More Volkswagen facts to make you say AAH
Bill Richardson Transport World's epic new exhibit celebrating everything Volkswagen is ready and waiting for us to re-open our doors - and this display is guaranteed to make you smile.
Featuring a collection of everything Volkswagen - from beloved Beetles to retro-ready Kombis (did you know they are our executive director Joc O'Donnell's favourite vehicle ever?!), a rare Karmann Ghia (if you've never heard of them, you might not be alone: only a handful of them ever made it to the roads of New Zealand) and even a single-seater Formula Vee race vehicle - our new exhibit has garnered plenty of anticipation and excitement.
So, to help you feel VW-ready, we've put together another wee list of quirky Volkswagen facts you never knew you needed in your life. Enjoy - and see you here at Bill Richardson Transport World to check out our new Volkswagen display soon. Don't miss it!
- Volkswagen has modified 5002 out of 5008 original elements found in the Beetle. The only thing that remains unchanged? Its signature body style.
- When Polish man Joseph Ratzinger got a new job back in 2005, it came with a company car: so he sold his 1999 MK4 VW Golf to student Benjamin Halbe for $20,000. When Halbe received the registration papers he made a startling discovery: the previous owner of his second-hand Golf was none other than the brand new head of the Catholic church – Pope Benedict XVI. He promptly whacked the Golf up on Ebay and sold it to an American casino for a ludicrous $280,000. The casino intended to auction the Golf and donate the proceeds to charity – but it eventually sold on Ebay a few years later, for a paltry $28,000.
- The first Volkswagen factory was built in Lower Saxony in Germany in 1938 – however, with the outbreak of WWII in 1939, the company’s involvement with the Nazi forces made it a target for Allied bombing. By the end of the war the factory was in ruins. It was rebuilt by the British and mass production of the Volkswagen in turn began in 1946: almost a decade after the factory was originally built.
- Production of the vehicle known as the New Beetle finally drew to a close in 2019. While it is no longer being produced, we reckon eight decades is a pretty incredible innings for the Beetle! Production of the last of the original Volkswagen Beetles ended in July 2003. The last original Beetles were built at the Volkswagen factory in Mexico – and the last-ever to roll off the production line (Beetle #21,529,464) can now be found in Volkswagen’s AutoMuseum in Wolfsburg, Germany.
- The first Volkswagen vehicles were air-cooled models. However, in 1974 Volkswagen shifted to water-cooled models.
- A white Volkswagen Beetle found in the United Kingdom – licence plate LMW 281F – has been targeted by thieves repeatedly. Why? Because it’s the Beetle that appeared on the cover of none other than the Abbey Road album, released by The Beatles.
- Last year alone, Volkswagen built almost 11 million vehicles.
- The Volkswagen Beetle’s iconic ‘Think Small’ ad campaign was deemed by Advertising Age the best ad campaign of the 20th Century back in 1999, beating out copy from corporate giants Coca-Cola, Malboro, Nike and McDonald’s.
- We’ve all heard of the Volkswagen Golf – but what about the Volkswagen Rabbit? Introduced to the United States in 1974, the Golf was initially called the Rabbit in the American market.
- Do you remember the Beetle’s “blumenvasen” – the small vase that could be clipped to the car’s dashboard, speaker, or windshield? Originally made in porcelain, the vase was a nod to the ‘flower power’ of the 1960s and became such a recognisable symbol for the car that it was incorporated into its late-1990s redesign. Sadly, it was eliminated in 2011 after marketing executives allegedly sought to make the vehicle more male-friendly.