The big Beetle family

Mobility for millions.

The name says it all: literally translated, ‘Volkswagen’ means ‘people’s car’. And the Beetle really did live up to this name: it has the distinction of being the world’s most produced car. By 2003, more than 21 million models had rolled off the production line and the Beetle is known, loved and still very much around in all four corners of the earth. It goes without saying that the Volkswagen AutoMuseum provides the necessary space for showcasing the countless different model versions to fans and admirers.

We are pleased to present a small selection on this page:



Beetle 1200 Convertible, 1958

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Year of manufacture

1958

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

30 hp / 22 kW

Engine size

1192 cc

Top speed

100 km/h

After delighting visitors as an exhibit from 1993 onwards, this convertible was extensively restored in 1999 to enable it to participate in classic events. In good technical condition, it was primarily the bodywork that had to be resprayed – naturally in its original ‘Inca Metallic’ colour. The convertible once manufactured at Karmann has entered a number of events in Germany and abroad ever since.

Käfer 1200 Cabriolet 01
Käfer 1200 Cabriolet 02
Käfer 1200 Cabriolet 03
Käfer 1200 Cabriolet 04

Herbie, 1969

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Year of manufacture

1969

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

30 hp / 22 kW

Engine size

1192 cc

Top speed

110 km/h

In the Walt Disney film The Love Bug, Herbie was the star – a Beetle with thoroughly human traits which could do practically anything. It bore a starting number with real racing history – the Formula 1 driver Graf Berghe von Trips once raced with the number 53. Dozens of Beetles were used to produce and promote the film. The Herbie in the Volkswagen AutoMuseum was used for promotional purposes in Europe. It is an original car, not one which has been restored at a later stage.

Herbie 1
Herbie 2
Herbie 3
Herbie 4

Karmann Ghia Type 14 Coupé, 1972

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Year of manufacture

1972

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

50 hp / 37 kW

Engine size

1584 cc

Top speed

140 km/h

Number produced

362 585

Production period

1955–1974

The Karmann Ghia based on the Volkswagen Beetle combined Italian style with German quality, making it a highly sought-after car – whether as a coupé or cabriolet – for almost three decades. Perfect, elegant lines fused with technical reliability. With their more modest production figures, the independent coachbuilders were unable to compete against more rational mass production, which meant that the Karmann Ghia remained the only Beetle to appear in ‘Sunday best’.

Karmann Ghia Typ 14 Coupé 01

Beetle 1303 Convertible, 1979

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Year of manufacture

1979

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

50 hp / 37 kW

Engine size

1584 cc

Top speed

130 km/h

Production period

1972–1980

Three long decades separated the first Beetle Convertibles produced at Karmann in Osnabrück in 1949 from the 1303 Convertible.  By January 1980, 330,281 open-top versions of the so-called Type 15 had been built, making it the world’s most produced convertible at the time. The 1979 model on display here is one of the most accomplished Beetles of all time in terms of the engine and chassis. It was initially used at Volkswagen as a test car for the press before being transferred to the AutoMuseum collection in 1980.

Beetle 1303 Cabriolet
Käfer 1303 Cabriolet 02

Basket Beetle, 1971/1997

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Year of manufacture

1971/1997

Engine

four-cylinder boxer, air-cooled

Power

50 hp / 37 kW

Engine size

1584 cc

Top speed

130 km/h

The idea for the Basket Beetle came from the basket-maker master Thomas Heinrich from Oberlausitz. It took around 600 working hours to weave the individual vehicle parts. Not only the body of the from a saloon to a convertible vehicle cut up was  given a basket shell; but also the interior side panels. The basketwork documents the various styles of the basket maker’s craft and the precision and quality of the workmanship.

Basket Beetle
Korbkäfer 02
Korbkäfer 03
Korbkäfer 04