Over its eight-decade run, the car with the rounded roof silhouette, engine in the back, and surprisingly capacious seating capacity became an icon of design and pop culture. The production of this iconic car ended in 2019.
Here are some of the milestones over the Beetle’s impressive run, via Fast Company:
1935: The Volkswagen, aka “people’s car,” was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to provide low-cost transportation for the masses, akin to the Model T Ford’s popularity in the U.S.
1938: Designer Ferdinand Porsche came up with the rounded shape that defined the Beetle for decades to come, a design as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle, according to the AP.
1959: When U.S. carmakers started to make smaller cars, VW realized it had to advertise. It hired agency Doyle, Dane, and Bernbach (DDB) and made advertising history with its 1959-1960 “Think Small” campaign.
1968: Disney kick-started Beetle fever with its “Herbie” franchise. The Love Bug debuted in 1968, starring what would now be considered a self-driving, self-aware Beetle that engages in wacky hijinks and bests the competition on the race track.
1972: The Beetle passed the Ford Model T as the best-selling car of all time. It remains one of the best-selling cars of all time in the U.S.
2018: VW announced in September that it would manufacture a “Final Edition” Beetle series before ending production in 2019.
2019: The last VW Beetle Final Edition leaves the Puebla assembly plant, bound for a museum and the history books. According to CNN, the factory will be used to produce a new compact SUV intended for the North American market.
Check out the best photos of the Volkswagen Beetle below.
All photos courtesy of Pexels.