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 1967 model has the second generation engine and transmission, a 1200cc 6v / 40 hp output, with increased compression. The carburetor received an electric automatic choke and the transmission was now synchronized on all forward gears. The traditional semaphore turn signals were replaced by conventional flashing directional indicators worldwide.
It also features one of the most significant changes to the Beetle – revised body stampings, which allowed for significantly larger windows. The windshield increased in area by 11% and was now slightly curved, rather than flat. Door windows increased accordingly by 6% (and door vent window edges were canted slightly back), rear side windows 17.5%, and the rear window 19.5%. The result was a more open, airy, modern look.
Over the past few years, this car has been fully restored to a high standard:
– Rebuilt engine (2500kms covered since)
– Full respray
– New interior
This Beetle presents beautifully, and is available to view in southern Italy.
Please contact us to arrange a test drive.