The People’s Beetle

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Classics, Vehicles
Tags: , , , , ,

“Volkswagen” it was called: it was the people’s car. Affordable, practical, and fun by nature, the VW Type 1 has with time become the longest running single most manufactured car in the world. However most of you would not know what a VW Type 1 looked like unless you heard it by its more commonly used moniker, the Beetle.

Another interesting fact is that the Bug was issued by Adolf Hitler to Ferdinand Porsche (before his own name became fame) to be a car that would allow ordinary citizens who could previously not afford a car to do so. Porsche also borrowed heavily from Czech automaker Tatra when designing the Beetle, which would also influence the direction he’d take later with cars created under the Porsche brand.

The influence the VW Type 1 had on the car industry worldwide is tremendous, but often goes unnoticed. Such was the case with this ’62 Beetle, owned by an elderly woman in Pleasant Hill, CA. After she passed away her nieces who had inherited the Bug didn’t believe it to be of any value when it wouldn’t start. So they listed it for the nice price of $1,500 and it made its way into the hands of its new owner Karen.

Karen said she knew what the car was worth and that it was in good shape. After purchasing the car she had a new battery brought over and after dropping it in, the original 1200 boxer-4 motor started up immediately and has been turn-key since, with mostly basic maintenance. The people’s car indeed, no?

Driving around both locally and on the highway the car shines (though not literally, the burgundy paint has faded with time). It gets around without fuss or drama, and has character to spare. This particular Bug may not be the cleanest example, and it won’t win any best of show awards, but it’s still plugging along and it does so in good fashion.

Karen told me that truck drivers get angry and honk at her from behind when on the freeway but that otherwise people are usually enthusiastic and stop her often to talk about the car. She enjoys owning a car that everyone can appreciate, as well as the thriftiness it provides at the pump.

Though she doesn’t emphasize it you can tell she’s a fan of its personality too. She keeps the interior clean and picked up  a very fitting black die shift knob to accent the cabin with. Take a look at that key too – far cooler than switch blade VW keys of today.

The Volkswagen Beetle is a car with an extensive history and story, and it’s one that keeps unraveling mile by mile. And judging by this one, the story’s far from over.

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Comments
  1. Rick Carter says:

    Very informative & interesting to hear your take on the “personality” of not only the Beetle “bug” , but also of the prior & current owner of this cute car !

    Colonel R.D. Carter

  2. Kent Fruge' says:

    I learned to drive one one of these ancient products, the pictures bring back some good memories. There is a pull knob on the lower left dashboard if I remember to open the trunk…in front….I remember the trunk lid well because it flew open on me while driving, instant white out….my VW was white. Great car, great article.

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