An end of an era – Volkswagen to cease production of the Volkswagen Beetle
A constant since 1938 and arguably an automotive icon, Volkswagen recently announced that the famous ‘Peoples Car’ will be no more. A recipe that remained unchanged for decades, the Volkswagen Beetle was one of the longest produced models in automotive history. A famous name that will surely be missed, let’s take a moment to look back on an illustrious career for the Beetle.
Affectionately known as the ‘Bug’ amongst other nicknames, the Beetle was designed as an air-cooled, rear-engined, economy car that could take 5 people in relative comfort. The idea of the need for a peoples car was first bought around by then Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler who wanted a mass-market car that was cheap and affordable for his recently built road network.
In the initial stages, the Beetle was conceived and designed by Ferdinand Porsche who worked extensively on this project with his design team right up until 1938. His philosophy was clear, design a car that was practical, was designed in such a way that could take advantage of all available space and act as a reliable platform for the people.
It’s air-cooled engine allowed for tidy packaging in the rear of the car where space could be utilised. Its air-cooled nature was also the contributing factor to its sound. The Beetles engine delivers a definite clatter which displays all of the hallmarks of an air-cooled engine. With the engine nestled in the rear, the trunk at the front was left vacant and allowed for ample space for luggage and other items to the front of the vehicle.
All of these characteristics play a major factor in the Bettles iconic shape. Partly one of the reasons that this car is universally loved is because of its expression like looks. The headlights and sweeping front wings are unmistakably Beetle, as is the side running boards and rear wings with a curve around neatly to the rear hood in which features intricate slats for engine cooling. The retro vibe is also completed by those standout glossy hubcaps which have been a staple design feature throughout the life of the Volkswagen Beetle.
The Beetle has also had an illustrious career on the silver screen, most notably playing the role of Herbie. Appearing in the iconic films, the Beetle is shown in racing livery with red and blue stripes applied to a white body whilst wearing the now renowned number 52. The films proved a major hit and again helped to ensure that the Beetle received cult status.
In later years the original Beetle made way for a new, more modern replacement which better complied with current safety regulations. A completely overhauled design the new Beetle was a clear departure from that of the old machine and was produced from 1997 until today. The announcement of the Beetle’s run coming to an end comes as a result of the brand wanting to become a more focused maker of family vehicles.
Whilst being unavailable for purchase in the UK for several years, the announcement coming from the USA means that worldwide production and availability of the Beetle ceases completely. An iconic machine that stood the test of time and a machine that will be missed by fans of the ‘Bug’.
It gives us great pleasure to offer a Beetle for sale currently at our Blue Bell Hill facility. To find out more on this Beetle and the rest of our extensive Volkswagen range, please visit our website, here.