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Car of the Week: Volkswagen Beetle

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This times "Car of the Week" the number one People's Car: the Volkswagen Beetle.

... "It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void" ...

Finally its time to honor the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform, the Volkswagen Beetle. Or Bug. Or Type 1. Or its original name, "Käfer", in german.

Already in 1931 Ferdinand Porsche developed a "car for everybody" for the german company Zündapp. One year later there were three prototypes running. (None of these is still exisiting cause they haven't survived the comb attacks in 1945)

Short time later, in 1933, Adolf Hitler wanted Porsche to develop a "Volkswagen", a people's car, a basic, easy and affordable one which can transport two adults and their three children at a speed of 100 km/h, on the Autobahn. The price was 990 Reichsmark, at this time. The average income of a worker was around 130 Reichsmark per month.

The Beetle/"Käfer" got pretty popular around the world and after 65 years after its original launch and a 58 years of production history the 21,529,464 Beetle ended the production of the worlds most manufactured car in the world on the 30th July 2003. It was brought to the Company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, and has the chassis number VIN 3VWS1A1B54M905162.

The last 3,000 Beetles were available in Aquarius Blue or Harvest Moon Beige. These "final editions" also had a CD player with four speakers, chrome bumpers, tunted glass, body colored wheels, hub caps and a few more gadgets. These models cost about $1,300 more than the typical model.

To celebrate there were also a few nice Commercials in Mexico, like one where many big cars tried to park in a very small parking place, none fitted in. Then a sign appeared in the parking space which said "It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void".

An another people's car succeeded the Beetle in 1974, the Golf. Also a (not so liked) "new Beetle" version followed in 1998. Fortunately a new new Beetle just got presented this year and is finally more Beetle than it's predecessor.

In 1999 the Beetle ranked the forth place of the "world's most influential cars of the 20th century". The top three were the Ford Model T, the Mini and the Citroën DS.



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