My favorite print ad was a picture of my 1963 V.W. below what stated “A penny a pound.” helping me remember what I paid for mine, $2,170.00.
I created an invention for my model.
The water for the windshield washer was under the dash in the trunk, then up front.
It was filled will air to provide pressure for the water to shoot on the front window washers.
I punched a hole in my glove compartment rerouted the little hose so it was fixed there, filled the container with vodka and the bar was open when I was behind the wheel.
Drove around with little Dixie Cups for Orange Juice and we were good to go.
By Bob Sorokanich
May 25, 2o17
Imagine what the original VW Beetle must have looked like to the average post-war American car buyer. In a market dominated by front-engine, rear-drive sedans powered by conventional water-cooled inline sixes and V8s, the Type I Volkswagen must have seemed like a UFO.
It’s pretty amazing that VW had such wild sales success in the U.S. market with the Beetle.
And credit for that goes to Volkswagen’s long-running ad campaign for the Beetle.
King Rose Archives maintains a fantastic YouTube channel of vintage video footage from throughout the many eras of the automobile.
Volkswagen brings its original design to the style capital of the world, Italy.
Tasking an Italian design honcho with the goal of improving the car, he comes up with a single alteration: A larger rear window.
It’s a subtle jab at American automakers and their annual restyling, a form of planned obsolescence intended to drive yearly trade-ins for the latest mode
Why won’t your new Volkswagen’s doors close properly? The way VW tells it, it’s because the car’s so solidly built, it’s practically air-tight.
This was a theme in Volkswagen’s early advertisements—pointing out quirks that U.S. buyers might think of as problems (the damn doors on this thing won’t close, Ethel!) and re-explaining them as facets of the obsessive engineering that went into the car.
Also, if Ted Kennedy had been driving a V.W. while his bridge driving academy was still open, Mary Jo Kopechne would likely be alive today.
Parts availability and ease of repair were two major features that Volkswagen touted. Since the Type I’s major body parts went largely unchanged from the mid-1950s until 1965, VW assured owners that they wouldn’t wait ages for replacement parts. And with the apparent ease of disassembly shown in this stunt (and in the engine-removal commercial below), Volkswagen presented its cars as being extremely easy and cheap to keep running.
Finally, here’s one from the later Super Beetle era. This was after the VW’s first major redesign, but the ad features a common theme present throughout Volkswagen ads: the self-deprecating focus on the Beetle’s inexpensive and nonfrivolous design.
It’s not special, the ad claims—in fact, it’s so decidedly un-special, its owners practically don’t care about it.
Let’s make it Six
Volkswagen went from being an unconventional maker of humble runabouts to an industry juggernaut whose engineering hubris is behind one of the biggest automotive scandals we’ve ever seen.
My, how times change.