VW Beetle Bugs Green Machines By Volkswagen
1938 VW Bug- Beetle
Today being “green” is a fashionable thing to be, but for the VW Bug “green” has always been in style.
Having had a controversial start, the VW Bug was created as the "people's car" in Germany at the commission of Adolf Hitler during the years of 1934-1935. In reality the car was simply the result of a 1932 prototype developed by Ferdinand Porsche, whose passion for the car had ultimately brought his dreams into fruition. Producing the car of his dreams, it has stayed popular well into the 21st century - easily and by far, the longest production run of any single car design ever. It would evolve constantly, but always be the Beetle, even though that was never it's official name.
VW Bug- Ever wished you owned a Volkswagen?
History of the VW Bug
- VW HISTORY VOLKSWAGEN HISTORY HISTORIC EVENTS IN VOLKSWAGEN S LIFE
Literally, the word "volkswagen" means "people's car." In Germany, the idea of a people's car wasn't exactly a new one.
VW Bug Gas Mileage Chart
- Volkswagen Beetle Gas Mileage
What can you say about the Volkswagen New Beetle? While folks either love or hate the VW Beetle ’s iconic design, the little Bug has always delivered acceptable gas mileage.
Volkswagen means "the people's car", and the choice of name was not accidental.
The VW Bug was created with the prospect of every German being able to own a car. It was to be produced to be efficient, economical and at a low cost, making it affordable for everyone to own.
It was explicitly conceived to mobilize the typical German family of the Thirties. It optimisticly held five people, who could travel comfortably with their array of baggage. Though small, it was in direct oppositon to the cars produced in the American arena. It cruised easily at 60 mph and had a range of 250 miles. Every component of the original car was produced in Germany with precision German engineering.
Henry Ford II lovingly dismissed it as the "little sh#t box", and was in for a surprise when "the little box" stole market shares from Detroit as it hit the American scene.
Gas prices got you down? Learn the value of a dollar!
VW Bug- Here to stay!
The consumer mentality of the 1950s changed drastically as they fell in love with their VW Bug.
"In the Fifties, along with their non-conformist tweed jackets, American intellectuals who disdained the gigantism of mile-long and expensive Buicks, Cadillacs, and Dodges adopted it as their symbol." Alessandro Pasi
According to the National Automotive Dealers Association survey of import ownership which was taken in 1956-58, VW Bug customers in the United States simply bought them because they were cheap; 88% of the consumers said they were "cheaper to operate", 60% said they would have bought a domestic car if one had been available at a similar price.
The ownership of the car was not initially an emotional decision, but quickly became one by the mid- 1950s. In 1956, Popular Mechanics wrote, "What is there about this small, ugly, low- powered import that excites people all over the world and makes every owner talk like a salesman?" After talking with hundreds of owners the same magazine concluded that, "these owners actually have fallen in love with a car."
1946 VW Bug
VW Bug- Why mess with perfection?
VW Bug - Simple
Changes in the VW Bug During the 1950s
- 7-1-1949 Birth of the Export model, high-gloss paint job, chrome trim, front hood could be opened from inside with a safety lock.
- 4-28-1950 Type 11A model, operable canvas sunroof optional.
- 1-6-1951 Side air intakes for ventilation, telescopic rear shock absorbers, enameled Wolfsburg crest on the rear hood, cushioned armrests for the rear seat only (only on the export model and only at the end of 1951.)
- 10-1-1952 Smaller wheels(5.60-15"), vent windows, bumpers and bumper guards modified, two brake lights combined with position lights and turn-signal indicators.
- 3-10-1953 Enlarged oval rear window with no central mullion.
- 12-21-1953 New 1192 cc, 30 horsepower, 3400 RPM, 7.7 mkg engine. Started with a key rather than a button on the dashboard. The breaking-in period for the engine is eliminated.
- 8-1-1955 Double exhaust pipe, sunroof in plastic fabric, new rear lights and turn signals mounted higher on the back fenders. US regulation reinforced bumper introduced.
- 8-1-1957 Rear window and windshield enlarged, new shape for the rear hatch lid, nose-shaped hood over the rear license light.
- 8-1-1958 External rear wiew mirror standard.
- 8-1-1959 Stationary door handles with pushbutton operation. Anti-roll bar on the front axle.
In the 1960s the VW Bug reached "cult" status.
"In the Sixties, flower-children, and hippies found in the little, versatile Beetle- extravagantly painted and individualized- a tool for protesting consumerism (such as the traditional car, wife, and career found in many sit-coms of the day.)" Alessandro Pasi
Reaching "cult" status in the 1960s, primarily because of quality, appearance, ease of repair, and increased advertising campaigns, customers began to build a "relationship" with their car.
According to Life magazine the Volkswagen was thought of as, "a member of the family that just happens to live in the garage." Popular Mechanics interviewed a businesswoman who called her VW Beetle "the first major love affair of my life."
This made the stage ripe for Walt Disney to produce the popular movies about Herbie, The Love Bug, which eventual became a series.
The California Classic 1960 VW Bug
VW Bug- Easy to Drive
VW Bug- Quality, it's the little things!
Changes in the VW Bug in the 1960s
- 8-1-1960 Window-cleaner mechanism, asymmetrical low beam lights, semaphore turn signals replaced by flashing bulbs, 1192 cc, 34 horsepower, 3600 RPM, 8.4 mkg engine, automatic starter. Tank enlarged from 22 to 36 gallons.
- 8-1-1961 Rear lights in two sections. Fuel gauge, counterbalanced front hood.
- 8-1-1962 Wolfsburg crest eliminated from the hood.
- 8-1-9163 Crank-operated sliding steel sunroof, larger and rectangular cowling over the license light.
- 8-1-1964 Glass surface area enlarged; windshield wipers rest on the left, engine hood opened by push-button.
- 8-1-1965 Perforated wheel rims, flat rather than rounded hubcaps, new 1300 cc engine, letter F, 40 horsepower (the 34 horsepower, 1192 cc engine becomes letter D; the 30 horsepower A is for the economical Standard version.)
- 8-1-1966 New 1500 cc engine, letter H and 44 horsepower, rear track enlarged, rear hood modified, license light changed, thinner chrome molding, new door locks. Disk brakes on the front wheels standard for the 1500, optional for the 1300.
- 8-1-1967 12-volt electrical system, vertical front headlights, new ventilation system, three-point anchoring of the seatbelts, rear belts, plastic knobs, steelplate (stronger) bumbers, external fuel inlet on right side.
In the Seventies and Eighties the VW Bug becomes a collectable.
Due to the "gas shortage" in the 1970s and rising gas prices of the 1980s, new manufactures arrived on the automotive scene giving the VW Bug a run for its money. Companies like Honda, Datsun, and Toyota produced by Japan brought products that were functionally superior in terms of price, quality and technology.
Being manufactured in Mexico instead of Germany, the VW Bug was soon to be gone.
In 1980 the last Herbie movie was made, and only 33 cars were sold in 1981. The VW Bug had finally died. In 1985 Beetle imports from Mexico finally terminated.
Was the VW Bug Dead? No way! The VW Bug was destined to become a collectible. From California to the Old World, clubs, and associations were started, as were whole newspapers dedicated to "old faithful", as the little Volkswagen was called in Germany.
VW Bug- Luxury and Economy
1973 Super Beetle- VW Bug
The VW Bug- Reliable!
Changes Made to the VW Bug in the 1970s
- 8-1-1970 New model, nicknamed the Super Beetle (imprint 1302) with enlarged baggage compartment and horizontal rather than vertical spare tire. McPherson style front suspension. New engines: 50 horsepower 1600 cc (letter AD), and 44 horsepower 1300 cc (letter AB). Dynamic circulation with forced rear flow on the Beetle, too.
- 8-1-1971 Better ventilation, supplementary air intakes on the rear hood.
- 8-1-1972 New Super Beetle (imprint 1303) with panoramic windshield and new curved dashboard. Rear window surfaces enlarged.
- 8-1-1973 The 1304 has a negative ground. Standard Beetle with bumpers painted black.
- 8-1-1974 Rear turn indicators no longer on the fenders but integrated into the bumpers.
- 8-1-1975 Beetle L with chrome bumpers and hub caps, rims painted silver, backup lights, forced-air ventilation, padded dashboard.
- 8-1-1978 End of sedan model production in Germany; Mexican made Beetle begins export to Europe.
VW Bug- Air Conditioning and all the frills!
VW Bugs- Why change?
The 1990's saw the resurrection of the VW Bug.
In January of 1994 "Concept One" was presented at the Chicago Auto Show. and in 1995 another version was shown at the Tokyo Salon. By 1996 the New Beetle appeared at the Geneva Auto Show and in the spring of 1998 was finally merchandised in the United States. This gave the VW Bug customer a chance to show their emotional loyality.
The Future VW Bug
In 2009 what does Volkswagen have in store for us?
The next generation Bug will still be concerned with the original "green" issues that it had at its inception, but will be updating its body style to make a more dynamic statement. It will be available in three different versions: coupe, convertible and pick-up. Watch for more information to come.
In 2010 Volkswagen adds a new "Backward Hybrid", diesel and electric!
Volkswagen is now ready to build a plug in hybrid and willing to put up the cash to do it! A "Twin Drive" Golf powered by a 122 horsepower diesel engine and 82 horsies of electric motor is set to be the next production car from Volkswagen ready by 2010. VW plans on spending $769 million on the project, helped along by a $23.5 million program put in place by the German government to help along such development.
"The car, which uses the electric motor for primary power, supplemented by the diesel motor and regenerative braking for extra juice, should be able to squeeze about 31 miles out of its Sanyo-developed lithium-ion batteries in all-electric mode."
Volkswagen once again on the cutting edge.
What's new for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
VW Bug Owners Unite
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