Bye Bye Beetle: 25 Facts About Volkswagen’s Most Iconic Car

Generally regarded as one of the most influential passenger cars in the world, the Volkswagen Beetle was a car that changed the way that we look at modern transportation. It was cheap to own, great on gas, and easy to fix. The Beetle was a lightweight and fun to drive car at a time when cars were extremely heavy and over-sized, and this created a market that had been untapped up until the Beetle came onto the scene.

The little interesting car was popular with a wide range of buyers, and it introduced one of the first Germany-built imported cars into the U.S. market. What the Beetle did for the automotive industry was revolutionary, and we're truly sad to see it go.

The Beetle is also one of the longest production cars ever built, with the same original design staying into production until 2003 in Mexico, where the car remained a smash hit until it was discontinued.

Understanding the Beetle is a great way to understand what made the car so immensely popular, and why the Beetle remains a cultural phenomenon all over the world. There were many different things that made the car a unique choice for consumers, and from the one of a kind styling to the interesting placement of the engine, the Beetle will go down in history as a unique car that really defined an era. We like everything about the Beetle and we are going to be taking a look at 25 facts which defined this little car and an era of individuality.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

25 The Original Air Cooled Beetle Lasted In Production For 58 Years

Via: Bing

Yes, it is true. If you have ever been to Mexico for vacation or any other reason you will notice that the original Beetle was still in production. And on top of that, there are millions of these cars everywhere and all over the roads.

The magic of this model is what made it so popular, from the classic design to the ease of maintenance, people were generally happy with their Beetles and that is why the car remained in production for as long as it did.

24 The Original Beetle Stayed In Production Until 2003 In Mexico

Via: Bing

Do you wish that VW still made this interesting classic? Well, the Beetle was in production in Mexico until 2003, and the car remains a popular choice down there with consumers while finding a relatively “New” model isn’t very hard at all.

The difficult task would come from importing the model but if you are ready to tackle that then you will be quite pleased with the results of your new Mexico built modern Beetle, featuring new and modern enhancements that VW added to it.

23 The Volkswagen Beetle Was Also Released In A Convertible

Via: Bing

Perhaps one of the most iconic cars of the 60s happens to be the original Volkswagen Beetle convertible, a car that was so unique that it deserves praise for starting a convertible revolution.

We liked everything about the VW Beetle Convertible, and the model was quite a unique choice for consumers who were otherwise deterred by the lack of a convertible top on the vehicle. We also like how the original VW Beetle Convertible performed, as opposed to other models on the market which were big and heavy.

22 The Volkswagen Beetle Also Spawned The VW Thing

Via: Bing

Perhaps the lesser known version of the Beetle is the VW Thing, which was a stylish alternative to the Beetle but it never really caught on with consumers. The original style of the ride might have been a drawback for most people who were taken aback by its weird design and even more awkward driving characteristics.

While The Thing was a great attempt at creating something that was truly unique, the finished model was a bit too weird for consumers, and the VW Thing never really managed to get on with consumers.

21 The Beetle Was Conceived By A Famous Dictator

Via: Bing

The actual design of the Beetle was conceived by an infamous dictator in Germany (I think we all know who I'm referring to here), and this is what actually inspired the production model of the car. He wanted something that was affordable for the masses, similar to how the Model T was for the US.

But, the Beetle was a better car than the Model T in every aspect and that is why it became as popular as it did. When the Beetle was released there were no small cars in the US, instead, they were heavy and generally bad on gas whereas the Beetle was a revolution.

20 The Beetle Actually Wasn't As Well Known In Germany

Via: Bing

Contrary to popular belief the Beetle was actually much more popular in the US than it ever was on the market in Germany - this has a lot to do with the sheer size of the car and the competition.

Over in the US, the Beetle was perfect, as it was released at a time when the gas crisis was about to happen and the seas of change were coming across consumers. The Beetle was a whole new car, and the US buying public brought it up like it was a whole new concept.

19 The Beetle Will Float

Via: Bing

Ever get a kick out of how the Beetle looks? Well, there has been more than one account where the car has been determined to float. We guess that it would only make sense based on the cars awkward design, but who would have thought?

The Beetle had other advantages to its interesting shape and lightweight design as well, but we don’t think that you should go plunge one off of a cliff yet. The Beetle is still a notable exception to many other cars that are on the market, and that's why it remains unique.

18 The VW Beetle Was Available On The Island Of Nauru

Via: Bing

Volkswagen was determined to spread the word about their Beetle, so much so that they even set out to sell the car on the Island Of Nauru. Of all the places to get imported, this was a surprise market and it just went to show Volkswagen's commitment to spreading the word about their product.

We are pretty impressed with how the Beetle made its way around the world, and the car is truly one of the most iconic and historic vehicles on the planet.

17 The Beetle Has An Active Aftermarket Community

Via: Bing

Buying a Beetle is a cool experience, and no matter what you want to do to your Bug there is sure to be an aftermarket part that will suit the car. From spoilers to one of a kind hood and bumper treatments, the VW Beetle has a loyal following of aftermarket parts manufacturers and the car clubs that order the parts.

The Beetle has a unique personality, and the car has really personified what a custom car can be with its interesting exterior design and one of a kind style.

16 The Beetle Had One Of The Most Groundbreaking Ad Campaigns

Via: Bing

Advertising has always been a unique point of the Beetles lifespan, and Volkswagen has always enjoyed the fact that the car was so unique. Because of the way that the car looks, the Beetle really didn’t need a whole lot of advertising because the car was flying off of dealership lots faster than they could sell them.

We like the VW Beetle, and in its original form, this was one of the most noteworthy cars of the time which made it an incredible motor vehicle.

15 Volkswagen Means "People's Car" In German

Via: Bing

The Volkswagen was designed to be an innovative and unique vehicle that was ahead of its time, and with the name Volkswagen many people wondered what this meant and we are here to tell you.

Volkswagen means people’s car, and that is what made the one of a kind little car such a unique choice. For the consumer who wanted something different, there was nothing as unique as the Beetle, and that is why it lives on today in the current automotive industry.

14 The Prototype Model Was Developed By Ferdinand Porsche

Via: Bing

We all know that the Porsche Motor Company owns the Volkswagen Motor Company, and vice versa, but did you know that the original design for the VW Beetle was developed by Porsche himself? That is why the car has a unique look that is very much similar to some of the Porsche models of the time, and this created a one of a kind history between the two automakers that has lived on to this day.

We like everything about the Beetle and the interesting things that it has to offer consumers.

13 The Beetle Is The Best Selling Car In History

Via: Bing

There is perhaps no other car in the history of the automotive market that has overtaken the Beetle in terms of sales, and this is why the car remains such a steadfast choice for consumers who are very much interested in carrying on the cars one of a kind legacy.

The Beetle is truly the best selling car in the history of the automotive world, and it will go on as such for some time now thanks to the innovative design and one of a kind driving characteristics that make the car such a unique choice.

12 The Demand For The Volkswagen Grew Fast

Via: Bing

Once the Volkswagen Beetle hit the scene all bets were off, as this was one of the most unique cars on the market. The Volkswagen Beetle was more than just a unique choice, it was a one of a kind car that offered a lot of innovative features which differentiated it from the crowded slew of similar cars that were on the market.

The Volkswagen Beetle was a completely new concept at a time when cars were not only boxy but they were also large and heavy, offering bad gas mileage.

11 The Volkswagen Has Won Europe Car Of The Year Multiple Times

Via: Bing

The Volkswagen Beetle is a car that is well known in the automotive world for its one of a kind design and you might not be aware that the VW is also an award-winning car that continually wins awards left and right for its innovative design.

The Volkswagen Beetle won the coveted Europe car of the year award multiple times, and there is a reason why the car is such a popular choice. The design is completely unique, and the Beetle has sealed its place in history as one of the most unique cars ever made.

10 By August 1955 One Million Volkswagen's Were On The Road

Via: Bing

The Volkswagen Beetle was crossing landmarks early on, and the model managed to be a sales success for a long time. The VW Beetle was a great car in every sense of the word, and in the US, the car was a welcomed change from the lackluster cars that had been on the market prior to the release of this innovative vehicle.

The VW Beetle was known for its innovative design and lightweight gas efficient engine, which drove consumers to the stylish model.

9  The VW Beetle Inspired The Current Retro Themed Vehicles

Via: Bing

When VW reintroduced the “New Beetle” in 1998, the model took the world by storm for its retro-themed design that was quite a unique twist from the lackluster designs that cars in the nineties were featuring.

The VW New Beetle influenced the return of the retro-themed PT Cruiser, the SSR, HHR, and even the modern Camaro model that we see today. None of the current crops of retro-themed cars would be here if it was not for the introduction of the innovative VW new Beetle model.

8 The VW Was Originally An Air Cooled Vehicle

Via: Bing

There are many things that make the original Beetle such a unique car, but the main reason has to be the fact that the little rear seated engine was air cooled. This made the Beetle much different than other cars that were on the market at the time because it was air-cooled instead of utilizing a traditional radiator and coolant tank.

The fact that the original model was air-cooled made the car extremely inexpensive to repair, and thus the model was a cheap alternative form of transportation all around.

7 The VW Beetle Has Been Featured In Countless Films Including Herbie

Via: Bing

The original VW Beetle is an active part of our lives, as the car can be seen just about anywhere in one form or another. From motion pictures like the popular “Herbie” franchise, or just seeing them on the street.

The love of the original VW Beetle is fierce, and the car remains a popular choice to this day even for aftermarket collectors that rehab these Beetles and add make modern touches to them that makes the car more unique than ever with cool features.

6 The VW Beetle Was The First Mass Imported Car Into The U.S.

Via: Bing

Long before the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic made their way onto the US shores there was a smaller car that was taking the US roads by storm, and that was the VW Beetle.

In fact, the company couldn’t import enough of these stylish little cars and then the VW Microbus took the world by storm right after and the rest is history. It's interesting how some will forget how instrumental the VW Bug actually was to the automotive market that we see today, and the car will forever have etched itself in history.

5 The VW Beetle Has A Loyal Aftermarket Following

Via: Bing

There is perhaps not a car on this earth that has as loyal of a following as the VW Bug does, from interesting aftermarket accessories to one of a kind clubs, the VW Bug has just about the most loyal following in the automotive industry.

Whenever you see a classic Bug there is a good chance that the driver belongs to some sort of an elite club, and these little Volkswagen models have increased in value dramatically in recent years on the used car market.

4  There Are Many Original Beetle Models Still On The Road

Via: Bing

The Volkswagen Beetle is one of the few cars that will remain on the road for decades with a small amount of maintenance, and this is part of the reason that the car is so popular.

With a simplistic air cooled engine the Beetle is easy to fix the vehicle, and with the vast amount of aftermarket accessories to choose from, the car is definitely a car that can develop a lot of individual personality behind it. Individuality has always been a strong suit for the Beetle, and the model continues to be a success.

3 The New Beetle Is Still In Production

Via: Bing

The current Beetle model which was introduced in 1998 and influenced the entire retro car boom is still in production today, and we like everything that the car has to offer. The modern Beetle takes all of the magic of the past model that made history and makes it an even better and more modern incarnation of the one of a kind car.

We like how the Beetle offers such an innovative selection of options, as well as the modern styling that keeps up with the demands of consumers who enjoyed the original model.

2 Volkswagen Has Long Centered Their Company Around The Beetle

Via: Bing

Let's face facts here, Volkswagen wouldn’t be the company that it is today without the Beetle in its history books. The Volkswagen Beetle defined the company and set the pace for the automotive industry that we see today. The Beetle was an affordable, mass-produced car that millions of people fell in love with.

The Beetle definitely defined the company that is Volkswagen today and shaped the face of the automotive industry for the better with an innovative design that cannot be matched.

1 The Beetle’s Air Cooled Motor Was Inspired By Porsche

Via: Bing

Another inspiration that the Beetle got from the original Porsche models was the air-cooled motor which made the cars famous. The air-cooled motor which was featured in the Beetle is one of the most innovative features, and it also happened to be an easy to use repair and manage motor which was known for its reliability.

Excellent gas mileage was also a winning combination of the VW Beetle, which helped to make the car a very affordable choice for consumers who needed affordable transportation.

Sources: Mental Floss, Edmunds

More in Car Culture