History: British ban on cigarette ads on television in 1965 On this day in 1965,…
Today in History: Last classic VW Beetle rolls off the line in 2003
On this day in 2003, the last classic Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the production line in Puebla, Mexico, marking the end of an era. With a total production of 21,529,464 units since its inception in the 1930s, the Beetle had become an iconic symbol of affordable transportation. Initially developed in response to Adolf Hitler’s request for a people’s car, the Beetle, also known as the Kdf-Wagen, gained international fame for its distinctive rounded shape, earning it the nickname “Beetle.” Despite facing challenges such as production interruptions during World War II and a ban in America in 1977 due to safety and emission standards, the Beetle remained a cultural icon and held the title of the top-selling import in the United States by 1960. However, increased competition and changing market dynamics led to Volkswagen’s decision to discontinue production in 2003.
The last Beetle produced was a baby-blue vehicle from a limited 3,000-unit final edition. It found its place in a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, the home of Volkswagen’s headquarters. Notably, the production count of 21,529,464 did not include the original 600 cars built by the Nazis prior to World War II. Throughout its storied history, the Volkswagen Beetle left an indelible mark on the automotive industry and popular culture, immortalized in films like “The Love Bug” and celebrated on the cover of the Beatles’ album “Abbey Road.”
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