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Volkswagen Export Type I Beetle

On Display

Ferdinand Porsche produced ancestral KdF-wagen prototypes in 1935. Batches of pre-production versions followed, before manufacture began in 1939, adapted for military use. Adolf Hitler advised that the Volkswagen People's Car be streamlined to 'look like a beetle'.

Post-war civilian production was under British military control until 1949, when it reverted to German charge. During the late 1960s the Beetle became a world car. In 1981 the 20 millionth unit was built, smashing the Ford Model T's record of around 15 million.

This example was presented to Lord Montagu in 1963, to commemorate the sale of the first 100,000 cars in Britain.

Output25hp @ 3,300rpm
Maximum speed63mph/101.39kph
Price new£600
ManufacturerVolkswagenwerk GmbH


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