*This is a translation done by a machine.
The Volkswagen Beetle is still fresh in our minds when it was announced that production would end in July 2019. However, only the second and third generations that have the name Beetle in their names are the ones that have homage to the design of the first generation, and the first generation is a nickname given by the public. The official name of the car is Volkswagen followed by numbers and letters indicating the engine displacement and symbols.
Adolf Hitler of the German Nazi regime proposed the concept of "Volkswagen (German for national car) project" with strict conditions such as a family of 4 members riding, cruising speed of over 100 km/h, low fuel consumption, low price, good maintainability, sturdy and unbreakable. The original designer, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, solved that problem in 1938 with the creation of the original Beetle, the "kdf Wagen" (Two body types are available from the beginning: two-door sedan and cabriolet.). However, with the outbreak of World War II, the national car concept was suspended just before mass production.
It was not until 1945, not long after the war, that the plan of the national car concept, which had been suspended, started moving again. Ivan Hirst, a British military officer who was in charge of the VW plant in the Allied Forces, repaired the plant and resumed automobile production. This was the birth of the Volkswagen Type 1.
The Type 1, which passed the strict design concept mentioned above, was highly evaluated in the market and became an explosive hit due to its superior basic performance and sleek and lovely form, which were superior to competing cars. Furthermore, in addition to its home country, Germany, local production began in Brazil and Mexico. With the start of imports to Japan from our country in 1952 by Yanase, the popularity of Type 1 has expanded worldwide. As early as 1964, cumulative production had surpassed 10 million units and a number of Type 1 chassis based variants (Type 2, Karmann Ghia etc.) were introduced, demonstrating VW's tremendous momentum at the time.
It was a Type 1 car that acquired the status of a national car of the world, but the popularity of the car made it difficult for VW to develop a successor car. In the 1960s, compared to the new model of rival, bad things such as old design, RR package, noise of air-cooled engine (OHV) become more prominent. VW has taken various measures, such as gradually increasing the engine displacement from the original 1 liter to 1.6 liters, introducing an automatic transmission, and drastically renovating the suspension system after the 1971 model, but they have not improved its inferiority. With the introduction of the first generation "VW Golf" in 1974, MMC's role as a principal model was eventually handed over to the German market, where production ceased in 1978. However, production in Mexico (At one point, Brazil) continued until 2003, supported long by the low-cost nature of long-term mass production.
From 1945 to 2003, the Beetle was produced as a single model for more than half a century, with a cumulative total of approximately 21.53 million units produced (The official import in Japan is over 80,000 units.). This record is certain to be a milestone in the automotive industry, which will continue to be talked about.
|Shinichi Yamazaki's Highlights!|
VW Type 1 is almost the last model for Yanase (Made in West Germany). In the 1976 model, the front suspension was changed to strut, and the engine was changed to type 1 maximum of 1.6 liters + mechanical type K jetronic specification.
The popularity as a collectable car does not reach the initial type, but it does not make you feel uncomfortable with a classic car, and it still has the advantage of being able to be used as a daily foot. This individual has been loved by one owner for a long time, and his relatives have handed over this car, after which it is a three-owner car purchased by the current owner. Although the mileage was over 110,000 km, the engine was in excellent condition, started with light cranking, and showed me the mechanical noise with a constant rotation and no roughness. The only oil leakage was seen from the rear drive shaft, but this is a replacement. The support part of the seat was scratched, but there was no dirt or tear, and the cushioning remained. The rear seat is hardly used. The dashboard appears to be faded, but it doesn't break, making it one of the best cars from over 40 years ago.
Unfortunately, the body has been left outside for a long time, so there are corrosion and paint cracks over a wide area. Some of the material has eroded to the inside of the body, so it is expected to be very expensive to fully restore. "When I first saw the body eroded by rust, I thought [I wonder if this will work.] but the engine and floor were stronger than I thought and the interior was clean. As the history was clear, I thought, [It is a waste to crush it like this.] so I accepted it." said the current owner. It's not for buyers looking for contest conditions, but if you use a collectible car as your daily transportation and spend a lot of time enjoying your damaged body in a fashion sense (In fact, there are some customizations that dare to give you a sense of junk and fatigue.), then this individual is going to be very attractive.
I would like you to buy it for the customizer who dares to dye it to his own color instead of keeping it carefully by doing a large-scale restoration.
Originally written by Shinichi Yamazaki
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on December 2019
|Year of Purchase||Jul 1976|