The Volkswagen Beetle (officially the Volkswagen Type 1) is a two-door, rear-engine car, manufactured by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.
The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, was formulated by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country’s new road network. Hitler contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build it. Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design – the result was one of the first rear-engined cars since the Brass Era. With 21,529,464 produced, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made.
Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only produced in significant numbers from 1945 on (mass production had been put on hold during the Second World War) when the model was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, and marketed simply as the Volkswagen (or “People’s Car”). Later models were designated Volkswagen 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement, the latter two derived from the type number.
The original 25 hp Beetle was designed for a top speed around 100 km/h (62 mph), which would be a viable speed on the Reichsautobahn system. As Autobahn speeds increased in the postwar years, its output was boosted to 36, then 40 hp, the configuration that lasted through 1966 and became the “classic” Volkswagen motor. The Beetle ultimately gave rise to variants, including the Karmann Ghia, Type 2 and external coachbuilders. The Beetle marked a significant trend, led by Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault, whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe’s car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956.
In the 1999 Car of the Century competition, to determine the world’s most influential car in the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.
This Beetle 1200 was built in November of 1958. It was first supplied to Sweden (which up until 1966 used right hand drive cars) and first registered in Gothenburg in early 1959. Its a right had drive model, with rag top sun roof.
Not much is known about its early history, although Swedish records show the car to have had 6 owners between 1959 & 2019.
The penultimate owner had the car for around 20 years, and restored it in 2004. This included and full respray from Black to Gemini Metallic Blue (a special Volkswagen colour from the 1970s). The original 1200cc engine was recommissioned and the odometer was reset, hence displaying 1388 KMs. The last owner recommissioned the interior last year when the carpets and seats were re-upholstered.
The car was imported in to the UK in September 2019, and we have carried out extensive mechanical work to ensure its in full working order. This includes:
– Engine rebuild
– New clutch
– Gearbox service
– Brake service
The car will come supplied with a V5C, UK registration plate and 1 years MOT, as well as the original owner’s manual and service guide, and some old Swedish MOTs.
Please contact us to arrange a test drive.