Vehicle Profiles

Sedan

Chassis Num: 10176606

Heinz Nordhoff, the head of Volkswagen at the time, had always intended a cabriolet version of the Beetle to be produced. He did not feel that the best place to create the cabrio was at the factory but rather to outsource the work to talented coachb....[continue reading]

Hebmuller 14A Cabriolet
Coachwork: Hebmuller

Joseph Hebmuller started building horse-drawn coaches in 1889. In 1919 his four sons succeeded the father and began doing custom coachwork for cars. After World War II, the company created new bodies for Volkswagen Beetles. Some 700 were produced ....[continue reading]

Sedan

Chassis Num: 10195459

This 1950 Volkswagen Beetle is a Deluxe model featuring the distinctive split-oval rear window, W-style deck lid, and 'pope's nose' license plate light. It was given a nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration in 2007. The current caretaker acquired this c....[continue reading]

Sedan
Chassis #: 10176606 
Hebmuller 14A Cabriolet by Hebmuller
 
Sedan
Chassis #: 10195459 

History

The Beetle is perhaps the best-selling car of all-time. Truly, a recognizable shape that has stood the test of time. The vehicle is still being produced in Mexico, continuing the long-time running record.

Adolf Hitler was searching for a people's car that was capable of transporting three children and two adults at speeds of sixty miles-per-hour. The car was to be inexpensive, costing the same as a motorcycle. Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned to produce such a vehicle.

There are many theories as to where the designs originated from. Some believe Hitler designed the vehicle. Some theorize that it was Joseph Ganz's 1920 design that was the true inspiration for the Beetle design. Porsche had created designs for the Mercedes-Benz 170H, which played into the design of the Beetle.

Inspiration for the Beetle had been drawn from the Tatra vehicles, mainly the T97, that had been designed by Hans Ledwinka. Due to the similarities, Tatra launched a lawsuit which never really materialized due to Germany invading Czechoslovakia. The lawsuit was later re-opened after World War II and Volkswagen was forced to pay Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Marks. This left Volkswagen with little money for development of new Beetle models.

The Volkswagen Beetle first came on the scene in 1947, but they were known by a different name. KdF, short for Kraft durch Freude meaning 'power by joy', was designated to these small, gas-friendly vehicles. In English, the name Beetle was used. In German, they were known as Kafer, and in French they were called Coccinelle.

These little bundles of joy featured mechanical drum brakes and a gearbox void of synchromesh.

In 1949 the Volkswagen logo was placed on the rims. The engine was expanded to 1131 cc and was capable of producing 25 horsepower. The models that were produced after October of 1949 could be started without a 'starting crank'.

Two convertible options were offered by Volkswagen in 1949. The two-seater design, designated 14A, was penned by Josef Hebmuller. The four-seater Type 15 version was designed and produced by Karmann of Osnabruck. The four-seater was vastly more popular and stayed in production for 30 years.

The 14A was stylish and attractive, with the major shortcoming being a fire that destroyed the factory where they were being produced. The two-seaters featured a rear deck nearly identical to the front hood. The strength of the car, lost by removing the roof, was amplified by a stronger windshield frame and dual Z-section girders located under the floor. In 1953, the last of the Hebmuller rolled off the assembly line, after only 696 examples were produced.

In a time when practicality ruled over style, the four-seater cabriolet was king. The Karmann company had a long history of designing and building cars. In business since 1901, was familiar with assembly line production, benefits and features of different types of metals, and the styles of multiple markets.

The mechanical, cable-driven brakes were replaced with hydraulic brakes in 1950.

During the 1950's the Beetle saw exterior and interior improvements. 1951 saw the addition of arm-rests which were discontinued just a few months later. In 1952, 2nd-4th gears became synchronized. The dashboard was redesigned with a glove compartment. The rear of the Beetle was updated in 1953, receiving a new single oval pane window in place of its original split rear window design. In 1955, the bumper was improved and electrical direction-indicators were installed. A second tail-pipe was added. The front seats became wider and could be moved to three different seat-back adjustable positions.

In 1956, the tires became tubeless. Near the end of '56, side view mirrors became standard on all Beetle models.

In 1957 the front window was increased by 17 percent while the rear window received a 95 percent increase. A new dashboard, rear view mirror, radio, and a speaker appeared. The turn signals would now turn-off automatically.

Up to this point, a roller pedal had been used to initiate acceleration. This was the year that the gas pedal replaced the roller pedal.

In 1958, ivory disc wheels were offered.

In 1960, an engine capable of producing 34 horsepower was offered. The speedometer was increased from 74 mph to 87 mph. A windshield-wiper washer system became available. The front directional light was changed from white to amber.

A gas gauge was added in July of 1961.

In 1963, the seats were changed from wool upholstery to synthetic. The VW emblem located on the hubcap was no longer painted. The safety of the vehicle was once-again enhanced with the enlargement directional lights.

There were minor changes in 1964. The windows did, however, become larger.

In 1965, the front axle was improved. The ongoing saga of incremental improvements received another chapter - A defroster vent was added to the center of the dashboard.

The Beetle continued to be sold in the United States until 1978 with the convertible version was sold until early 1980. Sales continued in Europe until 1985. Developing countries, such as Mexico, have been developing the Beetle since 1964 and the vehicles have remained in production since that time.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2013

Recent Vehicle Additions

Legendary Motorsports Announcer Bob Varsha Named Honoree For 2017 Atlanta Concours

Varsha Joins Chief Judge Keith Martin in Presenting All-New Magnificent Seven Program Debut ATLANTA, Ga., March 21, 2017 – The Atlanta Concours dElegance announces famed motorsports...

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spyder Epitomizes The Elegance at Hershey

HERSHEY, PA - The theme for this years Elegance at Hershey is Celebration of Speed. After deciding upon the overall theme, One of the first decisions we made was to choose an automobile that...

EUROPEAN AUTO INDUSTRY EMBRACING 48V HYBRIDS AS MOST COST EFFECTIVE ROUTE FOR CO2 AND NOX REDUCTION

Controlled Power Technologies (CPT), a major sponsor of the recent 48V hybrid vehicle conference in Germany, together with leading car makers and tier 1 suppliers, discussed the need for an internationally...

RARE REUNION: CHRYSLER CONCEPT CARS GATHER AT AMELIA, 2014

Nine rare and important Chrysler Concept Cars from the forties, fifties and sixties will be presented together for the first time at the 19th annual Amelia Island Concours dElegance on March 9, 2014. ...

63rd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Names 1934 Packard 'Best of Show'

The competition showcased 248 cars, including 48 from abroad PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 18, 2013) -- A 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini...

Beetle
CC
Corrado
EOS
Golf
Jetta
Karmann-Ghia
Passat
Routan
Scirocco
Thing
Tiguan
Touareg
Type 4
Van/Camper

Image Left 1949 Beetle1951 1100 Beetle Image Right
© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and
specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.