The Gumtree Blog

In praise of VW’s design icon

Tuesday 6 August 2013, by

We love the Volkswagen Beetle here at Gumtree.  It’s so cute and quirky.  A familiar, unique and lasting presence in our cultural landscape.  Makes you smile just to look at.  It also happens to be one of the most popular cars of all time.

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the last ever Beetle rolling off the production line in VW’s factory in Puebla, Mexico

To celebrate, here are a few of our favourite Beetle facts.

  1. Over 21.5 million Beetles were produced over the 65 years of production, making it the most manufactured car of a single platform design.  EVER!  This staggering number doesn’t include the New Beetle, launched in 1998.
  2. While it looked more or less the same its entire life, the Beetle had over 78,000 updates and tweaks applied to it.
  3. It was the subject of some of the most ground-breaking advertising in history.  Doyle Dane Bernbach, VW’s ad agency, created seminal ads such as ‘Think Small’ (at a time when the entire American car industry was doing precisely the opposite) and ‘Lemon’ (humbly telling the story of all the Beetles that failed to pass the stringent quality controls in VW’s factory).  Fitting that a revolutionary car helped to revolutionise the whole advertising industry.
  4. The Beetle’s a movie star.  Yes, yes, we know there have been a ton of cars in films down the years.  But how many have been cast in the leading role?  In the Herbie series, beginning in 1969, our hero played a plucky racing car with a mind of his own and the ability to drive himself.  Makes Knight Rider’s appearance over a decade later look like a bit of a Johnny-come-lately, doesn’t it?
  5. Commissioned by a certain German dictator in the 1930s, the car’s official name was The Volkswagen Type 1.  We think ‘Beetle’ suits it a whole lot better.  We’ll even allow our American cousins their version: ‘The Bug’.

So a big Gumtree “Well done” to the Beetle: a true design icon with character to spare.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a VW or something else, motor on over to the relevant bit of the site and see what honks your horn.


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