The “Cox” was conceived in the inter-war years as a “people’s car” (“Volkswagen”). Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche designed the model, which was produced in a factory in Wolsfburg from 1938.
Four air-cooled flat cylinders “I’ve heard that somewhere before”, you might say. That’s right, this concept was used in future designs by Ferdinand Porsche, whose famous Flat 6 contributed to Porsche’s success.
Barely launched in Germany, the Beetle was snapped up in the United States, where it was exported en masse. Benefiting from a period of prosperity during the “Trente Glorieuses”, the Beetle became the first foreign car to establish itself on the American market.
In the ’68s, the Volkswagen Beetle became the symbol of Flower Power. The oil crisis was already driving the need for more economical cars, particularly in the American market. The Beetle was already meeting this need in the USA, where engines were big, thirsty V8s. The Beetle became the symbol of a youth in revolt against previous generations. The movement spread to Europe, and the Cox became the symbol of the Hippie movement.
The Volkswagen Beetle was produced in Europe until 1975, but production continued in Mexico, where it was the queen of the market. It wasn’t until 2003 that production was discontinued, after a record 21 million units had been produced.
A rolling myth and a true monument to the Automobile, the VW Beetle is the world’s best-selling car. The soft, round lines of the Beetle, emphasized by the trim strips on the sheet metal, give it an elegance and appeal that have lasted for generations.