September 28, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Legends and Legacies: Movie Icon Edition – Volkswagen Beetle

The mention of two car models will always be accompanied with the image of their on screen starring roles, one of them is Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle!

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When it comes to iconic looks, no other car is comparable to the Volkswagen Beetle. Not only does this car have a total history of 77 years, it is also the most recognisable car ever on the road. Then again the car also made it huge with its popular starring role as the Herbie the Love Bug on the big screen so it’s hard not to miss it.
Believe it or not, the Beetle, or then known as the Type 1, had started life when Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to create a “people’s car” (hence the name Volkswagen), the details were simple: create a basic vehicle, capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100kph while not using more than seven-litres of fuel, the engine has to be powerful enough for rapid cruising on the German Autobahn, the car has to be easily repaired and it has to have an engine that is air-cooled as not everybody has a garage to store their cars in.

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Ferdinand Porsche had actually taken the previously created Type 12 with Zundapp to create the Type 1. And lo and behold, here comes the Volkswagen Type 1 complete with an air-cooled engine that Hitler had ordered. To be more specific, the Type 1 and the current Beetle doesn’t share much in terms of “bloodline” as the version known as the Type 1 was only produced all the way up to 2003. 
Limited production started from 1939 but production was halted due to the world war to create cars as cars to be utilised during wartime. It wasn’t until 1945 before mass production started allowing the car to sweep the globe. You can say that the Type 1 had been the car that started the small car revolution especially when the world was still recovering from the after effects of the War.

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As the years went pass, the people started demanding for a bigger and faster engine. This had prompted the creators to upgrade the already updated 1200cc ultra-reliable engine to give a faster and more modern-drive in the mid-60s. But unfortunately these models known as the 1300 and 1500 models started to decline in sales when the public realised that the people’s car was nothing more than a changed shell and was still noisy and has nothing modern about it even with a fuel-injection fitted.
This saw the Type 1’s slow decent into the end of its life line with its replacement coming in the form of everybody’s hot-hatch, the Golf. Production in Wolfsburg ended in 1977 while South America continued all the way to 2003. The current sleeker and more modern version, known as the Beetle is a re-launch of the Type 1, VW had decided to make use of the model’s common nickname “The Bug”.

(Video source: videos1901 Youtube user)

Of course, most of us being born this century would remember the Type 1 most for its brilliant acting skills thanks to its starring role in Disney’s Herbie the Love Bug in 1968 and the more modern version released in 2005 where the car starred alongside Lindsay Lohan.
While it’s a common sight to see a VW Beetle scuttling around the roads with the same blue and red stripes and the number 53 on the bonnet (I’ve once witnessed a Kelisa rocking those stripes and the number) we will have the honour of seeing the Love Bug at the Movie Icon’s in the XLR8 carnival.
Jerrica Leong 

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