equipment with a folding roof or as a convertible , the production of which was not planned in the first few years and therefore could not be ordered - special savings brands worth 4 RM (today around 20 EUR). Liability and partial comprehensive insurance was automatically included in the savings brands for a period of two years (calculated from the time you left the factory). The individual districts were assigned specific quotas in advance. Those who had saved the total price (three fully glued savings cards) received an order number, which stipulated the order of delivery within the contingent of the respective Gaus. If the vehicle was not picked up at the factory or in the responsible district capital, additional transfer costs should be incurred.

The Second World War prevented the delivery of the cars ordered in this way; there was no longer any series production. Because from 1939 onwards the VW plant produced exclusively for war needs, none of the more than 330,000 KdF savers got a car. By the beginning of the war, 278 million RM had been booked in an account at the Bank of Deutsche Arbeit ; very many savers had their savings cards glued and thus a right to a vehicle. Even in the war years, savings continued, but instead of the promised civilian KdF wagons, around 65,000 bucket and floating wagons and various other armaments were produced for the Wehrmacht .

After the war, many KdF savers asked for a Volkswagen to be delivered. Since this was refused, the VW saver process started, which dragged on for years. In 1961, the factory made a comparison with the former KdF savers: VW granted savers with a fully glued KdF savings book a discount of 600  D-Marks on a new car, almost a sixth of the new price of the cheapest version. Those who wanted to settle for cash received only 100 DM instead.

VW type 60 K 10

The Nazi propaganda also used motorsport for its own purposes and analogous to the successes of the Mercedes-Benz - Silver Arrows and the Auto-Union racing cars , near-series VW vehicles should also show their performance in a German counterpart to the Liège-Rome long-distance rally. Prove Liege. A long-distance trip from Berlin to Rome was planned in September 1939. In the spring, Ferdinand Porsche was asked by representatives of the German Labor Front to design a sports car for this competition based on the KdF car. Porsche's designers were able to fall back on a private concept according to which the Type 60 K 10 (Porsche Type 64), known as the Berlin-Rome car , was created. Three pieces of this streamlined vehicle were built; They were not used for racing because the war broke out before the event. Two vehicles did not survive the war. The third Berlin-Rome car was bought by the Austrian Otto Mathé , who drove it into races until the 1950s. After that, Mathé was often seen at classic car events with his Berlin-Rome car. In 2005 the Berlin-Rome car was sold to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld in America . In 2009 the car changed to the Schörghuber Group .

the post war period

The one millionth Volkswagen, with gold-colored paintwork and cut glass stones on the chrome parts (originally color with gold dust and cut stones from South America)

The success of the VW Beetle began in the post-war period. In 1945 the production site, where 17,000 people already lived, was named Wolfsburg . In the second half of 1945, some cars were screwed together from existing parts - often with the chassis of the Kübelwagen ( VW Type 82 ), which made the cars look long-legged. In January 1946, the regular series production of the standard sedan (type 11 pretzel beetle ) began. Some of the wagons went to the British occupying forces and some to German authorities. Initially, private individuals could not buy new cars. Exports began as early as the next year. Ben Pon senior became general importer for the Netherlands on August 8, 1947 and sold 51 cars by the end of the year. In addition, he also provided food for thought for the VW Transporter, called "Type 2" . After the war damage had been repaired and under the influence of the currency reform on June 20, 1948, production was increased to 19,244 units in 1948; in 1947 vehicle production was only 8987 units.

Volkswagen Beetle 1200 Luxus, 1961, Technical Museum Vienna
VW Beetle in the service of the traffic police

On August 5, 1955, a Beetle was celebrated as the one millionth Volkswagen. Like hardly any other product, it symbolized the economic miracle of the post-war years in West Germany .

The publicist Karl Markus Michel interpreted the product design of the 50s as follows: “Everywhere curves, bulging, swinging. So as if the evil jaggedness of swastikas , Nazi salute and SS - Rune be awarded by the grace of beetles, shellfish, kidney and forgotten. In these forms we felt reconciled. ”But a multitude of elements of an everyday modernity that was perceived as new had already been known since the Weimar Republic and later during the time of National Socialism - for example: Generally in advertising at the time, with Coca-Cola and also with the VW Beetle as a KdF car - or were in a continuity despite the political system breaks.

VW's General Director Nordhoff had the model persistently and successfully developed further, and the reliability of the Beetle in particular was improved. No significant changes were made to the body, which was no longer up-to-date in the mid-1950s, but initially this did not detract from the sales success. Later this model policy almost led to the collapse of the company. The body was changed in detail every now and then: in 1953 the split rear window of the pretzel beetle was replaced by a one-piece oval window, followed in 1957 by a larger rectangular rear window. In 1964 windows were enlarged again and a slightly curved front pane was introduced. In 1967 the Beetle got headlights with upright lenses like the Type 3 and the successor to the Type 1. The 1300 and 1500 got box-shaped, higher mounted bumpers and larger taillights, the so-called iron lights. Since then, almost nothing has changed on the Beetle's exterior.

The situation was different with the engine, which kept pace with the general increase in output of automobiles: after the output was increased to 30 hp (22 kW) in 1954, the export Beetle was equipped with a new 34 hp engine (25 kW) from 1960 ) equipped with 1200 cc displacement, which got a slightly larger cylinder spacing, as would also be required by the upcoming Type 3 cars for 1500 and 1600 cc. The standard kept the 30 hp engine. In 1962, VW replaced the old box heater, which was able to channel exhaust gases into the interior in the event of engine leaks and whose effect was delayed after a cold start because the cooling air supply was reduced during warm-up by a throttle ring on the fan wheel. The new heater had its own supply air hoses that were located directly behind the fan; the throttle ring had been replaced by flaps in the blower box. New cast-iron heat exchangers, the so-called heating bulbs, transferred heat from the exhaust gases of the two front cylinders to the heating air in a countercurrent - a change in the law had forced VW to do so. The standard cable brake was also omitted, which then also received a hydraulic brake system. On request, from model year 1965/66 an automatic, electro-pneumatically controlled clutch from Fichtel & Sachs , the Saxomat, was installed. The transmission still corresponded to the conventional 4-speed gearbox. The Saxomat clutch was actuated via an electrical switch with light pressure on the gearshift lever. As soon as the circuit was closed, an electromagnetic control valve in the engine compartment triggered the disengaging process by switching on a servomotor via a vacuum line. The vacuum generated by the engine's intake tract actuated the clutch lever on the gearbox via the vacuum membrane of the servomotor. In 1966 the VW 1500 came as a Beetle with the bus engine, four-hole wheel mounting and disc brakes at the front. The stronger models got a balancing spring on the rear axle to reduce oversteer . From 1967 the VW 1500 was available with a semi-automatic gearbox and rear trailing arm axle , followed by the VW 1300 Automatic in 1968 . From mid-1967 (model year 1968) the Volkswagen (except for the VW 1200) had an on-board voltage of 12 volts.

In 1968, the Volkswagenwerk officially named Type 1 the Beetle in advertising for the first time.

The 1970s and 1980s

1303 in the climatic wind tunnel, measurements of the aerodynamic behavior, heating and ventilation properties under different climatic conditions
VW 1303 / Karmann Cabrio, 1972
Four side view
Economy version VW 1200, late 1970s

The technical highlight of the Beetle development in Germany was the 1302 model, which appeared in August 1970. A longer front end with MacPherson struts , a spare wheel hidden in the trunk floor, trailing arm rear axle, which until then was only available in the automatic Beetles, and a 50 hp Engine (37 kW) in the S model were the characteristics of the 1302.

On February 17, 1972, a 1302 S in marathon blue metallic ran as 15.007.034. Vehicle off the production line, replacing the Tin Lizzy - Ford's Model T - as the most popular car.

After the factory holidays in August 1972, the 1303 was introduced for the 1973 model year, the technology of which corresponded to that of the 1302. According to a US regulation that was planned but never came into force, according to which front passengers were not allowed to hit the windshield with their faces in an accident, the model 1303 was given a windshield that was curved far forward. The equipment also included a ventilation system with a two-stage adjustable fan. A three-phase alternator replaced the weak direct-current alternator that had been installed until then.

The last Beetle from Wolfsburg rolled off the assembly line on July 1, 1974 after 11,916,519 units had been produced there. Production was on the VW Golf I changed. At the same time, VW stopped developing the Beetle in Germany.

In addition to the production of the VW 1303 as a convertible at Karmann in Osnabrück , the economy versions VW 1200 and VW 1300 based on the Urkäfer were continued to be built in other plants. The last European-made Beetle sedan rolled off the assembly line on January 19, 1978 at the Emden plant in Dakota beige with chassis number

From then on, Volkswagen de México built the Beetles intended for the German market at the Puebla plant . They were offered in the tried and tested, but better equipped, 1200 L (luxury) version with 25 kW (34 hp), which again featured more chrome jewelry. As early as 1977, numerous German VW employees who were familiar with Beetle production were sent to Mexico in order to train the employees there on future European requirements and the changes to the Mexican domestic production. B. only a more powerful engine with 1.6 liter displacement and 46 DIN PS was available. In Puebla, the Beetle ran off a special export line that was not only adjusted to the constantly changing special equipment, but was also subject to additional quality control. The vehicles were then shipped by ship from Mexico to Emden, where after their arrival at the Volkswagen plant there, VW workers once again subjected them to a precise incoming inspection, final inspection and final preparation, which the local Beetles had previously screwed together on the Emden assembly line. The Emden customer service workshop then carried out the necessary modifications to the vehicles in the respective country-specific equipment for Europe. Any additional equipment such as radios, headrests and hub rings were also installed there. About 30% of the Beetle parts installed in Mexico came from German production and still bore the Made in Germany seal . The models from Mexico showed only minor differences compared to the last German Beetle, such as a smaller rear window and the lack of an inside pocket in the driver's door. The last of 330,281 Beetle convertibles built rolled off the assembly line at Karmann in Osnabrück on January 10, 1980. It was the most successful convertible for a long time and was replaced by the first Golf Cabriolet in 1979 .

Until 1985 there were a few special Beetle models in limited numbers, which were designed and coordinated by the Beetle Action Model team in Wolfsburg from spring 1982 . The last official delivery of beetles from Mexico for Germany arrived at the port of Emden on August 12, 1985 . Volkswagen AG took the Beetle out of the German sales program. In the following years, free importers again offered beetles from Mexican production.

1990 to the end of production in 2003

The world's last VW Beetle produced in Mexico in the Zeithaus of the Autostadt in Wolfsburg
Beetle of the last series in Mexico

The retail chain Rewe started offering Beetles in its supermarkets in Germany from an independent importer from July 1995. The Praktiker hardware store followed in June 1996 .

In 1994 Volkswagen introduced the Concept 1 , a car whose design is reminiscent of the original Beetle. Since 1998, this model has been in series production as the New Beetle, also in Puebla, Mexico, about 70 km southeast of Mexico City, and since 2003 also as a convertible. The revised version from 2011 is only called Beetle, the new in the model name is omitted.

The production of the Beetle was finally stopped on July 30, 2003. The last of 21,529,464 Beetles built is on display in the Autostadt Zeithaus in Wolfsburg.

Existence in Germany

The stock of VW Beetles in Germany as of January 1st (until 2000: July 1st) is listed for selected years according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority . Before March 1, 2007, the vehicle inventory included the number of vehicles registered as well as the number of temporary shutdowns. Since March 1, 2007, the vehicle stock has only included flowing traffic, including the seasonal license plates.

Deadline number
July 1, 1995 168.276
July 1, 1999 101.102
July 1, 2000 92,737
Jan. 1, 2002 approx. 85,000 1
Jan. 1, 2003 78,808 1
Jan. 1, 2005 72.241
Jan. 1, 2008 54,226
Jan. 1, 2009 53,227
Jan. 1, 2010 51,800
Jan. 1, 2011 51,241
Jan. 1, 2013 50.106
1including approx. 400 pretzel beetles

According to the final report of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control , 417 VW Beetles were scrapped in favor of the environmental bonus between January 27, 2009 and July 31, 2010.


Beetle engine cut open
Body and floor pan of a pretzel beetle
Floor pan VW 1302

The design features of the Beetle, rear-wheel drive through an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine , streamlined shape and an all-steel body with a central tubular frame can also be found in other vehicles that were developed at the same time. The fenders were bolted to the body and not welded. So-called piping between the fenders and the body prevented the ingress of moisture.

It is characteristic of the Beetle that this concept was retained throughout the production period, although the self-supporting body had prevailed by the early 1960s , a short time later air cooling largely disappeared from the automotive industry and finally in small and lower-middle-class vehicles Rear-wheel drive was replaced by front-wheel drive . The shape of the body was also inferior to some small cars of the time in terms of space utilization .

With the exception of models 1302 and 1303, all Beetles have a front crank arm axle . The wheel suspension and wheel guidance are handled by two short crank arms (joint parallelograms) on both sides, which are attached to axle tubes with square torsion spring elements, which are arranged one above the other. These spring elements or spring assemblies consist of bundled spring leaves. The steering gear is screwed to the upper axle tube . Until 1961 it was an adjustable spindle steering (with hemispherical spindle nut), then a roller steering ( Gemmer steering ). The rear pendulum axle is guided on longitudinal thrust struts which are connected to torsion spring bars (round bars made of steel) mounted in the frame support . (The same principle of the wheel suspension can be found in the Auto Union racing car of the 750 kg formula.) The semi-automatic models introduced in 1967 and all 1302 and 1303 have a trailing arm axle at the rear , which improves driving characteristics but is more expensive to manufacture.

Initially, the Beetle was produced with cable brakes without length compensation; The export models from March / April 1950 had hydraulically operated brakes, the standard model did not receive them until April 1962.

A feature of the first Beetle series was the rear window, which consisted of two semi-oval panes and was divided by a central bar. This design later led to the name pretzel beetle for the models up to 1953. It was not until the 1950s that curved panes could be produced more cheaply and the center bar of the rear window was omitted. Many older models were then converted to the more modern one-piece arched window.

In 1950, Beetle technology also became the basis for a commercial vehicle , the VW Transporter (Type 2). It had the same engine and similar wheel suspensions, but a partially load-bearing structure without a platform frame welded to two side members. The Beetle remained the only car from Wolfsburg until 1961, the VW Karmann-Ghias ( Type 14 and Type 34 ) were produced by Karmann in Osnabrück. This was mainly due to General Director Heinrich Nordhoff , who always only wanted to improve the Beetle, but did not want to offer customers any other type of car in order to keep production as efficient as possible. From that year, however, VW offered the larger VW 1500 (Type 3) with a notchback body, derived from the Beetle , which was somewhat more spacious and looked more modern. Its cooling fan was located behind the engine and was as flat as it, lengthening the vehicle and allowing for a larger, externally accessible rear trunk; It was the design that made the VW estate car, which was very popular in the 1960s, possible. The rear trunk of the VW Beetle was only accessible from the inside until the end of its construction period, making it difficult to use. In addition, however, there was a front, initially extremely small trunk under the bonnet together with the spare wheel and tank.

But the type 3 had continued an air-cooled boxer engine in the rear and the platform frame with screw construction and in the trade press praised for comfort, but due to poor driving safety criticized rear swing axle with torsion bar suspension .

The electrical system of the first VW Beetles had a voltage of 6 volts, as was common at the time, and a turn signal as a direction indicator . These were replaced by indicators in accordance with a legal regulation in 1960 . A 12-volt electrical system has also been available since the early 1960s, for example for government vehicles (police beetles with radio). In September 1967 the export models - with bumpers that were now higher up and more stable - also got a 12-volt system; only the standard Beetle with the old-style bumpers still had a 6-volt electrical system. In 1972 all Beetle models were converted to the more powerful 12 V network.

The four-speed manual transmission was initially unsynchronized in all gears : first, second and reverse gear had gears with straight teeth that were arranged on the shaft so that they could be moved. Third and fourth gears were designed to be quiet with helical gears and were inserted via shift pins that were slidable in semicircular grooves on the gear shaft and engaged in corresponding recesses on the gears. From 1952 there was - at first in the export model - a part synchronized (second to fourth gear) and later fully synchronized transmission, no downshift declutching required. From 1962, a four-speed semi-automatic with an electro-pneumatically controlled clutch from Fichtel & Sachs (Saxomat) was available on request . From 1967 a three-speed semi - automatic with torque converter was offered. In the case of the automatic Beetles, a semi-trailing arm axle was used at the rear instead of the swing axle . The later models 1302 and 1303 also had this rear trailing arm axle, plus a MacPherson strut axle instead of the space-consuming front crank arm axle . Together with the extended front end, this also enabled a considerably larger trunk, in which four beverage crates now fit. The spare wheel of the 1302 and its successor 1303 was down in the front trunk. For model year 1975 (August 1, 1974), the 1303 received a more direct-acting rack - and - pinion steering instead of roller steering .

The VW 1303 LS, produced from 1972 to 1975, was the technical highlight of the series Beetle , except for the engine, which was later equipped with hydraulic valve lifters, injection and three-way catalytic converter in Mexico : a high-quality car, comfortable and well-sprung , safe to drive thanks to the strut front axle and semi-trailing arm rear axle. With the vehicle designed almost 40 years ago, however, even with these improvements, the level of the competition models could not be reached. One of the biggest disadvantages was the high fuel consumption - 13 liters per 100 km with the 37 kW engine was possible. Sticking to the Beetle for a long time was one of the reasons for the VW Group's crisis in the early 1970s.


Variants in World War II

VW Type 82 E

The vehicle has the chassis of the Type 82 Kübelwagen, but the body of the KdF car.

From 1941, production began at the Volkswagen factory near Fallersleben, but not with the civil version, but with the military version called the Type 82 Kübelwagen . In 1942, the Type 87 was also produced, an all-wheel drive sedan with large off-road tires and additional off-road gear. At the same time, around 150 Type 128 vehicles, an all-wheel drive amphibious vehicle, were built. The type 166 from the same year was also an amphibious vehicle with all-wheel drive . 14,265 of this model were built. Then there was the Type 155, a Kübelwagen with front tire and rear chain drive. Only a few copies were built of him. From 1941 there was the Type 82 E with the Kübel chassis of the Type 82. The appearance is reminiscent of the Type 87, since the normal body of the KdF car was built on the chassis, but the Type 82 E has no all-wheel drive. Designated as the Type 92, the Type 82 E was also delivered to the Waffen SS . Between 1943 and 1945 there were the KdF wagons and the Kübelwagen as well as the type 87 with a wood carburetor of the type Porsche 230, recognizable by the gas generator on the front of the car.

After the Second World War (1945-1946)

VW Standard, built in 1950
VW Export, built in 1951, with folding flaps in the front side panels; Exterior mirrors and indicators retrofitted

The designation of the Type 82 E was changed to 51. The Type 51 was one of several post-war variants that were produced under British supervision in 1945 and 1946. It was to serve as a service vehicle for the army and administration. The order to discontinue production took place on February 2, 1946, and the vehicles still in the VW inventory were all to be converted to the civilian type 11. Production probably didn't end until October 1946 anyway. In addition to the type 51, the types 53 (off-road sedan with roll top), 55 (off-road convertible), 83 (off-road vehicle with box body for the Reichspost or emergency ambulance) and 100 (tractor) were built, which are also based on the chassis of the Type 82 E. The Type 82 Kübelwagen was continued to be built unchanged from leftover parts for a short period of time in 1945, now called Type 21.

List of post-war types

VW types 1945 to 1953
Type 11 Sedan, two-door (formerly known as Type 60)
Type 13 Limousine, two-door with roll-top roof
Type 15 Cabriolet, two-door
Type 21 Kübelwagen, four-door (formerly known as Type 82)
Type 25 Fire engine with fire fighting centrifugal pump
Type 27 Open delivery van with body
Type 28 Closed delivery van
Type 51 Off-road sedan, two-door (formerly known as Type 82 E)
Type 53 All-terrain sedan, two-door with a roll-up roof
Type 55 Off-road convertible
Type 81 Open delivery van with body
Type 83 Closed delivery van
Type 100 tractor

Standard and export model (1946–1960)

Side part with opened flap

The years of construction mentioned are the model years that usually began after the factory holidays of the previous year: During the factory holidays, usually in August, the production facilities were converted for the next model year, and after the factory holidays, the Beetles, which were improved in detail, were produced. For example, the 1953 model was manufactured between September 1952 and August 1953.

From 1946 there was the standard limousine Type 11, formerly known as Type 60, today known as the pretzel beetle due to the oval, vertically divided rear window. On July 1, 1949, the product range was expanded to include an export model with improved interior fittings, chrome-plated bumpers and trim. The standard models continued to be built with painted bumpers. From 1950 a folding roof (sun roof) with a textile cover was available for an extra charge. From March of the same year, the export model received a hydraulic brake system in part and from April as standard. In 1951 there were flaps ( rheumatoid flaps ) in the front side panels to ventilate the footwell. In 1952 the equipment was supplemented with vent windows in the doors. The rims now had a diameter of 15 instead of 16 inches. The export model got a synchronized gearbox (second to fourth gear). In 1953 the pretzel window was replaced by an oval rear window. The beetles of those years are now often called ovali.

From 1954 the Type 122 engine was installed with a cylinder bore of 77 mm enlarged by 2 mm, the displacement of which is 1192 cm³ instead of the previous 1131 cm³. The enlarged engine has an output of 22 kW (30 hp), 4 kW (5 hp) more than the old engine.

From November 19, 1956, there was a standard exterior mirror on the left side of the vehicle.

In 1957 the front window was enlarged and a larger angular rear window (rectangular beetle) was installed instead of the oval one. In 1958, the Inland Beetles received larger exterior mirrors. From 1959 there were fixed door handles with push buttons instead of the previous folding handles. A stabilizer was attached to the front axle of the export model .

Mid-1960 (model year 61) there were major changes: The Winker were indicators replaced. Lighter colors such as the popular golf blue (L 390) were introduced and replaced the gray tones that had been offered for a long time. The export received a 25 kW engine (34 hp) with a (semi-automatic) automatic starter , the standard remained with the 22 kW engine (30 hp) with manual choke . The newer engines can be recognized by the modified petrol pump, which is mounted next to the ignition distributor; the older engine has the fuel pump on the left behind the pulley. In the case of the 22 kW engine, the base of the alternator is cast, in the 25 kW variant the base is screwed on. The export models got a fully synchronized gearbox. To improve the operating conditions when the engine is cold, a warm air supply has been built into the carburettor. The trunk volume at the front grew by 65 percent from 85 to 140 liters thanks to a flatter tank and modified front side panels. The tank got a smaller filling opening and an external vent. Until the 1968 model (August 1967), the front hood had to be opened to refuel.

Available colors

Model overview Model year 1955 Model year 1956 Model year 1957 Model year 1958 Model year 1959 Model year 1960 Model year 1961
from January 1954 March 1955 April 1956 August 1957 August 1958 August 1959 August 1960
to February 1955 March 1956 July 1957 July 1958 July 1959 July 1960 July 1961
from chassis no .: 1-575415 1-823605 1173573 1600440 2060332 2528668 3192507
to chassis no .: 1-823604 1173572 1600439 2060331 2528667 3192506 4010994
available colors L41 black
L213 island green
L271 texas brown
L275 light
beige L276 ultramarcon
L227 stratosilver
L41 black
L370 nile
beige L227
strato silver
L324 polar
silver L313 reed green L315 jungle green
L41 black
L324 polar silver
L331 horizon
blue L351 coral red
L412 diamond
green L378 prairie beige
L240 agave
L41 black
L351 coral red
L240 agave
light bronze
L334 firn
blue L243 diamond gray L335 capri
L41 black
L434 fjord blue L243
diamond gray
L335 capri
L358 garnet red
L14 reseda
L343 kalahari beige
L41 black
L451 india red
L363 arctic
L440 pebble gray
L436 indigo blue
L349 jade green
L346 mango green
L419 ceramic green
L41 black
L456 ruby ​​L390
golf blue
L87 pearl white
L380 turquoise
L391 pastel blue
L478 beryl green

VW 1200/1300/1500 (1961–1974)

VW Beetle 1200 engine, 30 HP
(still without the two side hoses for the fresh air heating from January 1963)
VW Beetle 1300 chassis, built in 1966, facing the direction of travel
VW Beetle 1300, built in 1966, gearbox

From 1961, the export model was equipped with a fuel gauge operated by a Bowden cable and float instead of the fuel tap with a reserve switch. In the standard model and its later successor, the VW 1200 A (Savings Beetle), the fuel tap remained until 1972.

From April 1962, the standard Beetle also received hydraulic brakes instead of cable brakes. In January 1963, the heating was changed due to an official requirement: The engine cooling air, which was heated directly by the cylinders and possibly contaminated with oil vapors and exhaust gases, was no longer conducted into the passenger compartment. With the new fresh air heating system, air branched off from the engine cooling fan was heated by ribbed heat exchangers (heating bulbs) on the exhaust pipes and used to heat the car.

A cranked steel roof (surcharge DM 250) was added to the range for the export model in 1963. The folding roof remained available for the standard Beetle. The following year, the Beetle was given larger windows all around. The standard Beetle with the 22 kW engine (30 hp) was renamed the Model 1200A in November 1964 and built as a savings beetle until July 1965. Apart from gray, there were a few muted colors available; and there was almost no chrome on the 1200A, only the speedometer ring and the slot strips of the door window were chrome-plated. The cars can be identified by the speedometer, which only goes up to 120 km / h - Beetles with a 140 speedometer have at least 25 kW (34 PS).

The next step in the development of the Beetle was the VW 1300 presented in August 1965 with a 1.3-liter engine and 29.5 kW (40 hp). In addition, the engine got the crankshaft of the VW 1500 with the same bore. The term export was dropped. The 1200 A received the engine with 25 kW (34 PS), the stabilizer on the front axle and the roller steering. Instead of the collar bolts on the front axle, which had to be regularly supplied with grease via grease nipples , maintenance-free ball joints were installed, as has long been the case with competitors. All Beetles now only had four grease nipples on the front crank arm axle . The wheels were changed: The hubcaps were now flat and the wheel disks received elongated holes for better brake cooling. The large bolt circle with the five wheel bolts remained the same.

The rear balancing spring installed from August 1966 onwards reduces oversteer and thus improves handling when cornering. Also in August 1966, the VW 1500 was presented with the 32 kW engine (44 PS) from the Transporter (Type 2) . The front disc brakes and modified disc wheels with only four wheel bolts and a smaller pitch circle diameter were also new on this model .

From September 1, 1967, a three-speed semi-automatic was available for the first time with the 32 kW engine (44 hp) at an additional cost; a new semi-trailing arm rear axle was also introduced for this equipment . The four-hole wheels were now standard equipment, as were attachments for three-point seat belts. The Beetle was given a new look: the bonnet was shortened, the bumpers, which had been rounded until then, were given a box profile ( railroad tracks ), the lenses of the headlights were vertical, and the taillights were larger ( iron ). There was now an external fuel filler flap so that the front hood no longer had to be opened for refueling. In the following year 1968, the wheels, which had previously been painted black and white or in the same color as the car, were replaced by uniformly silver-colored wheels, hazard warning lights were standard, and the front hood and fuel filler flap could be opened from the inside.

Model overview Model year 1962/63 Model year 1964 Model year 1965 Model year 1966 Model year 1967 Model year 1968 Model year 1969 Model year 1970
from August 1961 August 1963 August 1964 August 1965 August 1966 August 1967 August 1968 August 1969
to July 1963 July 1964 July 1965 July 1966 July 1967 July 1968 July 1969 July 1970
from chassis no .: 4010995 5677118 115 000 001 116 000 001 117 000 001 118 000 001 119 000 001 110 2000 001
to chassis no .: 5677117 6502399 115 999 000 116 1021 300 117 999 000 118 1016 100 119 1200 000 110 21 200 000
available colors L41 black
L469 anthracite
L456 ruby ​​L390
golf blue
L380 turquoise
L87 pearl white
L478 beryl
green L398 pacific (only convertible)
L41 black
L456 ruby
L360 sea ​​blue
L87 pearl white
L469 anthracite
L572 panama
beige L518
java green L519 bahama blue
L595 fontana gray
L41 black
L456 ruby
L360 sea blue
L87 pearl white
L572 panama
beige L518
java green L519 bahama blue
L595 fontana gray
L41 black
L456 ruby
L360 sea ​​blue
L87 pearl white
L518 java
green L519
bahama blue L568 sea ​​sand
L620 savanna
beige L639
zenite blue L595 fontana gray
L41 black
L456 ruby
L633 VW blue
L518 java
green L282 lotus white
L30A royal red
L41 black
L70F chinchilla
L282 lotus white L610
delta green
L620 savanna
beige L633 VW blue
L639 zenite blue
L30A royal red
L50B diamond
blue L60B per green
L70F chinchilla
L90C toga white
L620 savanna
beige L630 cobalt blue
L41 black
L19K yukon yellow (only convertible)
L54 poppy red (only convertible)
L620 savanna
beige L90D pastel white
L630 cobalt blue
L30A royal red L60D
elm green
L41 black
L20D clementine
L70F chinchilla
50B diamond
blue L19K
yukon yellow L54 poppy red (convertible only)
L66B deep sea green
Model overview Model year 1971 Model year 1972
from August 1970 August 1971
to July 1971 July 1972
from chassis no .: 111 2000 001 112 2000 001
to chassis no .: 111 3,200,000 112 3200 000
available colors L50D sapphire blue
L90D pastel white L60D
elm green
L41 black
L20D clementine
L31F iberian
red L54D
marine blue L66B deep sea ​​green
L12D shantung
yellow L91D
kansas beige L96D silver metallic
L97D coloradometallic
L96E geminimetallic
L11E lemon yellow only)
L90D pastel white
L95D metallic silver
L96E geminimetallic
L10B texas yellow L20B bright orange
kasan red
L41 black
L51B gentian blue
L54D marine blue L61B sumatra
green L91D
kansasbeige L95B
turquoise metallic
L97D coloradometallic
L13M saturday only
Data sheet VW 1200/1300/1500/1600 (1946–1973) 0
1100 (1946-53) 1200 (1954-65) 1200 (1960-73) 1300 (1965-70) 1500 (1966-73) 1600 (1972-73)
Engine: 4-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1131 cc 1192 cc 1285 cc 1493 cc 1584 cc
Bore × stroke: 75 × 64 mm 77 × 64 mm 77 × 69 mm 83 × 69 mm 85.5 × 69 mm
Maximum power
at 1 / min
18.4 kW
22 kW
25 kW
29.5 kW
32 kW
37 kW
Max. Torque
at 1 / min
67 Nm
75 Nm
82 Nm
87 Nm
100 Nm
106 Nm
Mixture preparation: 1 downdraft carburetor
Solex 28 PCI Solex 28 PICT-1 Solex 30 PICT-1 Solex 34 PICT-3
Valve control: Bumpers and rocker arms, central camshaft, spur gears
Cooling: Air cooling
Transmission: 4-speed gearbox, center shift
Gearbox (optional): (1965/66) with Saxomat on request (from September 1967) with three-speed semi-automatic on request
Front suspension: Crank arm axle, two transverse spring bars (packages)
Rear suspension: Pendulum axle (from 1966 with compensating spring), trailing arm, transverse round spring bars Models with three-speed semi-automatic (from September 1967): semi-trailing arm axle with double cardan shafts, transverse spring bars
Brakes: Drum brakes all around, cable operated (Ø 230 mm)
VW Export from May 1950, VW Standard from April 1962: hydraulically operated
Front disc brakes (Ø 270 mm), rear drums (Ø 230 mm)
(32 kW (1966-70))
Body: Sheet steel on a central tube platform frame
Track width front / rear: 1290-1316 / 1250-1358 mm
Wheelbase: 2400 mm
Length: 4070 mm
Empty weight: Sedan: 730–820 kg.
Cabriolet: 800–870 kg
Top speed: 105 km / h 112 km / h 115 km / h 122 km / h
Autom .: 117 km / h
128 km / h
Autom .: 123 km / h
135 km / h
Autom .: 130 km / h
0-100 km / h: 50 s 38 p 33 p 28 s
Autom .: 33 s
23 s
Autom .: 28 s
21 s
Autom .: 24 s
Consumption (liters / 100 kilometers): 7.5 N 8.0 N 8.5 N 9.5 N
Autom .: 10.5 N
10.0 N
Autom .: 11.0 N
11.0 N
Autom .: 12.0 N
Price (DM):







VW 1302 (1970–1972)

The VW 1302 (from the beginning of 1970) got a modified and 70 mm longer front end: Due to the new front axle with MacPherson struts , wishbones and stabilizer, the front trunk could be enlarged considerably. The spare wheel was not at an angle under the hood, but was under a cover under the trunk. The chassis of the Beetle was now available in three versions:

  1. The VW 1200 and VW 1300 (until 1973) continued to have a crank arm axle at the front and a swing axle at the rear.
  2. The semi-automatic Beetles offered from 1967 (VW 1500) and 1968 (VW 1300) also had the crank arm axle at the front, but a trailing arm axle at the rear .
  3. The new model 1302 and its successor 1303 (from 1972) had the most modern chassis with the MacPherson strut axle at the front and the trailing arm axle at the rear.

The basic models 1200 A and 1300 A had 25 kW and 32 kW. The 1300 L (luxury) with improved equipment also had the 32 kW engine. All Beetle models except 1200 A and 1300 A were provided with curved ventilation slots ( bananas ) behind the side windows.

Lettering VW 1302 on the tailgate of a VW 1302.

The VW 1302 was available as a basic model and L version with the 1300 cm³ engine and 32 kW / 44 hp. Two other types were available with the 1600 cc engine and 37 kW / 50 hp: the simpler 1302 S and the new top model 1302 LS . The lower end of the 1302 series marked the 1302 A with the 1200 cc engine and 25 kW. This model had no ventilation slots in the engine cover and "1302" was written on the bonnet.

Because the more powerful engines developed more heat, the models equipped with them were given a hood with four louvre groups from August 1971. In particular, the exhaust valve of the third cylinder (front left), which receives less cooling air due to the upright built-in oil cooler, is a critical point in all engines with more than 25 kW. In the case of high loads (long journeys on the motorway or uphill), the valve disc can become detached from the stem, fall into the cylinder and collide with the piston , which can result in severe engine damage . For this reason, a separate cooling duct in the blower box for the oil cooler was provided for the new 32 kW (AB engine) and 37 kW (AD engine) engines. This cooled the third cylinder just as well as the others.

On February 17, 1972, the production record for the Ford T-Model was broken. The Beetle was then the most frequently built car in the world. Only more than thirty years later, after 21,517,415 vehicles were manufactured, on June 25, 2002, a VW Golf IV built in Wolfsburg replaced the Beetle as the world's most-built passenger car.

VW 1303 (1972-1975)

The VW 1303 replaced the 1302 in 1972. The new car had a much more curved windshield (incorrectly also called a panoramic window ) than all its predecessors in order to meet the US safety regulations that came into force in August 1973, which required a minimum distance between the occupants and the windshield. There are also new rear lights, also popularly known as elephant feet. In the last year of production (model year 1975) the front indicators were moved from the top of the fenders to the bumpers. The rear end plate has been replaced by the curved design that the export models for the USA had with a catalytic converter up to now. These two features were only found in the 1975 model of the VW 1303 and in the convertibles manufactured up to 1979. In addition, the 1303 from chassis number 1352000001 received a rack-and-pinion steering instead of roller steering . Because of the start of production of the new Golf, the Beetle assembly moved to Emden. From the summer of 1975 the VW 1303 was only available as a convertible from the production facility at Karmann in Osnabrück.

Data sheet VW 1302/1303 0
VW: 1302/03 (1970-75) 1302/03 (1970-75) 1302/03 S (1970-75)
Engine: 4-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1192 cc 1285 cc 1584 cc
Bore × stroke: 77 × 64 mm 77 × 69 mm 85.5 × 69 mm
Maximum performance at 1 / min 34 PS (25 kW) at 3600 44 hp (32 kW) at 4100 50 hp (37 kW) at 4000
Max. Torque at 1 / min 75 Nm at 2000 88 Nm at 3000 106 Nm at 2800
Mixture preparation: 1 downdraft carburetor
Solex 28 Solex Solex 34
Valve control: Bumpers and rocker arms , central camshaft, spur gears
Cooling: Air cooling
Transmission: 4-speed gearbox, center shift
Gearbox (optional): with three-speed semi-automatic on request
Front suspension: MacPherson struts , wishbones , stabilizer
Rear suspension: Double joint axle ( trailing arm axle ), drive shafts with 2 joints, transverse (round) spring bars
Brakes: Drum brakes all around, hydraulically operated (Ø 230 mm) Front disc brakes (Ø 270 mm), rear drums (Ø 230 mm)
Body: Sheet steel on a central tube platform frame
Track width front / rear: 1302: 1379/1352 mm
1303: 1394/1349 mm
Wheelbase: 2420 mm
Length: 1302: 4080 mm
1303: 4110-4140 mm
Empty weight: Sedan: 860–890 kg.
Cabriolet: 920–940 kg
Top speed: 116 km / h 125 km / h
Autom .: 120 km / h
135 km / h
Autom .: 127 km / h
0-100 km / h: 32 p 26 s
Autom .: 33 s
20 s
Autom .: 24 s
Consumption (liters / 100 kilometers): 10.0 N 10.5 N
Autom .: 11.5 N
11.5 N
Autom .: 12.5 N
Price (DM):
1302 Cabrio
1303 Cabrio




VW 1200 (L) (1974–1985)

The Beetle with the old technology (suspension lever front and pendulum rear axle) was still offered in parallel to the Golf, but was now produced in the Emden plant. There was also the option of the (rarely chosen) 50 HP engine on the remaining old chassis. With a continued high daily production of approx. 2600 units, there were four Beetle versions to choose from, with 1200 or 1600 engines (34 or 50 hp), each in the economy version or with the L equipment. 50 HP cars had disc brakes at the front and a compensating spring at the rear, cars for US export also got the semi-trailing arm axle as a safety bonus in the version with manual transmission. Buyers of the 1200 could choose disc brakes for an additional charge.

On January 19, 1978, production of the Beetle sedan in Germany ended in Emden. But beetles continued to be built in South Africa, Mexico and Brazil. Since then, all VW Beetles destined for the German market have come from Volkswagen de México in Puebla . The wagons were transported by ship to the port of Emden, where they were subjected to a final inspection and final preparation by the VW workers who had previously built the local Beetles there before delivery. The customer service workshop at the VW plant in Emden also carried out any necessary modifications to the vehicles in the respective country-specific equipment for Europe, so any additional equipment such as radios, headrests and wheel trim rings were installed there.

On May 15, 1981, the 20 millionth Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. Between 1981 and 1985 VW offered some special models in Germany. In spring 1982, a team for Beetle action models was formed in Wolfsburg to design and coordinate the various special models. This team, to which the designer Gunhild Liljequist belonged, dealt with the equipment and styling of these special Beetles, planned the sales figures and took care of the production and sales.

In 1985, VW's official German import of Mexico Beetles ended with the special model 50 Years Beetle , also known as the Jubilee Beetle , and a final delivery for the German Armed Forces.

Data sheet VW 1200 (1973–1985) 0
VW: 1200 (1.3) (1973-75) 1200 (1.6) (1973-77) 1200 L (1973-85)
Engine: 4-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1285 cc 1584 cc 1192 cc
Bore × stroke: 77 × 69 mm 85.5 × 69 mm 77 × 64 mm
Maximum performance at 1 / min 32 kW at 4100 37 kW at 4000 25 kW at 3800
Max. Torque at 1 / min 86 Nm at 3000 106 Nm at 2800 74 Nm at 1700
Mixture preparation: 1 downdraft carburetor
Solex 31 Solex 34 Solex 30
Valve control: Bumpers and rocker arms, central camshaft, spur gears
Cooling: Air cooling
Transmission: 4-speed gearbox, center shift
Gearbox (optional): with three-speed semi-automatic on request
Front suspension: Crank arm axle, 2 transverse spring bars (packages)
Rear suspension: Pendulum axle, trailing arm, transverse (round) spring bars
(automatic models: double joint axle, trailing arm, transverse spring bars)
Pendulum axle, trailing arm, transverse (round) spring bars
Brakes: Drum brakes all around (Ø 230 mm) Front disc brakes (Ø 270 mm), rear drums (Ø 230 mm) Drum brakes all around (Ø 230 mm)
Body: Sheet steel on a central tube platform frame
Track width front / rear: 1308/1349 mm
Wheelbase: 2400 mm
Length: 4060 mm (L: 4090 mm)
Empty weight: Sedan: 760–820 kg
Top speed: 127 km / h
Autom .: 122 km / h
135 km / h
Autom .: 130 km / h
120 km / h
0-100 km / h: 25 s
Autom .: 32 s
21 s
Autom .: 24 s
30 s
Consumption (liters / 100 kilometers): 10.0 N
Autom .: 11.0 N
11.0 N
Autom .: 12.0 N
9.0 N
Price at introduction (DM): 5,650 7,920 7,865

VW 1600 (i) (1986-2004)

Although Volkswagen finally stopped selling the vehicle, the Beetle continued to be imported to Germany, be it through private imports or offers from small importers of the Beetle, which was still built in Mexico. From 1991 to 2004 around 6,000 vehicles came into the country. Individual suppliers equipped the Beetles with an electrically movable folding roof with a flexible rear window that reached as far as the engine ventilation slots (also known as open-air convertible sedans ).

The Mexico Beetles, which were privately imported to Germany after 1985, were criticized for their poor appearance without chrome and their poor rust prevention. That is why most of the Beetles brought to Europe were equipped by the importers with chrome bumpers, chrome wheel caps and chrome lamp rings at the customer's request.

Since October 1992 all Beetles had a new engine with the code letters ACD. It made 37 kW (50 hp) from 1584 cm³. At 7.75: 1, the compression ratio was higher than that of the earlier 1.6-liter engines. The Digifant injection and the regulated catalytic converter reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The Mexican beetles with catalytic converters can be recognized by their single, thicker exhaust pipe on the left.

In 1995 a supermarket campaign by REWE and the HL and Minimal stores became known in the media, offering new Beetles for 16,666 DM in the colors maritime blue, candy white, black and red. However, the Wirtschaftswunderwochen campaign ended in a legal dispute with VW over warranty conditions and spare parts deliveries, as VW in Germany no longer wanted to take any responsibility for new Beetles. Nevertheless, a year later the Praktiker hardware store offered the current model with a large electric sliding folding roof for DM 17,999 in the colors Malva Metallic, Blanco Brillante (white), Verde Clasico Metallic (classic green metallic), Mora Metallic and Negro Onix from June 15, 1996 (Black) on.

On July 30, 2003, production of the Beetle was stopped. From the last series (Última Edición, with chrome parts and whitewall tires and in light pastel colors, Aquarius Blue and Harvest Moon Beige and individually painted in Tornado Red and Reflex Silver Metallic) numerous vehicles came to Germany via a private importer, but initially received no approval because of that Beetle was missing an engine diagnosis indicator light (OBD = on-board diagnosis ). With a special permit from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, this obstacle was removed after weeks of disputes between the authorities and importers. The last of the 21,529,464 Beetles produced ended up in the VW Museum of the Autostadt in Wolfsburg.


VW Beetle convertible, 1949
Police convertible
Last VW Beetle convertible from 1980

The development of the VW Beetle convertible began in 1936 with a four-seater Karmann convertible as a prototype. Between 1938 and 1943, Autenrieth produced around a dozen four-seater convertibles individually, which were already similar to the later Karmann convertible. This was presented in 1949 (Karmann Cabriolet Type 15). Changes, except for the side window enlargement in 1964, were always adopted by the most powerful and best equipped sedan. In 1965 Karmann manufactured the VW 1300 with 40 HP (29.5 kW), from 1966 the VW 1500 with 44 HP (32 kW), from 1970 the VW 1302 LS with 50 HP (37 kW) and from 1972 the VW 1303 LS also with 50 HP (37 kW), which remained in production until January 10, 1980.

A buggy-like convertible based on a Beetle was created as a prototype at Karmann in 1960: the Jolly was an open version without doors and folding roof.

In 1979 the Beetle convertible cost DM 14,423. Volkswagen and Karmann built 330,281 convertibles from 1949 to 1980.

The two-seat Hebmüller convertible came out in 1949. It was built until the manufacturer went bankrupt or, according to other sources, until the factory was destroyed by fire in 1953, and it is extremely sought-after today. Hebmüller produced a total of 696 pieces from March 1949.

Between 1949 and 1952, a total of 482 four-door convertibles were made by the companies Franz Papler ( Cologne ), Hebmüller and Austro-Tatra ( Vienna ) as police vehicles with an unchanged wheelbase. The door openings were closed with canvas tarpaulins, metal doors or chains and were supposed to enable the officers to get out quickly.

From 1950 to 1961, the Berlin-based coachbuilder Rometsch manufactured around 500 VWs with open or closed special bodies, which initially cost DM 8,900. Including four-door taxis , which were a conversion of the body and extension of the chassis of the Beetle.

The passenger cell of the VW Beetle Cabriolet, including the windscreen, the doors and the side windows, was used by the Californian automobile manufacturer Clénet Coachworks between 1979 and 1987 for the American convertible Clénet Series II, 180 of which were produced. Clénet initially obtained the components directly from Volkswagen, later the company used used vehicles that could be found in junkyards.

Special models

1200 cockchafer from 1972 in bright orange

There have been numerous special models of the Beetle throughout its history. For the respective markets, special models were sometimes launched in small numbers. The annual figures refer to the model year that began decades after the summer factory holidays in September of the previous year.

Anniversary Beetle 20 million Volkswagen

Between the autumn of 1971 and 1972, a total of 15,000 units of the “Jubilee Beetle” model were produced. The models 1300, 1302 and 1302 S had a special equipment:

Color saturn yellow, reversing lights, heated rear window, electric fresh air blower, dimming interior mirror, wiper interval switch, front seats with integrated neck rest and padded dashboard. There was also a certificate and a gold-colored plaque made of brass with a number between 20,000,001 and 20,015,000 on the glove compartment flap with the text: "THIS IS A BEETLE OF THE ANNIVERSARY SERIES CELEBRATING THE 20 MILLIONTH VW. IT BEARS THE NUMBER 200xxxxx WOLFSBURG , AUTUMN 1971

World Champion

The 1972 World Champion model was a 1302 S with 50 hp. On February 17, 1972, the Beetle replaced the Ford Model T as the most-produced vehicle in the world with 15,007,034 units . About 6000 world champion Beetles were produced for this occasion. The world champion is marathon blue metallic (color code L96M) and has black and silver Lemmerz wheels with octagonal VW hub caps. All world champion vehicles had the following equipment: halogen lamps, double-tone horn, reversing lights, heated rear window, black cord seat covers, dash panel upholstery, rubber mats at the front and rear, and rubber strips on the bumpers. Each copy was delivered to customers with a certificate, a sticker, a key fob, a necklace pendant and a gold medal with the inscription Der Weltmeister 1972, Wolfsburg, Germany . The price for the special model was DM 6,930, the customer benefit for the special equipment was around DM 300. The special sales campaign lasted from February 19 to March 31, 1972.

Cockchafer (1972)

From April 15 to June 16, 1972, after good experience with the sale of the sold-out World Champion model , VW presented so-called cockchafer models in two horsepower strengths and each in limited numbers. The cockchafer type 1302 with 44 hp in the choice of colors willow green (L63K, with leather beige cord seat covers), Saturn yellow (L13M, with black cord seat covers) or blood orange (L21E, with alabaster colored cord seat covers) became one of 14,100 vehicles produced on the German market Purchase price of 6,666 D-Marks offered. The special equipment of these special models included reversing lights, a heated rear window, a car radio (MW, LW), steel belt tires and a steel crank roof. A type 1200 cockchafer with 34 hp was only available in the color bright orange (L20B) with black plastic leather seats and without a steel crank roof. The latter was produced 16,300 times and sold in Germany in a number of 5,555 for 5,555 Deutschmarks. The savings compared to the standard models were around 300 D-Marks due to the special equipment for the cockchafer.

Yellow-black racer

The yellow-black racer from 1973 was based on the 1303 S with 37 kW. 3,500 of them were produced. The GSR can be recognized by its saturn yellow paint (color code 13M) with matt black case and engine hoods (color code 41) and air slots in the front cover plate. It is equipped with an imitation leather sports steering wheel, sports seats, sports wheels measuring 5.5 × 15 and reversing lights. The bumpers are also painted yellow and black.

Winter beetle

The winter beetles were introduced at the end of 1973. There were four different models. All had a 12 volt 45 Ah battery, heated rear window, front seat belts and fog lights as special equipment. The cheapest was the VW 1200 (25 kW) in signal orange for 6,000 D-Marks. As an added bonus, it had a fuel gauge; Saving 130 DM. Next there was the VW 1200 L, also with the 25 kW engine, in cliff green for 6,300 German marks. As a special extra he had sports rims; Here, too, savings of DM 130. The third model was the VW 1303 with a 32 kW engine in rally yellow for 7,550 German marks. As special extras it had halogen lights, steel belt tires and a radio. The savings amounted to 480 DM. The most expensive and most powerful was the VW 1303 S with a 37 kW engine in Phoenix red for 7,750 D-Marks, extras as in the previous model. The savings were given as 510 DM.


The special City model, based on the 1303 with 32 kW, dates from 1974 . It was available in the colors Ibiza red (31M), Ischia metallic (green, 99M) and Ontariometallic (blue, 95M). The car had seat covers in black combined with the respective exterior color. The equipment included a rear window heater, reversing lights and 4.5 × 15 wheels. As an addition, there was a parking disc in each driver's sun visor .

Jeans 1974

The first special model jeans from 1974 was a 1200 with 25 kW. It was available in Tunis yellow (L16M), phoenix red (L32K), brilliant yellow (L11C) and marina yellow (L20A). The seats were covered with denim , hence the name. Each Beetle in this series had 4.5 × 15 sports bikes, a 12-volt system, halogen H4 main headlights, a heated rear window, a fuel meter, a rear fog lamp, dash panel upholstery as well as lettering on the side and a radio. The Jeans Beetle cost DM 6,795 at the time. Limited edition. 1200 pieces.


In 1974 the special model BIG was built based on the 1303 S with 37 kW. It was available in Hellasmetallic (beige, 98C), Ontariometallic (blue, 95M), Moosmetallic (green, 95C) and diamond silver metallic (97A). Equipment features were seat covers with large stripes of cord, loop pile carpet, wooden foil on the dashboard, sports bikes of size 5.5 × 15 and lettering on the side.

World Cup '74

The special model World Cup '74 was created on the occasion of the soccer world championship 1974 in Germany based on the 1303 as a limousine. A total of 300 pieces were produced in the colors cliff green, rally yellow, luminous orange and Senegal red. The trunk and bonnet were black. A decorative strip with the words World Cup '74 was attached to the side, and the gear knob was designed as a soccer ball. After the German national team won the world championship, an extra 25 convertibles in cliff green were made, which the players and coaches received as gifts. Uli Hoeneß was the first player to pick up his convertible from MAHAG in Munich two days after winning the World Cup .

Triple white

In 1976 the Triple White special model was created based on the 1303 convertible. The paintwork, interior and convertible top were uniformly white (color codes 1976: L80E; 1977 and 1978: L90B; 1979: L90E). The cars delivered from 1977 to 1979 had white wall tires.

Champagne edition

The champagne edition from 1977 was based on the 1303 convertible. 500 pieces were produced exclusively for the American market. The model was produced in alpine white (color code 90B) with a sand-colored hood, gold-colored stripes around the car and whitewall tires. Selected US dealers only received one copy each. In the 1978 model year there was again a champagne edition, which only differed slightly in color from the predecessor.

Triple black

The special model Triple Black from 1979 was also based on the 1303 convertible. It was the last convertible special model, kept entirely in black. The equipment was similar to the champagne edition.

Silver Bug

The 1981 Silver Bug was a 1200 with 25 kW. On May 15, 1981, the 20 millionth Beetle, a Silver Bug, was built at the Puebla plant. To celebrate the round brand, a total of 3,700 copies were made, all in diamond silver metallic (color code 97A), with a key ring, a 20 million badge on the gear knob, the bonnet and lettering on the side. The model was equipped with a heated rear window and a radio. The interior was checked in black and white.

Jeans 1982

The second special model jeans from 1982 was a 1200 with 25 kW. In a way, it was a remake of the 1974 model, this time in the colors alpine white (color code L90E) or Mars red (color code L31B). The edition was 1800 pieces.

Special bug

The Special Bug from 1982 was produced on the basis of the 1200 with 34 hp. It was available in the colors Mars red or black metallic. It had the words Special Bug on the flanks and was equipped with a Salzgitter radio and a gear knob with the Special Bug logo. 2000 pieces of this special model were issued.


In 1983 the special model Aubergine was produced based on the 1200 with 25 kW. It was only available in the color Aubergine Metallic (color code LG4U), silver-colored decorative stripes were applied to the sides. The entire interior (door and side panels) was also kept in aubergine, the seat covers (fabric) were combined in gray with aubergine-colored stripes and side panels made of artificial leather. The equipment included wheels painted in the body color with chrome-plated decorative rings. The bumpers were also chrome-plated. The circulation was 3,300 pieces, the selling price was DM 9,480.

Ice blue

In 1983 the special Eisblauer model was created , which was also offered as a winter Beetle , based on the 1200 with 25 kW. It was only available in the color ice blue metallic with dark blue and silver decorative stripes above the running boards. The interior was made of blue-gray tweed. A radio model Braunschweig and wheels with chrome-plated decorative rings were standard. The circulation was 3500 pieces.

Alpine white beetle

The Alpine White Beetle based on the 1200 with 25 kW also appeared in 1983 . The equipment corresponded exactly to the ice-blue special model. Special model number: S 711

Sunny bug

VW Beetle special model 1200 L Sunny Bug in front of Richmond Castle, Braunschweig

The Sunny Bug from 1984 (S 700) was a 1200 with 25 kW. It was only available in the color sun yellow (color code LG1H). The interior consisted of curry yellow cord, velor carpet and door panels in black. White and black double decorative stripes were attached at the height of the belt line and the running boards. There were also wheels with chrome-plated decorative rings. It cost DM 9,990 and was marketed with the slogan "Sunny Bug, the beetle at the sunshine tariff". With an edition of 1500 pieces, it is one of the rarest special Beetle models.

Velvet red special beetle

VW 1200 L special model velvet red special beetle from 1984

The velvet red special beetle from 1984 was a model 1200 with 25 kW. It was only available in the velvet red paintwork (color code LG3C) with red and blue striped velor interior and Mauritius blue velor footwell. The door panels were also kept in Mauritius blue. At belt level and above the running boards, there were two dark blue decorative stripes that converged over the running boards to form two leaf motifs. The wheels had chrome trim rings. A radio was not part of the standard scope of delivery. The edition was around 3000 pieces. The price for a Beetle sedan with the velvet red special model exceeded the DM 10,000 mark for the first time in September 1984.

Anniversary beetle

The anniversary Beetle , model year 1986, was a 1200 L model with 25 kW and was presented at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main in September 1985. It was often called Jubi and was the last Beetle officially imported from the factory to Europe. It came in two colors: pewter gray and, more rarely, zinc gray. Its front side panels and the bonnet were decorated with 50-year Beetle emblems. The body is surrounded by two thin decorative strips. Its interior was gray, it was delivered with the steering wheel from the VW Golf II and had 4.5 × 15 sports bikes, 165/80 R 15 tires and green heat-insulating glass. For the first time in a Beetle produced in Puebla, the rear window had the same dimensions as the models produced in Germany from 1972. As in the 1975 model year in Germany, the rear end plate was replaced by the curved version. The circulation was 2400 pieces.

Firebeetle 1994

VW Beetle special model 1600i Firebeetle,
built in 1994

The special model Firebeetle from 1994 was a 1600i with 37 kW, injection system, G-Kat, three-phase alternator, alarm system and immobilizer. It is estimated that between 200 and 500 pieces were produced. The special model was only delivered in onyx black and with a Firebeetle sticker on the bonnet. In addition to the green thermal insulation glazing with a green wedge, the Beetle had light alloy wheels of size 4.5 × 15 specially designed for it. The seats were black with red stripes. The first Firebeetles were still equipped with four drum brakes, but later models had disc brakes at the front.

Occasionally specimens came to Europe via private imports. A few Firebeetles were imported to Germany via Beetles Revival in Wöbbelin and Omnicar in Munich and at least one privately from the plant in Puebla. One copy is in the VW Museum.

Jeans 1995

The special model Jeans from 1995 was a 1600i with 37 kW and G-Kat. It was produced for the Mexican market in the colors mezclilla blue and tornado red. A few specimens came to Europe via private imports.


VW Beetle special model 1600i Harlequin

The special model Harlekin from 1996 was based on the 1600i (GL) with 37 kW and G-Kat. It was produced exclusively as an eye-catcher for trade fairs and large car dealerships for the Mexican market with a color mix of yellow, blue, red and turquoise. The harlequin was not officially sold to end customers. The circulation was 141 pieces, in Germany in 2007 about five pieces were registered. For the German market there was the Polo Harlequin .


The special model Summer from 2002 and 2003 was produced in a limited edition in the colors sky blue and lemon yellow. There were 400 pieces each of both colors. This special model came to Germany mainly through the importer Omnicar.

Última Edición

Última Edición

The last series with the name Última Edición , based on the 1600i with 37 kW, was presented at the beginning of July 2003, according to FIN already belonging to the 2004 model year. The various power ratings of up to 40 kW are probably due to the fact that some of the Beetles were imported and approved via Omnicar, while other Beetles were imported privately and different data were entered. About 3,000 copies were built, officially exactly 3,000. With the Última Edición, production of the Beetle was finally stopped. The cars were painted in delicate pastel shades (Aquarius Blue and Harvest Moon Beige - shades from the range of the New Beetle, also produced in Puebla), had matching wheels with white wall tires, chrome trim and - as in the 1960s - a Wolfsburg emblem Trunk lid and steering wheel. For the importer Omnicar in Munich, some copies were painted in Speedblue Metallic and Platinumgreymetallic. There are also some vehicles of the Última Edición in red.

The last Beetle built (Última Edición in Aquarius Blue) received a place in the VW collection of the Autostadt Wolfsburg . Another vehicle of the "Última Edición" is known to other circles: The penultimate Beetle (in Harvest Moon Beige) is registered in Hamburg for the Auto Bild magazine belonging to the Axel Springer publishing house and regularly takes part in trips.

Several vehicles of the Última Edición initially dealt with the courts because of the engine diagnosis display ( on-board diagnosis ) required for registration but missing in the Beetle , until in 2004 after a legal dispute with the last importer, Omnicar AG from Munich, they dealt with the Free State of Bavaria were allowed to be approved. The approval enabled an exemption from the Bavarian Ministry of Economics, but only with certain conditions such as an annual emissions test, which is now obsolete, as the AU is generally only due every two years.

A copy of the Última Edición was given as a gift to Pope John Paul II , who drove a Beetle as a young priest in Poland.

Production sites


Wolfsburg plant

Assembly line production of the VW Beetle in Wolfsburg
Production at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg in 1973

The Wolfsburg plant was the first to build the Beetle. The foundation stone was laid on May 26, 1938. However, the beginning of the Second World War prevented the start of scheduled production of the Beetle. During the war, the Kübelwagen, the Schwimmwagen and other armaments were manufactured here. Only after the end of the war, in the second half of 1945, did production of the Beetle begin, initially on a relatively modest scale. The last of 11,916,519 Beetles built there rolled off the assembly line at the main plant in Wolfsburg on July 1, 1974 at 11:19 a.m.

Emden plant

The plant in Emden was inaugurated in 1964 and by January 19, 1978 had built a total of 2,360,591 Beetles. The plant then served as an interim storage facility for all Beetle deliveries from Volkswagen de México . After receiving and final checks, the Emden customer service workshop also carried out the necessary modifications to the vehicles for the respective country-specific or special-model-specific equipment.

Other locations

Beetles were also built at the VW plant in Hanover (1974–1975), Auto Union in Ingolstadt (1965–1969) and Karmann in Osnabrück .

Rest of the world

Australia , Belgium , Brazil , Costa Rica , Finland , Indonesia , Yugoslavia , Ireland , Malaysia , Mexico , New Zealand , Nigeria , Peru , Philippines , Portugal , Singapore , South Africa , Thailand , Uruguay and Venezuela

The beetle in Mexico

Green taxi in action in Mexico City

Volkswagen de México has been producing the Beetle in Mexico since 1964. In 1981, the 20 millionth Beetle was built there. While the body of the Beetle in Germany was refreshed again and again, the Mexico Beetle lagged behind the local versions in this regard. Until the end of the 1985 model year, it had the smaller rear window, which had already been replaced by a larger one in Germany in 1971. Another innovation for the 1986 model was the curved rear cover plate that the German Beetles had had since the 1975 model year. From 1981 the Beetle in Mexico, popularly known as Vocho, had electronic ignition and from 1991 an injection engine and a catalytic converter. In Mexico the Beetle was used very often as a taxi. In order to enable the passenger to enter the narrow two-door cabin more comfortably, the front passenger seat was usually removed. Allegedly, the introduction of a new taxi regulation in Mexico City , according to which only four-door vehicles should be allowed to prevent robberies , contributed to the end of production of the Beetle. In fact, there is still no law there that stipulates that taxis must have four doors. On July 30, 2003, production in Mexico was discontinued due to the stricter emissions regulations and the constantly rising insurance premiums due to the high theft figures, which put the Beetle at a severe disadvantage compared to its competitors.

The beetle in Brazil

A beetle built in Brazil

In Brazil, the Beetle was officially named Volkswagen Fusca . The Beetle was exported to Brazil from the early 1950s. When the government there decided to drastically tighten the import regulations from 1957, VW responded by starting Beetle production in São Bernardo do Campo in 1959; according to the law, at least 54% of the models produced there were made from Brazilian parts. A special feature of the cars made in Brazil was the body used in Germany only between summer 1957 and summer 1963: In contrast to cars made elsewhere, the windows were not enlarged in the following years (with the exception of the rear window, which was adapted to the German model from 1964 in 1966 ) - technical developments such as forced ventilation behind the rear side windows were introduced, albeit much later than with the German Beetle. The fuel cap was also only moved from the inner trunk to the front side wall in 1978. The horizontal (angled) headlights were installed in Brazil until 1973, while they had been changed in Germany as early as 1967. Initially the VW 1200 was produced, which was replaced by the VW 1300 in 1967. The VW 1500 followed in the summer of 1970 and the VW 1600 S with a 1.6-liter twin carburetor engine in 1974 . In 1986 the Brazilian Beetle production ended after almost 3.3 million units.

In 1993, production of the 1600 was resumed under the name Fusca Itamar, with old technology and the aforementioned older body with the smaller windows that had only existed in Germany until mid-1963. Allegedly because of the tropical temperatures and lower heating of the interior of the car, according to other sources, in order to be able to continue using the pressing tools that were discarded in Germany but not yet worn out. The large multi-chamber rear lights of the VW 1303, wider tires in the format 165 / 80-15 and a completely redesigned dashboard were concessions to modernity; the engine did not receive the injection used in Mexico at the same time. VW in Wolfsburg supported the Brazilian branch by shipping the complete set of the expensive and heavy pressing tools for the old Beetle body to Brazil . Occasionally, Brazil beetles also found their way to Europe via individual imports. By 1996, another 46,000 Brazilian Beetles had been produced.

Between 1992 and 1999 Tecpama also built Beetle engines into motorcycles in Sao Paulo. The approximately 1,000 Kahena 1600s were mainly used as escort vehicles by the police and the military.

Datasheet: Beetle from Brazil 0
VW: 1200 (1959-67) 1300 (1967-83) 1500 (1970-77) 1600 S (1974-86)
Engine: 4-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
Displacement: 1192 cc 1285 cc 1493 cc 1584 cc
Bore × stroke: 77 × 64 mm 77 × 69 mm 83 × 69 mm 85.5 × 69 mm
Maximum performance at 1 / min 22 kW at 3700 28 kW at 4600 32 kW at 4600 40 kW at 4600
Max. Torque at 1 / min 86 Nm at 2400 89 Nm at 2600 101 Nm at 2600 115 Nm at 3200
Mixture preparation: 1 downdraft carburetor 1 downdraft twin carburetor
Valve control: Bumpers and rocker arms, central camshaft, spur gears
Cooling: Air cooling
Transmission: 4-speed gearbox, center shift
Front suspension: Crank arm axle, 2 transverse spring bars (packages)
Rear suspension: Pendulum axle, trailing arm, transverse round spring bars
Brakes: Drum brakes all around Disc brakes at the front (diameter 27.7 cm), drum brakes at the rear
Body: Sheet steel on a central tube platform frame
Track width front / rear: 1305/1290 mm 1310/1350 mm
Wheelbase: 2400 mm
Length: 4030 mm
Empty weight: Limousine: 780 kg Limousine: 800 kg Limousine: 805 kg
Top speed: 110 km / h 120 km / h 125 km / h 135 km / h
0-100 km / h: 39 s 33 p 25 s 18 s
Consumption (liters / 100 kilometers): n / A 8.3 N 8.5 N n / A

The beetle in South Africa

Volkswagen 1600 S Beetle South Africa

Beetle models were built in South Africa from 1951 to 1979. They were called Kewer or Beetle .

There were some special variants that were only built in South Africa. Under the designation 1600 S there was a model with the short front end with torsion bar suspension from the 1300 but with the curved windshield and dashboard from the 1303.

In addition, the strongest series-produced Beetle was also produced in South Africa under the name 1600 SP. Its engine developed 43.2 kW (approx. 59 hp). The model was equipped with a front spoiler and sports steering wheel as standard.

Special versions of VW Beetles

Mobile homes, commercial vehicles, coupes, convertibles and fun vehicles

The Beetle forms the basis for numerous conversions, called kitcars
Fire brigade command vehicle in the Soest district (VW 1200 A model 1966, successor to the standard)
A conversion of the Beetle into a stretch limousine
Memminger Feine-Cabrios & Stahlbau presented the Roadster 2.7 based on the Beetle at the Retro Classics 2018
The ADAC Beetle
Herbie replica
knitted beetle

With its platform floor assembly, the Beetle was ideal for carrying a wide variety of special superstructures. Turning away from the platform, VW itself developed the VW Transporter (Type 2) from the Beetle in the early 1950s . Before that, Beetles had been converted into pickups in the late 1940s, while still under British occupation ; With the removal of the rear row of seats, a small open loading area was built over the engine.

The Beetle was also used as a base vehicle for mobile homes.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, a number of right-hand drive Beetles with a loading area instead of the rear and front passenger seats were built for the Deutsche Bundespost . Mailbox emptying was carried out with these vehicles. The right-hand drive served to avoid accidents: the driver could get out of the vehicle directly onto the sidewalk towards the mailbox and thus avoid the flowing traffic.

The sporty two-seater coupés and convertibles are very well known, which were produced under the name VW Karmann-Ghia (pronounced Gia) based on drawings by the Italian designer Giacinto Ghia at Karmann in Osnabrück in an edition of around 445,000 copies. In addition to these vehicles, Karmann also built the normal Beetle convertible on behalf of VW.

From 1951 to 1954, the Rometsch body shop in Berlin converted almost two dozen VW Exports into four-door sedans with a 180 mm longer wheelbase. The price for this was 2000 DM.

Around the same time as Karmann, the Swiss body construction company Gebrüder Beutler presented an elegant, light-looking coupé based on a Beetle. How many of these vehicles were built is not known.

The Swiss doctor Dr. Emil Enzmann designed a doorless roadster body for the Beetle 1100. The car was presented in Switzerland in 1956 and shown as the Enzmann 506 at the 1957 IAA in Frankfurt . It was built until 1968 as a Spider with a racing window, as a convertible and as a hardtop . Around 100 copies were made during this time. The Enzmann has been built again since 2001.

On the Beetle chassis, VW later built the panel van or post delivery van 147, which was nicknamed Fridolin and which is now a popular classic vehicle, using parts of the Type 2 and Type 3 (VW 1500/1600 series) . A total of 6,123 copies of the 147 were made between 1963 and 1974. As a result of the very inadequate rust prevention at the time, only a few specimens survived.

The four-door open multi-purpose vehicle VW 181 , marketed as Volkswagen Thing in the USA , was also based on the Beetle . Of the 181, 90,883 pieces were produced in Germany and Mexico from 1969 to 1979.

In the late 1960s, at the time of pop and Californian influenced Hippie -Lebensstils who came buggies on. These were converted Beetles with plastic bodies that had evolved from the Baja California racing vehicles . The American Bruce Meyers was the pioneer of the buggy from 1963. In Germany, from 1971 to 1977, Karmann offered the VW buggy Karmann GF, developed by members of the editorial team of the magazine Gute Fahrt together with the coachbuilders, and the AHS-IMP (based here on the American EMPI IMP) developed by the car dealership Südhannover in Göttingen in 1969 as a kit or finished vehicle on. All engines from 1200 to 1600 could be used, the prices were around 3000 DM for a kit and over 9000 DM for a complete vehicle. Around 1200 of the Karmann GF and around 600 of the Imp were registered in West Germany.

The VW Type 82 Replica was an exotic product among the plastic buggies . This was offered by the Karlsruhe company PET Products for 4,300 marks as a kit (body only) or for 10,300 marks as a complete vehicle. Between 1966 and 1969, only 13 vehicles were brought onto the market. The introduction of the VW 181 for only 8,500 marks made the PET tub economically unattractive for customers, so that PET Products eventually disappeared from the market.

The so-called Nordstadt beetle is an extremely rare special form . In 1973 , under the direction of Günter Artz, a car in the form of a VW 1303 was built at the Nordstadt dealership in Hanover , but on the base plate of the Porsche 914/6 . An engine from the Porsche Carrera RS with a displacement of 2.7 liters was selected as the drive and installed in the mid-engine position. The power was 154.5 kW. The car accelerated to 100 km / h in just over seven seconds and reached a top speed of almost 220 km / h. Since the base plate of the Porsche 914 was larger than that of the Beetle, the body had to be widened accordingly. A total of around 2000 working hours are said to have been required to complete the car.

Alternative technique

Converted Beetle with different headlights, tires, rims and other modifications
Detailed view of the converted engine

Because of its simple construction, the Beetle has always been the object of modifications and tinkering. These were often aimed at increasing engine power and speed. While this was still done in the 1960s by using different pistons and cylinders , engines from the VW Type 4 were often built into the Beetle in the early 1970s . This resulted in a respectable performance of up to 85 hp (62.5 kW). Later, the identical engine of the Porsche 914 with 2.0 liter displacement and 100 HP (73.5 kW) rated output was often used. These engines have been further developed by hobbyists and companies over the course of time and today they have displacements of over three liters and outputs of over 280 hp (206 kW). This technology was and is expensive; large engines sometimes cost 20,000 euros, not including necessary modifications such as larger brakes, gears, etc.

For this reason, inexpensive and durable alternatives were sought. These were initially found sporadically in water-cooled engines from the VW Passat or Golf GTI , which had an output of 81 kW. Since these are in- line engines and the conversion cannot be completely accommodated in the engine compartment, this was not a satisfactory solution. In the 1980s, Michael Hammer (Hammer Spezial in Mainz and Bingen) had dealt with the installation of water-cooled 112 HP boxer engines (Type 2 VW bus) in the Beetle and with corresponding emissions reports, chassis, brakes and transmission modifications Helped beetles to reach TÜV-approved 200 km / h. At the time, Hammer was the youngest exhibitor at the IAA to present this water-cooled boxer (designation W2,1i) in a Mexico Beetle converted into a fully convertible. After Karmann ceased production, it was the only four-seater fully convertible variant (in topchop design). In the meantime, engines from Subaru are increasingly being installed, since they are compact boxer engines from large-scale production. The Legacy model, for example, offers engines with 100 kW or 147 kW with power reserves upwards in addition to water cooling, some with turbocharging . Partly also be rotary engines from Mazda installed; they are also compact and powerful.

Many changes such as the installation of Porsche wheels and Porsche braking systems were possible without any difficulties. There was also a compressor (Judson) from America, which was driven by an additional V-belt.

In addition to the Judson compressor, two-carburetor systems from Gerhard Oettinger (1920–1997) in Friedrichsdorf im Taunus and Autotechnik in Hanover (Express) were used to increase performance. The better known was the Okrasa plant (Oettinger Kraftfahrtechnische Spezial Anstalt), which came onto the market in 1951. With two SOLEX 32PBJ carburettors and intake pipes with preheating, the output increased from 25 PS (18.5 kW) to 36 PS (26.5 kW) at 4000 rpm, which enabled a top speed of 120 km / h. Oettinger further developed the tuning for the Beetle engine and, in addition to other modifications, offered special cylinder heads with double intake ports in 1954 and in 1955 his own crankshaft made of chrome-molybdenum steel with counterweights and increased stroke for 1.3 and 1.4 liter displacement. The power was 50 to 70 hp (37 kW to 51 kW). In the course of development, the displacement was increased to up to two liters, with the engines of the VW 411 installed in the Beetle to 2.3 liters with up to 110 hp (81 kW).

VW Beetle with an electric motor

Rear view retro beetle
Rear view of the retro beetle with the flap open: electric motor and electronics

Converted VW Beetles with a 100 kW electric motor ( synchronous machine ) instead of the VW 122 boxer engine have been offered under the Retro Käfer brand since 2017 . These Beetles, mostly 1302 and 1303, are restored and converted by Murschel Electric Cars GmbH & Co. KG. A 300 kg lithium phosphate accumulator is built into the floor pan and can store 22 kWh of energy. The total weight of the vehicle is around 1000 kg, the maximum speed is specified at 150 km / h, the range should be up to 150 km. Furthermore, in the course of the restoration work, the retro beetle will be given luxurious equipment such as leather seats, a touchscreen control panel or LED headlights. The vehicle's charger charges with up to 22 kW and can therefore fully charge the battery within an hour; The charging process takes around six hours at a Schuko socket .

The Beetle in motorsport

The Swede Mikael Nordström was established in 1985 with its 500-horsepower all-wheel -Käfer fifth in the FIA - Rallycross European Championship
VW 1302 at the 1973 6-hour race on the Nürburgring

The Beetle has a long tradition in amateur motorsport. Its compact design and low weight offered a good basis for a dragster . When the NHRA mid-1960s drag race in Southern California organized, the first converted VW Beetle drove race cars V8 against the big American. Although inferior in terms of performance, the very light vehicles could keep up. Since VW Beetles suddenly dominated many racing classes, but Volkswagen officially did not support such races financially, the large American automobile manufacturers who invested a lot of money in such events put pressure on the NHRA.

From the mid-1970s, the rules of the NHRA were changed to such an extent that racing cars based on VW Beetles could no longer be built in accordance with the rules. Today there are special classes just for VW Beetles in which professional motorsport is carried out.

Beetles were also used in other racing sports. The drivers of the rally beetles from Porsche Salzburg in Austria, in particular , repeatedly attracted attention with their notable successes. In the European Rallycross Championship, the Beetles with up to 520 hp (with a displacement of over two liters and a turbocharger ) were very successful from 1973 to the mid-1980s. After their FIA homologation finally expired, some VW 1303 S were converted and were able to compete in rallycross races for a few more years with the homologation papers of the Brazilian Fusca 113. In the 1970s, Beetle autocross races were popular in Germany and the Netherlands. For this purpose, the fenders of the beetles were cut off, the windows removed and mosquito nets installed. There were also formula racing cars of the so-called Formula Vee (or Vau), which had a Beetle drive set with an inverted engine-gearbox unit ( mid-engine ). The Volkswagen Formula, launched around 2000, was much freer .

The Käfer Cup was held from 1989 to 2000 , a series consisting of slalom , mountain and circuit races . An air-cooled boxer engine with a displacement of up to 2.0 liters and a largely unchanged body were required. Wheels, tires, chassis, brakes, gearbox and steering were free.

Vehicles that look similar to the VW Beetle are currently being used in a racing series created especially for them, the Uniroyal Funcup . The racing cars consist of a tubular space frame with a fiberglass body. The engine and transmission come from the VW Golf and are sealed to ensure equal opportunities.

The beetle in advertising

The success story of the VW Beetle is largely thanks to a successful advertising campaign that VW commissioned the New York agency Doyle, Dane and Bernbach (DDB) to carry out in 1959 . The primary goal was to increase sales in the highly competitive American market. At this point in time, the Beetle was almost selling itself in Germany. Apart from an advertisement at the end of the year that proved the success of the plant, VW had not yet placed any large-scale advertisements.

The DDB agency broke new ground with its advertising, it did not praise the Beetle above all else, as is usual in advertising, and it did not present it as the best car per se, but instead highlighted the small but subtle differences compared to the competition. She designed advertisements that made customers think, laugh and discuss. And this is how slogans such as “Think small”, “It runs and runs and runs…”, “There are forms that cannot be improved” or “We keep the form” were created. Until the end. "(As a signature under a chicken egg with the painted contours of the VW Beetle)," If you don't show off, you get more out of life ", etc., which are still considered exemplary and pioneering in the advertising industry.

Due to the resounding success of this advertising in the USA, VW transferred overall responsibility for the Beetle advertising in Germany to the DDB agency from 1962 onwards. It is largely thanks to these advertising campaigns, which repeatedly pointed out the quality, longevity and ease of maintenance of the Beetle with ever new details, that a myth of the VW Beetle emerged. When the official German import of Mexico Beetles by VW ended in autumn 1985, the DDB agency honored this event with the last German Beetle advertising slogan "It was fun"

The VW Beetle in art

VW-Vincent, 1999, ARTwork-Beetle in the style of Vincent van Gogh
Flower beetle in the Montreal Botanical Garden
Hippie Beetle 1974
KdF car (1940) as a tin toy from Georg Fischer, Nuremberg; Museum of Labor , Hamburg
VW Beetle 1300 from the Swiss Post as a toy model (2018)

The VW Beetle is one of the industrial products that has made its way into art in many forms. The cult car inspired several well-known artists to deal with the VW Beetle in graphics, paintings and installations. In addition, some films were made with the beetle.


There were two film series with the VW Beetle in the lead role, which contributed to the car's positive image :

  • the American Herbie series (six feature films and one television film from 1969 to 2005, also the television series in 1982); characteristic is the start number 53 on a white circle,
  • the German Dudu series from the 1970s, consisting of five films.

There is, for example, in the film The Sleeper by Woody Allen an allusion to the supposed reliability of the beetle. On his escape, the protagonist finds a 200-year-old beetle that starts immediately. In Norway , Pelle is the police car , similar to Herbie, a personified part of several films, radio productions and a separate television series for children.


In 2001 the German music group Welle: Erdball published a veritable love song for the VW Beetle on their album Die Wunderwelt der Technik with the title VW Beetle .

On the 1974 album Autobahn by the German group Kraftwerk , the sound of a beetle starting can be heard at the beginning of the title song. The record sleeve also shows a Mercedes W 112 and a Volkswagen Beetle.


  • The slogan "And runs and runs and runs ...", with which the Volkswagen Group advertised the Beetle for years, is legendary.
  • In Denmark, the Beetle was voted Car of the Century.
  • The reception of the car in the USA was cautious in the mid-1950s. The American automobile journalist Wilbur Shaw quoted a VW salesman at Auto Imports Ltd. in an article for the German magazine Hobby in 1954 . in Indianapolis : “Of course, the car is not a feast for the eyes. But it wasn't built to show off. It's a good, cheap means of transport - that's all. ”The sales figures rose nevertheless: around 1952 around 100 vehicles were sold per month, in 1954 it was 700. The nickname for the Beetle in those years was Model T because of the mass production in Europe.
  • Beetle engines are still used today, e.g. B. in trikes .
  • The Volkswagen Type 1, built up to October 1949, could be started with a standard crank if the battery no longer provided sufficient power to start. The crank was attached through an opening in the rear end panel of the body.


  • Bernd Wiersch: The Beetle Chronicle - The story of a car legend. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 3-7688-1695-8 .
  • Bernd Wiersch: The noble beetles - special bodies from Rometsch, Dannenhauer & Stauss, Wilhelm Karmann, Enzmann, Gebr. Beutler, Ghia Aigle, Joseph Hebmüller & Sons, Drews, Wendler. 1st edition. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2007, ISBN 978-3-7688-1971-8 .
  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold : The Beetle - A Documentation. Volume 1: The models from 1945 until today with all technical data and details. 5th edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-7168-1582-9 .
  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold: The Beetle - A Documentation. Volume 2: The Beetle Development from 1934 until today. From master model to world champion. 4th edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-7168-1613-2 .
  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold: The Beetle - A Documentation. Volume 3: The diversity of the beetle. 3. Edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-7168-1660-4 .
  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold: The Beetle - A Documentation. Volume 4: special bodies, convertibles, Karmann-Ghia, buggy, foreign production. 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-7168-1890-9 .
  • Alexander Frank Storz: VW Beetle 1953–1978. A documentation. (Schrader-Types-Chronik), 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-613-03390-0 .
  • Gerd Hack, Dieter Korp : VW Beetle - Now I'll get it out of line faster (Special) Volume 7: Now I'm helping myself . Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1969.
  • Ulrich von Pidoll: VW Beetle - A car makes history. Autovision-Verlag, Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-930656-36-1 .
  • Paul Schilperoord: The True Story of the VW Beetle - How the Nazis Josef Ganz stole the VW patents . Huber-Verlag, Frauenfeld u. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-7193-1565-8 .
  • Paul Simsa : The file: VW Beetle (studies on the construction and the performance of the civil and military Volkswagen from the period 1938 to 1946). (Reprint of an official research report from 1947), Heel Verlag, Königswinter 1999, ISBN 3-89365-761-4 .
  • Paul Simsa: Hitler, Beetle, popular fraud. How Ferdinand Porsche fascinated the “Führer”. Bodensteiner Verlag, Wallmoden 2004, ISBN 3-9806631-3-2 .
  • Joachim Kuch: Volkswagen Model History, Volume 1: Of Beetles, Coatis and Transporters. 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-613-01881-0 .
  • Hans-Georg Mayer: The VW Beetle in the war and in military use afterwards. Volume 114 from the series Waffen-Arsenal , Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, Dorheim 1988, ISBN 3-7909-0357-4 .
  • Joerg Lehmann, Katja Volkmer: The Beetle, teNeues Media, Kempen 2018, ISBN 978-3-96171-080-5 .

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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on May 12, 2006 .