The Volkswagen Beetle—officially titled the Volkswagen Type 1— also referred to as the Bug in parts of the English-speaking world. Was a two-door, rear-engine economy car, which could hold up to five occupants, that was produced and sold Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. With 21,529,464 produced worldwide, the Beetle holds the title of being the longest-running, most-manufactured car on a single platform. If you own a VW Beetle, you're a lucky son of a gun. But before you work on your Beetle, double check to see if you have a Volkswagen Beetle workshop manual.
The conception of the VW Beetle lies in the sorted history of Nazi Germany. The need for a people's car was seen as being important to Adolf Hitler, who wished for a cheap, functional, utilitarian vehicle to be mass-produced in Germany. However, a small problem called WWII interfered with Hitler's vision of a country populated with VW Beetles. The war shifted production away from automobiles and to military vehicles. The Beetle's Lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche's team took until 1938 to complete the design, which made the main body shell simple and inexpensive make, also known as a unibody design. The result was the first Volkswagen.
Although designed in the 1930s, World War II limited the popularity of the Beetle; it wasn't until after the war, that Beetles began being produced for the public in significant numbers. The car was then designated internally as the Volkswagen Type 1 and marketed simply as the Volkswagen. All the models that followed were designated Volkswagen 1200, 1300, 1302, 1303, or 1500. The car became widely known in Germany as the Käfer (German for ""beetle"").
The Type 1 Beetle produced 25 hp was designed for a top speed around 62 mph (100 km/h). With the increasing of the Autobahn speed limits postwar, the Beetle's engine output was boosted to 36, then 40 hp; this configuration lasted through 1966 and became known as the ""classic"" Volkswagen motor. The Beetle gave birth to multiple renditions: mainly the 1955 Karmann Ghia, 1950 Type 2 'Bus,' as well as the 1961 Type 3 'Ponton' and the 1968 Type 4 (411/412) family cars, ultimately forming an entire lineup of rear-engine VW vehicles. The iconicness of the Beetle led to a significant shift in trend, led by Volkswagen, and then by Fiat and Renault. In 1959 even General Motors debuted a rear-engine car, air-cooled, the Chevrolet Corvair — which also shared the Beetle's flat engine and swing axle architecture.
Eventually, FWD and hatchback-bodied cars would come to dominate the small-car market in Europe. In 1974, Volkswagen's very own FWD Golf surpassed the Beetle. By 1994, Volkswagen launched the Concept One, a ""retro""-themed concept vehicle resembling the original Beetle. The ""New Beetle,"" introduced in 1998, was built on the contemporary Golf platform with styling echoing the original Type 1. It remained in production until 2011 when it was succeeded by the Beetle (A5), which also is reminiscent of the Type 1.
The VW Beetle has been one of Volkswagen's most prevalent vehicles over the years, which makes sense considering the impact that it has had on both the auto industry and culture in general. With that said, why don't you stop by and grab yourself a Volkswagen Beetle service manual, today!