The Volkswagen Type 1, which became known to millions as the Beetle, was based on a 1930s design by Hans Ledwinka, who worked for the Czechoslovakian carmaker Tatra. Ledwinka’s teardrop Tatra had a pancake, air-cooled, four-cylinder engine, just like the first KdF Wagen designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler in 1938. It even had split rear windows like the Tatra. In fact, there were so many similarities that after World War II, Germany settled a patent-infringement lawsuit Tatra had filed in the 1930s before Czechoslovakia was invaded and occupied.

Few Beetles were produced during the war, but in 1945, the bombed-out Volkswagen manufacturing plant in Wolfsburg was put back into production by a British Major named Ivan Hirst. The idea was to get the German economy going again, and while the Beetle was not seen as a commercial threat by the likes of Henry Ford II, it would eventually sell more than 21 units worldwide, beating the Ford Model T by some 6 million vehicles.

One way to track the evolution of the Beetle is to follow the design of its rear windows. Split windows were produced from 1938 until 1952. In 1953, these were replaced by a single oval window, which itself was redesigned in 1958 as a round-cornered rectangle (although the shape is usually described by VW collectors as “square”). The other early Beetle landmark is the Cabriolet, a convertible designed by the German firm Karmann. While Beetles were produced until 2003, Carbiolets were discontinued in 1980.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Black Swing Axle Boots For Vw Bug Sand Rail Dune BuggyVw Bug Manx Show Car Street Rod Rat Rod Hot Rod Dune Buggy Sandrail Volkswagen Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic 2 Dr Sedan 1960 Volkswagen BugVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic 1966 Vw Volkswagon Bug Volksrod Rat Rod RatrodVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bradley Gt Bradley Gt Vw Kit Car No Reserve!!Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Triple Black - Epilogue - Karmann 1979 Triple Black Convertible All OriginalVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Gls Convertible 2-door 2004 Volkswagen Beetle Gls Convertible 2 Door 2.0 LRare Bonnet Hood Winged Rocket Mascot Vw Beetle Badge VolkswagenHot Wheels Redline Custom Vw Volkswagen Bug Blister Pack Bp Moc OliveVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bug Beetle 1957 Oval Window Ragtop Magazine Featured Show Car 1835 Cc Rhd Suicide Door FastVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic 1969 Vw Beetle Tan Exterior With Tan Black Interior Was Not A Rust BucketVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Gls Sport Turbo Hatchback 2-door 2003 Volkswagen Beetle Gls Sport Turbo Hatchback 2 Door 1.8 L No ReserveVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Super Beetle 1979 Volkswagen Vw Red Convertible Classic BeetleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Full 65 Vw Beetle Bug Panama Blue Excellent Condition Runs And Drives PerfectVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Coupe Volkswagen Beetle-classic Oval WindowVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Convertible 1979 Silver Vw Beetle ConvertibleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Epilogue Se 1979 Vw Convertable Epilogue Black Excellent Condition ThroughoutVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Oval Window 1966 Volkswagen Beetle Upgraded 1700 Cc Engine Wide Whites Loaded With ChromeVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Super Beetle 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Low Original Miles Super CleanVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Rag-top 1963 Volkswagen Bug Rag TopVintage Aurora Tjet #1404 Volkswagen Vw Beetle Bug Ho Slot Car Rare Original BoxVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bug Convertible Beautiful Original Two Owner Car.Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bug 1965 Volkswagen BeetleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Karmann Convertible 1969 Volkswagen Beetle Karmann Covertible Restored Rust Free Original Ny CarVolkswagen Oval Beetle Split Screen Bus Kombi Pair Of Semaphores X 2 Vw 1950'sVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Convertible 1972 Karmann Vw Super Beetle ConvertibleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bug 1969 Vw Bug Beetle Stock Clean Condition Strong Bug Rear Pop Out WindowsVolkswagen : Other Oval 1957 Volkswagen Oval BugVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Turbocharged Gls Convertible 2004 Volkswagen Beetle Gls Turbo Convertible 1 Owner Fl Kept Lowest Miles In UsaVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Classic Diesel Turbo 40 Mpg Automatic No Reserve 2001 Volkswagen Beetle Gls Hatchback 1.9l Turbo Diesel Runs Great`Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Velor 1970 Volkswagon BeetleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic 1959 Volkswagen BeetleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Convertible 1966 Vw Convertible Bug California Style Very Nice CarVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Rare 4 Speed Automatic Trans, Original Red Paint, Solid , Very Little Rust, RunsVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Gls 2003 Vw Beetle ConvertibleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Super Beetle 1975 Super Beetle Convertible Karmann Edition Orig Survivor Only 13 706 MilesVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Tdi Hatchback 2-door 1998 Volkswagen Beetle Tdi Hatchback 2 Door 1.9 L No ReserveRebuilt 40 Idf Weber Carburetor Vw Beetle Bug Porsche 356 Made In Spain Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Coupe 1962 Volkswagen Beetle Bug Coupe RestorationVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic White 79 Vw Beetle ConvertibleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Coupe 2-door 1965 Volkswagen BeetleVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Base Coupe 2-door 1959 Red Vw Bug For Sale Original OwnerVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic None 1968 Vw Beetle Bug1968 Revell Models 1/25 Vw Volkswagen Beetle 3-in-1 Kit *nmib*Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Sedan Sunroof, White, Unmolested, Rust FreeVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic 2 Door 1972 Volkswagon BeetleJohnny Lightning Hot Wheels Vw Bug Bus Lot Samba Microbus Beetle Volkswagen Hot!Tamiya Vw Volkswagen 1966 Beetle 1300 Model Kit 1/24Volkswagen : Beetle - Classic Bug 1966 Vw Bug RestoredVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Black 1971 Camaro Kit Car VolkswagenVintage Vw Volkswagen Hella Reverse Lights 1967 Bug/beetle, Type 3, GhiaVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Beetle 1965 V W Beetle Convertible Med Blue Finish White Top Engine Fresh RebuiltVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Classic Karmann Silver 1979 Super Beetle Convertible1968 Vw BugCorgi Toys Vw Volswagen Beetle East African SafariFranklin Mint Classic 1967 Volkswagon Vw Beetle Bug 1:24 Die Cast Car WhiteVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Rail Buggy Rail Buggy With Title 1964 Vw BeatleVintage Vw Volkswagen Hella Reverse Lights, 1967 Bug/beetle, Ghia, Type 31960's Hot Wheels Redline Custom Purple Vw Beetle Bug Functional SunroofVolkswagen : Beetle - Classic Karmann Convertible 1978 Vw Super Beetle Convertible