How did the Volkswagen Beetle become iconic?

We have all heard of the German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen or VW in short, or least watched the film series Herbie: The Love Bug

The film tells the story of a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle that can drive with no driver and competes in vehicle racing including NASCAR. The Beetle has number 53 on both the right and left side of the body which was Don Drysdale player number.

The Beetle gained a name for itself in 1968 however production of the vehicle started decades earlier by designer Ferdinand Porsche in 1945.

BERLIN – JULY 30: Volkswagen Beetle drivers try to break the record of 3,000 Beetles together in one lane on Berlin’s famous street “Strasse des 17.Juni” July 30, 2005 in Berlin, Germany. The German premiere of the movie “Herbie: Fully Loaded” takes place today at the Waldbuehne in Berlin. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

The Beetle offered drivers something different, it was practical, easily serviceable and it was suitable for the average size family in terms of price.

Offering both the speed and space, the Beetle had a 4 speed gear box, was rear wheel drive and could accelerate from 0-60mph in 21 seconds with a top speed of 62mph, I’d say that’s pretty fast in the 1960s. By 1972 more than 15 million VW Beetle’s had been manufactured in country of Germany and sold.

In 2003, the Beetle saw a major upgrade in the new line up with the interior and engine size. The vehicle exterior also changed but still resembled the previous series with a large body curve shape and 2 circular headlights.

The new generation VW Beetle in 2023 still have the same shape however now offer different engine options including 1.8L and 2L. The new Beetle’s have a price range from £15,000 to £25,000, although previous model years can be much cheaper.

When purchasing the vehicle straight from the VW factory, you can now choose your own specifications and vehicle colour including orange, yellow and ameleva blue.