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March 13, 1969 – The Love Bug debuts
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March 13, 1969 – The Love Bug debuts

An original Herbie from the movie. By Vmanjr - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 The Love Bug movie made its official debut on this day in 1969. Starring a pearl white 1963 Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie, the movie follows the adventures of Jim Douglas (Dean Jones), a racing driver who can’t catch a break. When Jim finds himself in need of a new car he heads into town and is caught off guard by an attractive mechanic and sales associate, Carole Bennett (Michelle Lee), working inside a European auto showroom.  There he also meets the showroom owner, Peter Thorndyke (David Tomlinson), who is rude to Herbie. After defending the car it winds up in Jim’s driveway the next morning, seemingly without the help of anyone. To prevent Thorndyke from pressing charges against him, Jim agrees to buy it....
January 19, 1978 – The last German VW Beetle
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January 19, 1978 – The last German VW Beetle

Cover: 1978 Volkswagen Beetle. By Niels de Wit from Lunteren, The Netherlands - 1978 Volkswagen Beetle, CC BY 2.0. Introduced in Germany during the Nazi regime as the The People's Car, the Volkswagen Type 1, commonly referred to as the Beetle, started rolling off the assembly line in mass quantities following World War II. The small car would eventually become the best selling vehicle of all time to date, surpassing the Model T in total volume in 1972. However, the fun wouldn't last forever. It was on this day in 1978 that the last VW Type 1 rolled off a German assembly line. Production would continue outside of Germany until July 30, 2003 when the very last Type 1, number 21,529,464 in total, rolled out of a production facility in Puebla, Mexico. VW Bug Volkswagen had been foun...
September 6, 1949 – VW is returned to German control
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September 6, 1949 – VW is returned to German control

On August 22, 1945, the British ordered Volkswagen to produce 20,000 cars for the British military administration. Here you see the very first limousines built after the war, sitting high on a bucket car chassis After being taken over by British forces following the end of World War II in Europe, Volkswagen was handed back to the Federal Republic of Germany on this day in 1949. Volkswagen was a project started by Adolf Hitler to put Germany on wheels. His plan was to manufacture an affordable and economical “People’s Car” that could be attained by all. In 1934 Ferdinand Porsche, who recently started an automotive consulting firm, was hired by the Nazis to design the vehicle. The result became one of the best selling cars of all time. Following WWII the allies were determined to put...
July 14, 1955 – VW Karmann Ghia debuts
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July 14, 1955 – VW Karmann Ghia debuts

Volkswagen publicly introduced the production version of its new Karmann Ghia on this day in 1955 at the Kasino Hotel in Westphalia, Germany. The KG hit the market as a 2+2 sports car coupe, or after 1957, available as a convertible. It combined the mechanicals and chassis of the Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle with styling by Italy's Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-built bodywork by German coachbuilding house Karmann. Above & Top: Images from the Kasino Hotel Karmann Ghia introduction The Type 14 prototype, the KG's internal label, originally debuted at the 1953 Paris Auto Show as a styling experiment. It garnered enough attention that executives moved it toward production. When the final design, as a 2+2, debuted at the Kasino Hotel, it received a grand welcoming. (Just look at these ...
May 24, 2002 – VW Golf R32 debuts
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May 24, 2002 – VW Golf R32 debuts

Volkswagen launched the Golf R32 in Europe on this day in 2002 as a 2003 model. The performance variant become hugely popular, leading VW to launch the car in the Australian and US markets as the 2004 Volkswagen R32. Each R32 featured every performance, safety, and luxury option Volkswagen offered. Under the hood one would find an all new 3,189 cc (3.2 L; 194.6 cu in) DOHC 4 valves per cylinder VR6 engine, which made 238 bhp at 6,250 rpm. The R32 also had a Haldex Traction-based 4motion on-demand four-wheel drive system and a new six-speed manual transmission. Other upgrades included independent rear suspension, Climatronic automatic climate control, sport seats from König with R32 badging, 18" OZ Aristo alloy wheels 13.1 in disc brakes with gloss blue painted calipers, sunroof (fo...
February 17, 1972 – VW Beetle outsells Ford Model T
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February 17, 1972 – VW Beetle outsells Ford Model T

Introduced in 1908, the Ford Model T would set the record for the highest produced automotive model by the time production ended in 1927. Some 15,007,033 left the factory over those years. It'd be 45 years before another car matched, and then surpassed, that number. On this day in 1972 Volkswagen beat that record when the 15,007,034th Type 1 Beetle left the factory. Developed in Nazi Germany by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his team in the 1930s, the Beetle would go into full scale production following WWII. Dismal US sales in the early 1950s led to a massive marketing campaign launched in 1959 by advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. The series of ads took playful jabs at VW while promoting the advantages owning a small car. The Bug, as it is informally known, underwent very littl...
September 6, 1949 – VW is put back in German control
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September 6, 1949 – VW is put back in German control

After being turned over to British control following World War II Volkswagen is handed back to the German people on this day in 1949. Volkswagen, as it is well know, was a project started by Hitler to put Germany on wheels by producing an affordable and economical “People’s Car.” In 1934 Ferdinand Porsche, who just a few years earlier started and automotive consulting firm, was hired by Hitler to design the vehicle. The result became one of the best selling cars of all time. Following WWII the allies worked to put German people back to work to help them rebuild their country that had been destroyed by war. A big part of this was getting manufacturing facilities, such as VW at Wolfsburg, back up and running. The plant, which had been almost completely dismantled during the war, was back up ...

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