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Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:07 AM

VW Beetle goes extinct as last one rolls off assembly line

Originally a project under Hitler to project Nazi prestige, the Beetle really came alive after World War II.

By 1955, the 1 millionth Beetle had rolled off the assembly line in what's now the town of Wolfsburg.

The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production.


Frankfurt, Germany Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico. It's the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.

It has been: a part of Germany's darkest hours as a never-realized Nazi prestige project. A symbol of Germany's postwar economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity. An example of globalization, sold and recognized all over the world. An emblem of the 1960s counterculture in the U.S. Above all, the car remains a landmark in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle.

The car's original design -- a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear -- can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler's project for a "people's car" that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S.

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The U.S. became Volkswagen's most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production. Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach urged car buyers to "Think small."

"Unlike in West Germany, where its low price, quality and durability stood for a new postwar normality, in the United States the Beetle's characteristics lent it a profoundly unconventional air in a car culture dominated by size and showmanship," wrote Bernhard Rieger in his 2013 history, "The People's Car."


Read more (Includes video): https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vw-beetle-production-halted-vw-beetle-goes-extinct-as-last-one-rolls-off-assembly-line-in-mexico/



A 1938 Volkswagen Beetle. AP PHOTO

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Reply VW Beetle goes extinct as last one rolls off assembly line (Original post)
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2019 OP
DonaldsRump Jul 2019 #1
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2019 #2
DonaldsRump Jul 2019 #3
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2019 #4
underpants Jul 2019 #5
Auggie Jul 2019 #6
mitch96 Jul 2019 #7

Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:28 AM

1. I kinda' prefer the Beatles...

[link:|]

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Response to DonaldsRump (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:36 AM

2. It's okay to like both...

I remember when VW Beetles were the most ubiquitous cars on the road.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:39 AM

3. Fair enough...

We just got back from the Paul McCartney concert in San Jose tonight, so I'm very partial to the Beatles!\

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Response to DonaldsRump (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 03:46 AM

4. Oh! That is so cool!

I actually saw him, too - here in New York - back in 2017! And I agree, he puts on one great show!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 04:41 AM

5. Bought a '72 in '93 with my last Army paycheck

God I loved that car. I could fit it into anywhere when I moved to Richmond to go back to school.

One of my first dates with my now wife I leaned over and we kissed at a stoplight, I didn't realize my foot was off the break and I bumped into the car in front of me. When I went up to apologize (no damage) the woman in the car was laughing, she'd seen us kissing and knew what was going on.

Came out of my apartment one day to find it crunched up in the front. My rich (probably drunk) neighbor had backed into it and driven it into the car behind it. I got insurance money but the frame was bent and I couldn't actually close the front trunk. Wouldn't pass inspection. Looking back I could have fixed it enough but I didn't. I sold it and I've regretted it ever since.

Saw one recently for sale for $5,000 but then we suddenly needed to buy a house and I couldn't get it. I'm going to run by there and see if it's still available. I doubt it but it's worth a try.

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Response to underpants (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 05:26 AM

6. First the Beetle. Now Mad Magazine. Why won't McConnell disappear?

I really regret selling my bug. I put a lot of money into fixing its mechanics, then moved to a part of San Francisco where I rarely needed to drive anymore. Sold it eventually to save on insurance. Big mistake.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 07:07 AM

7. I had a couple of older ones

Very easy to work on.. You could change an engine in about an hour with not too much grief. The newer ones were shite.
m

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