The History Of The Volkswagen Beetle


The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic and easily recognizable car. It’s unique shape and bright colors make it a popular choice out on the road, as well as a popular vehicle for shipping throughout the globe. Lovingly known as the “bug,” the Beetle began production in 1934 in Germany. The first batch Beetles were manufactured in 1938, although the plant was bombed and nearly leveled during the war. Introduction to the European and US Markets The bug didn’t enter the European market until 1947 after the end of the war. The only Americans who had access to the Beetle during this time were stationed US troops in Germany. One of Volkswagen’s first export markets was Holland, where a man named Ben Pon sold 56 cars—which was a big success back in 1949. Ben was hired to introduce the bug to the US market and make an attempt to repeat sales to this caliber. Beetle Enters United States in 1950 In 1950, one VW Beetle was officially exported to the US for an east coast foreign car dealer. Hoffman often tacked on Beetles to orders for Jaguars and Porsches, which helped bring an influx of this car into the US market. During the 50s, the VW Beetle underwent various aesthetic and engine upgrades, including the introduction of the oval window. The Beetle initially had a split window as its rear window design, but this was replaced in 1953. By 1955, approximately 9,000 Beetles were on the US market. The 1960s were mostly dedicated to engine upgrades and the introduction to the automatic stick shift, as well as a semi-automatic transmission option. The Bug’s Rise to Fame One of the ways that the bug skyrocketed to popularity was due to Disney’s first “Herbie” movie, The Love Bug. This movie portrayed the bug as a successful race car, and its ongoing engine upgrades made the story believable to the US market. By 1971, the Volkswagen underwent yet another design upgrade to a convertible car. By the late 1990s, the retro car craze returned to the US and the Beetle yet again became immensely popular. Volkswagen remastered the design in 1998, and the convertible version returned in 2003 and yet again in 2013. As of 2016, Volkswagens’ latest attempt to redesign the Beetle was unveiled with its Beetle Dune coupe and convertible concept. While it’s hard to say if the Beetle Dune will capture the hearts of the world like the original and retro version, there’s no denying that the Beetle holds a special place in the auto industry. Do You Need to Ship a Beetle? Contact DIY for Your Free Quote If you need to ship a VW Beetle or any other style of car, contact DIY Transport for your quote at 800-266-2202 or use our auto transport quote calculator today.

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