|The Volkswagen Beetle, officially the Volkswagen Type 1, is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engine economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003.|
|The need for this kind of car was formulated by Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, wishing for a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for the new road network of his country.|
He contracted Porsche in 1934 to design and build it to his exacting standards.
|The factory produced another wartime vehicle: the Kommandeurwagen; a Beetle body mounted on a 4WD Kübelwagen chassis. The Kommandeurwagen had widened fenders to accommodate it's Kronprinz all-terrain tires. |
Mass production of civilian VW cars did not start until post-war occupation.
669 Kommandeurwagens were produced up to 1945.
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche
|After World War II, the car was officially designated the Volkswagen Type 1, but was more commonly known as the Beetle.|
During the post-war period, the Beetle had superior performance in its category with a top speed of 115 km/h (71 mph) and 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 27.5 seconds with fuel consumption of 6.7 l/100 km (36 mpg) for the standard 25 kW (34 hp) engine. In 1949 the car was exported to the US. On 17 February 1972, when Beetle No. 15,007,034 was produced, Beetle production surpassed the previous record holder, the Ford Model T.
By 1973, total production was over 16 million, and by June 1992, over 21 million had been produced.
|Production in Brazil ended in 1986, then started again in 1993 and continued until 1996.|
The last Beetle was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in July 2003.
The final batch of 3,000 Beetles were sold as 2004 models and badged as the Última Edición.
VW 1303/Super Beetle (1973)
|James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American actor. He is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956). Dean's enduring fame and popularity rest on his performances in only these three films, in two of which he is the leading actor.|
He became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Last photograph of James Dean taken hours before his death.
|Since James Dean's death in 1955, the Porsche 550 Spyder has become infamous as the car that killed him.|
While filming Rebel Without A Cause, James Dean had upgraded from the 356 to the 550 Spyder and decided that he wanted to make it uniquely his. Dean called upon George Barris, of movie car fame, to customize the Porsche. He gave it tartan seats, two red stripes over the rear wheels and plastered the number ‘130' on its doors, hood and engine cover.
|On September 23 1955, Dean met actor Alec Guinness outside of a restaurant and had him take a look at the Spyder. Guinness told Dean that the car had a "sinister" appearance and then told Dean: "If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week." Seven days later, Dean would be killed in the car.|
|Dean was travelling U.S. Route 466 at approximately 5:15 p.m. when a 1950 Ford Tudor made a hesitant attempt to turn away from an intersection, placing him at the center of the road. The porsche slammed into the driver's quadrant of a Ford Tudor, flipped and crossed the pavement onto the side of the highway. The driver, Donald Turnupseed, exited his damaged vehicle with minor injuries. Dean sustained numerous fatal injuries, including a broken neck.|
|The Corvair spawned a number of innovative concept vehicles including the Corvair SS, Monza GT, Monza SS, Astro I.|
(click to enlarge)
Corvair Monza Spyder, 1965
Correspondence between the pair convinced Keno that he had ownership of the historic car.
|The vehicle was given a new lease of life in 1970 when it was purchased by Ron Keno of Mohawk, New York for $300. The antiques dealer was eventually put in touch with Franz Spogler, a former Nazi whose job it had been to drive Petacci and Mussolini towards the end of the war.|
|A no-expenses-spared restoration with Garage Bonfanti followed. The work, which went so far as to recreate replicas of the original dashboard switchgear, reportedly took two years and cost a staggering €500,000 (roughly $625,000 in 2004).|
|The 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 achieved a high bid of €1.8 million ($2.1 million), but failed to meet its reserve price.|