Classic Car Insurance: History of the VW Beetle
The history of the VW beetle goes back to 1924, and was actually an idea conceived by Adolf Hitler. While in prison following the failed revolt on the Federal German capital, he theorized that to solve Germany’s unemployment problem, the Government could build special roads, called autobahns, for motor vehicles, and mass-produce a car that the average man would be able to buy. Thus came the Volkswagen, also called “the people’s car”.
Work on these roads began in September of 1933, and the designs for the Volkswagen were not finalized until 1938, but the vehicle finally saw the light of day in 1939. Due to WWII, production was temporarily halted, but from 1945 on the Beetle was produced in significant numbers. The Beetle model was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1 in 1945, and was marketed simply as the “Volkswagen”.
Later models were designated VW 1200, 1300, 100, 1302 or 1303. The first three model numbers indicated their engine displacement and the latter two were derived from the type number and not indicative of engine capacity. An interesting fact to note about the history of the VW beetle is that the same engine design has driven the through its lifetime.
The VW Beetle was designed to sustain high speeds on the autobahns. Eventually, the Beetle gave rise to variants, including the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volkswagen Type 2 bus. The Beetle marked a significant trend led by Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault where the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout had increased form 2.6% of continental Western Europe’s car production in 1946 to 26.6% in 1956.
Although the VW Beetle has a rich and long history, manufacturing of the car ceased in Germany in 1980, and by 1981 Mexico was the only company that was still producing the vehicle. 65 years after its original launch, the last Type 1 VW Beetle rolled off the production line at Puebla, Mexico on July 30, 2003. This last Beetle, nicknamed “El Ray”, was delivered to the company’s museum in Wolfburg, Germany that year.
Whether you own an antique VW Beetle or any other type of classic or antique car, it’s important to protect it financially with the right type of insurance coverage. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.