|VW Beetle circa mid 50s|
The much-loved Volkswagen Beetle was first conceived as an economizing measure, for an affordable 'people's car' in Germany on the eve of WW2, in 1938. With over 2 million produced since, the Beetle has the great distinction of being the most enduring car design in the world and also the most manufactured of any single design type. So why has this little rear-engined, rear-wheel drive car been so successful?
|1949 Beetle Convertable.|
It's interesting to note however, that some of its exterior design features of the Beetle echo the earlier, Czech made Tatra T97 and in fact, Tatra did attempt to sue Ferdinand Porsche early on in the piece. Porsche evidently was willing to settle, after having admitted to "looking over the Tatra designs', but Hitler declared he would "settle the matter" and indeed he did, for when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, production of the Tatra ceased immediately and the lawsuit became a moot point.
|Tatra T97 Circa 1936, '37|
Beetles were designed to be reliable and economical, both to buy and to run- salient features that set them apart from the pack. The curvy car was also aesthetically appealing, with a bubble-like, rounded charm and 'personality'. Despite some earlier skepticism from American Auto-manufacturer's, by the 1950s the Beetle had become a top-selling car in the US and was stronger and faster than many comparable European small cars on the market at the time.
|The versatile Beetle converted to a pick-up truck.|
|1968 Beetle Volksrod|