The Volkswagen Beetle, officially known as the Type 1 Sedan, evolved from the pre-war KdF-Wagen, whose name is derived from the phrase “Kraft durch Freude”, which means “Strength through Joy”. Intended to be the definitive “people’s car”, the Type 1 was conceived from the ongoing experiments of Project 12 at the Porsche facility. Engineers settled on a revolutionary rear-mounted motor with lightweight aluminum and magnesium castings. Air cooling was chosen for its sheer simplicity and low operating costs, while the vehicle was based on a simple yet effective platform chassis. Ultimately, this highly developed vehicle underwent countless revisions, with no fewer than 30 prototypes built by 1935.
Eventually, the Series 38 design embodied the Beetle, as it is known today. Its popularity in the United States grew quickly, prompting Volkswagen to add a number of Beetle-based derivatives, including the Transporter, the Karmann-Ghia, the Cabriolet and the Type 181 “Thing”. Over its incredibly long production cycle, as during its initial development phase, the Beetle was relentlessly refined and improved, with the final cars destined for North America bearing only a superficial resemblance to the very first, original designs. The Beetle remains both a cultural icon and an automotive phenomenon to this day.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
1,585 cc horizontally opposed air-cooled four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension, rear suspension by swing axles with trailing arms and torsion bars, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5".
Source: RM Auctions