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Volkswagen Type 1

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Type 1
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Volkswagen Beetle

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A car produced by Volkswagen.

The Type 1 was the original official name of the vehicle that would become more popularly known as the Beetle in the U.S. in 1967.

The 1952 Type 1 was tested by Consumers Union (the publishers of Consumer Reports) and found to have an average quarter mile time of 25.9 seconds and a 0-60 time of 56 seconds.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Volkswagen Beetle page on 16 April 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Volkswagen Beetle (officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in Germany the Volkswagen Käfer and in the U.S. as Volkswagen Bug) is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engine economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.

The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, were formulated by Joseph Ganz, a Jewish engineer whose ideas influenced Adolf Hitler after he saw the car at an auto show. The leader of Nazi Germany wished for a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for the new road network of his country. He contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build it, after telling him in 1933 "This is the car for my roads" of the extremely similar Tatra V570. Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design, and said of the Tatra influence "sometimes I looked over his shoulder and sometimes he looked over mine". In 1965, a payment of one million Marks was made to Tatra-Ringhoffer for numerous patent infringements by the Beetle design. The result is 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 model became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle") and was later marketed as such in Germany, and as the Volkswagen in other countries. For example, in France it was known as the Coccinelle (French for ladybird/ladybug).

The Beetle was designed for sustained high speed on the Reichsautobahn system. It ultimately gave rise to variants, including the Karmann Ghia and Type 2. 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. The 1948 Citroën 2CV and other European models marked a later trend to front-wheel drive in the European small car market, a trend that would come to dominate that market. In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf model succeeded the Beetle. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, and in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the contemporary Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1.

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.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
1970 BookSmall Wonder: The Amazing Story of the Volkswagen by Walter Henry Nelson; Little, Brown
1998 BookBeetle: Volkswagen's Little Giant: From Old Reliable to New Sensation by The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide; Publications International, Ltd.
2002 BookBug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile by Phil Patton, Simon & Schuster


Multimedia

1950's
This film is available courtesy of the Prelinger Archives (public domain).
Download [Volkswagen Commercial] from The Internet Archive - 12.0MB - 0:59
1950's
This film is available courtesy of the Prelinger Archives (public domain).
Download [Volkswagen Commercial] from The Internet Archive - 26.8MB - 1:00


Images

Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 '58 Volkswagen
Hot Rods and Racing Cars #37 - October 1958
View Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 - 740KB
Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 '58 Volkswagen
Hot Rods and Racing Cars #37 - October 1958
View Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 - 901KB
Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 '58 Volkswagen
Hot Rods and Racing Cars #37 - October 1958
View Hot Rods and Racing Cars: Issue 37 - 965KB
1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 1963 Model 117
Replica of Herbie from Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Built by Dave Grimmit

Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Replica - 4,531KB
1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 1963 Model 117
Replica of Herbie from Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Built by Dave Grimmit

Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Replica - 3,979KB
1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 1963 Model 117
Replica of Herbie from Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Built by Dave Grimmit

Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Replica - 4,585KB
1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 1963 Model 117
Replica of Herbie from Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Built by Dave Grimmit

Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1963 Volkswagen Type 1 Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo Replica - 3,844KB
1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) 1966
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Woodstock High School Car Show
View photo of 1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) - 4.3MB
1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) 1966
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Woodstock High School Car Show
View photo of 1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) - 4.2MB
1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) 1966
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Woodstock High School Car Show
View photo of 1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) - 3.9MB
1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) 1966
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 Woodstock High School Car Show
View photo of 1966 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle) - 3.2MB




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