The origins of the VW Beetle date back to 1924. It was actually Adolf Hitler’s idea. He was in prison after the failed rebellion on the Federal German Capital. He thought that the Government could construct particular roads for motor vehicles and mass-produce a car the average person would be able to buy. The Volkswagen, also known as “the people’s vehicle,” was born.
The Birth of the Beetle
The first Volkswagen was made in Germany in 1938. Adolf Hitler originally designed the Beetle to be the “people’s car.” (translation: The Volkswagen). Although the car was affordable, practical, and cute, it was not until the 1940s, when Germany wanted to boost their economy, that the Beetle made its way onto the streets. It could travel only 62 km/h at that time.
More than 1 million Beetles were in circulation in 1955. The Beetle quickly became one the most popular cars in the marketplace. As the popularity of the Beetle grew across oceans, it became a symbol of globalization. Every American woman and hippie wanted this curvy car.
Beetles at the Big Screen
The Beetle made its debut on the big screen in 1968. The Love Bug was directed by Disney and starred Dean Jones and Michele Lee. It is a Disney film about a race car driver who becomes friends with an animating Beetle called Herbie. This film helped cement the car’s image and added joy to the vehicle, just in time for it to become an iconic Woodstock symbol. Since then, there have been many Herbie movies featuring the cheerful VW Beetle.
Germany Says Goodbye, America Says Hi
The production of the Beetle in Germany stopped in 1978. This officially makes the tiny Bug an all-American car. Newer front-drive models were created during this period, which changed the Beetle’s appearance while maintaining its iconic silhouette.
Beetles Big Upgrade
The little Bug received a significant makeover in 1998. The “New Beetle” was a completely new retro version built on a modified Golf platform.
Production of the Beetle will cease in 2019. Quartz magazine reports that “well-wishers” gathered at VW’s Puebla plant this week to send the Bug off to the great beyond. The VW de Mexico chief executive Steffen Riche was almost overcome by grief when a five-piece mariachi band paid their respects. Although the Bug is now rolling on the roads, the memories of the cute car could always live on.