Volkswagen - the people's car
Volkswagen, translated from German as ‘the people’s car’, is the second largest automaker in the world and is commonly know as VW for short. Volkswagen now owns 12 subsidiaries, all adding to the global domination of the brand as a whole in the automobile manufacturing world.
Volkswagen was set up in 1937 by the Deutsche Arbeitsfront, the Nazi trades union organisation. Hitler wanted German people to be able to own an inexpensive car that could carry two adults and three children and was capable of speeds up to 100km/h (60mph). These models were, for the better part, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and were called the KdF-Wagen, known today as the Volkswagen Beetle, which has earned its place in history as a being a classic Volkswagen car. This project soon fell apart as it was financially unsound and only made feasible because of the corruption of the Nazi regime. Although 336,000 people signed up for these cars, no one actually received one due to the outbreak of the war and the factory becoming repurposed for the production of military vehicles.
New designs of Volkswagen
In May 1945 the VW factory was heavily bombed by the British and they took control of the factory to use it as an army maintenance depot. In August of that year it was decided, under the terms of the Potsdam Agreement, that the Volkswagen factory should be dismantled and used as part of war reparations. However the British officer Major Ivan Hirst managed to change the minds of his commanders by proclaiming the potential of the unique Beetle car.
Throughout the 1950s VW expanded rapidly but solely concentrated on the production of the Volkswagen Beetle and by the 1970s, sales were declining and the company was put under pressure to create new designs. With the help of the Audi/Auto Union, the first VW Golf was produced. Further successes came in the following years, including the Golf and the Polo models, which are now regarded as unique classics in the industry.
Iconic Volkswagen Beetle
The iconic VW Beetle model has featured in films many times throughout the years. A classic appearance was its starring role as Herbie in ‘Herbie: The Love Bug’.
Next to the classic Herbie movie series, the VW beetle can also be seen on screens of more modern television shows, such as ‘Once Upon a Time’. It features a unique yellow Volkswagen Beetle that is driven by the main character Emma Swan.
An equally recognisable Volkswagen model is the T1 Samba, what became known as a very popular hippie bus throughout the sixties. It is widely regarded as one of the most recognised Volkswagen classic cars today.
Volkswagen on Catawiki
Were you a big Herbie fan as a child and the VW beetle was your first own car? Then check out our online classic car auctions on Catawiki and relive some special memories of your past. Maybe you will find the perfect VW beetle and turn it into your own personal 'Herbie'. If the VW beetle is not your preferred model, maybe our other vintage Volkswagen cars are more appealing to you. Browse through our unique classic cars and see if you can find your dream car amongst all the car brands we offer - from Alfa Romeos to Volkswagen. If you still have your first VW beetle but its nostalgic value faded over the years and you are ready to sell it now online, we are here to help. Did you know that on Catawiki you cannot only buy but also sell classic cars? That's right! And the good news is: you only pay a commission fee when you successfully sell your unique car or special item - the upload of the lot and its valuation from our in-house experts is completely free of charge. Curious? Come and visit us and undergo a unique buying or selling experience!