The 1931-1945 Volkswagen Beetle represented the first generation of the enduring little car whose history is rife with irony, intrigue, and surprise.
Interrupted by World War II, the 1931-1945 Volkswagen Beetle designs never saw high-volume commercial production. But they did lead directly to the reliable, low-cost cars that one day would ply roads the world over. This article tells the story of the 1931-1945 Volkswagen Beetle.
The Model T Ford was the first "people's car," but a brilliant engineer named Ferdinand Porsche dreamed of one for the German people. So did Adolf Hitler, who saw a Volkswagen as a way to secure himself as Germany's absolute ruler.
With Der Fuhrer's patronage, Porsche designed a simple yet sophisticated machine with a distinctive beetle-like shape. But just as production got rolling, Hitler began World War II and the little car's future was very much in doubt.
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