“Every kid has a bug period… I never grew out of mine.”—E. O. Wilson
There is no more iconic vehicle on the planet that the original air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle and while they have attempted to capture lighting in a bottle with the New Beetle (1997–2011) a car I actually owned and like many latter day VWs, was beset with unending quality control issues. VW tried again with the Beetle (2012- ) and while maybe it’s a better car then the New Beetle, I would be hard pressed to be induced to buy another one.
Unlike these nouveau Beetles, the original air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle is beloved across age and demographic spectrums like no other car in the world. At a car show last year I talked with some really young Beetle enthusiasts about why they loved their cars. The same reasons came up again and again and that they were cheap to buy, easy to repair, and fun to drive.
In it’s day the Beetle was the anti-car especially next to the large chrome bumpered cars of the 1950’s and amazingly enough it is the anti-car of the new millennium as it stakes it claims amongst cars that look so much alike that Toyota has take extreme (and ugly some might say) measures in designing the front fascias of it’s and Lexus automobiles.
Yet the original VW Beetle takes us to our “safe spaces” where life is simple and you can paint the car with bright colors and “wear some flowers in your hair…
If you like cars and car photography, please visit my website/blog Joe Farace Shoots Cars that has new posts on its blog every Tuesday and Thursday.