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The Original VW Beetle: the first go anywhere, efficient small car that… floats?

Posted in Design, General, Volkswagen by Corey | July 27th, 2007 | 1 Response |

Growing up I would often hear someone say, “what is old is new again.” When you are a child those words mean little to you because you had never experienced the old. But as you grow.. *gulp*.. older those sayings seem to gain in meaning. There have been a number of revivals of the small car, so this latest trend in small car designs should really come as no surprise.

The first small car to become a multi-continental success was the Volkswagen Beetle. Originating out of Germany as the Peoples Car the Beetle was a tough, go-anywhere, efficient (for its time) auto that really captured the hearts and imaginations of many.

[At this point I am going to refrain from any Herbie the Love Bug references because I do not want to read any comments from people who do not know what that refers to.]

Instead we are going to take a look at some of the marketing for the old Bug that was. Do you see any resemblances with our modern cars and the marketing used to move them?

Okay, so the Beetle would not win in a race on water against the new Aquada. However, if you get the Targa top you might be able to enjoy some good fishing.

And talk about Go-Anywhere! That little Beetle is like the Little Engine that Could. Those were the days before Traction Control and “transfering power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip.” At the same time it also reminds me of the Bug my parents had that possessed no heater. Nothing like scraping the inside of the windshield before you can drive.

Now watch this next clip on fuel efficiency.

Does that remind you of any recent changes a certain government agency may have done on its own testing for fuel mileage? Interesting how the urge for “real world driving” testing was an issue back then just as it has been again today. Instead of testing modern cars at 55mph to determine their gas mileage, the government has switched to tests that reflect actual user driving.

As we move on into a slightly smaller time and ponder over the future of the automobile sometimes it helps to take a look back at the cars that drove us here.

Do you have a fond or less than fond Beetle memory?

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One Response

  1. Dee says:

    I love Herbie.. does that count?