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4315 North Service Road, Burlington, ON, L7L 4X7

It's the end of the road for the Bug

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It's the end of the road for the Bug

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Last week at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen announced they would be discontinuing the Beetle. I know Car Nation Canada does not sell the Volkswagen Beetle but the car is such an icon and has been such an inspiration for the auto industry that we could not let it's passing go unnoticed. So here, in our own small way is our goodbye to a motoring icon.

The Volkswagen Beetle was first produced in 1938 by Ferdinand Porsche on the orders of Adolf Hitler to provide affordable transport for German families. The requirement ws for a vehicle that could transport two adults and three children at 100 km/h and use less than 7l of fuel per 100 km.

It was an incredibly basic motor, a simple flat four cylinder air cooled engine placed in the rear. Initially it was a 995cc engine that developed 25 hp. While basic, it was reliable and easy to maintain. The engine, while low on power could withstand high temperatures well and could be repaired with rudimentary tools and the most basic mechanical knowledge. All things that worked with the 'People's Car' intent.

The front housed a small trunk for shopping. Inside, a basic interior

Beetle production
While it first hit the production line in 1938, production paused during World War 2. It resumed in 1945 by the Allies as part of the Morgenthau plan. British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst rebuilt the demolished plant and reintroduced the production line to build the Beetle. Once up and running, the Type 1 began rolling off the line.

From that first model until the present day, the iconic Beetle design has remained. It has been refined and redesigned of course but that initial 'bug' persona has been kept and has formed part of every VQW Beetle since. While later Beetles departed somewhat from the original people's car intent in terms of cost, complexity and features, the essential character was retained as much as possible.

Arguably, the heyday of the Beetle was the 1960s in Europe and the 1970s in North America. The Beetle was the right car in the right place at the right time and played a significant part in pop and motoring culture throughout that decade. While production continued through the new century, its appeal steadily declined.

The last 'proper' Volkswagen Beetle was manufactured in 2003, some 65 years after the first one hit dealerships. A new generation of Beetle was introduced in 2011 but failed to recapture that initial popularity that made it such a motoring icon. the cars tried to retain the original look and feel but failed. The car resembled the original but was a completely different character and was essentially a Volkswagen Polo with a Beetle skin.

If you want a motoring icon before it disappears, visit Oakville Used Car Superstore at 1450 Speers Road, Oakville, ON, L6L 2X6. We can source just about any car from anywhere and would be only too happy to help!

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