Blog: Dave LeggettGoodbye Beetle

Dave Leggett | 29 July 2003

Media reports seem to conflict on the exact day - but the last VW Beetle to be made rolls off the production line in Mexico today or tomorrow. The longevity of the Beetle is obviously pretty impressive, but I'm getting just a little tired of the eulogies now. It stayed in production only as a cheap car for emerging markets and its heyday was many decades ago, when the Beetle package was relevant to the times. I guess the 1960s was the time when it really came into its own. I can still recall going - as a small child I hasten to add - to a drive-in movie theatre in the US in the late 1960s to watch Herbie in the Love Bug. I was impressed with that distinctive shape and, of course, the idea of a car with a character. But just fifteen years later, the car of choice for left-wing students in Britain was looking very dated and its ancient air-cooled engine sounding a bit too noisy. The more space efficient Golf design made a lot more sense by then. There was though, some irony in the fact that the car so beloved of trendy lefties was born out of Adolf Hitler's wish for low-cost motoring for the masses.


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