This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

Aww … Last VeeDub

67vwfloatingbeetle

I learned to drive in a VeeDub – what me and my friends affectionately called it. Actually we had a couple that I shared with my Dad. He’d use it for work, I’d use it for play 😉  On this day in 2003, the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles (shown below at the Wolfsburg Museum) built since World War II rolls off the production line. The baby-blue vehicle was sent to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, where Volkswagen is headquartered.

vw_beetle_last_03_a

hitlerand-porsha

The roots of the classic Beetle stretch back to the mid-1930s, when the famed Austrian automotive engineer Dr. Ferdinand Porsche met German leader Adolf Hitler’s request for a small, affordable passenger car to satisfy the transportation needs of the German people.

1938 VW

1938 VW

The irony of it was that the Beetle was the result of a Jewish engineer, Josef Ganz, who in May 1931 created a revolutionary small car: the Maikäfer (German for May Bug). A pet project of Hitler’s, it would later be known by the name Porsche preferred: Volkswagen

a4

 For more on Ganz click here:

 

Though VW sales were initially slower in the United States compared with the rest of the world, by 1960 the Beetle was the top-selling import in America, thanks to an iconic ad campaign by the firm Doyle Dane Bernbach whose adds you see throughout this article.

volkswagen-beetle-advertisement-1961-04l7d393032554a

coca-cola_vw_volkswagen_beetle_1962

1966-beetle-wilt-chamberlain

416276175313

69vwbeetle_herbie

 

 

It became a worldwide cultural icon, featuring prominently in the hit 1969 movie “The Love Bug” (which starred a Beetle named Herbie) and on the cover of the Beatles album “Abbey Road.”

abbey-road-1

In 1977, however, the Beetle, with its rear-mounted, air-cooled-engine, was banned in America for failing to meet safety and emission standards. Worldwide sales of the car shrank by the late 1970s and by 1988, the classic Beetle was sold only in Mexico.

 

viewvwbug20

vw_ad_4

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: