By Greg Zyla
Q: Hi Greg, my name is Matt Hill and I work in conjunction with the VW web content team on www.vw.com. Hope you had a great weekend and that this message finds you well. Our team came across your article “The history of Volkswagen’s Beetle” found in the Lemont Reporter in Illinois.
The evolution of the Volkswagen model is very interesting, and we think your article does a great job of answering your reader’s inquiry comprehensively. Our content team considered doing a historical timeline piece as well.
It seems you have pretty extensive knowledge of the VW model line. We’re curious to know what initially sparked your interest in VW? Were the Beetle models the only VW models you owned? Thanks, Matt.
A: Matt, thank you and yes. . . the only VW I ever personally owned was my 1964 Beetle.
However, from the sporty Karmann Ghia to the VW Camper and Bus line, Volkswagens were the mode of transportation for so many of my friends during the Sixties and Seventies. Actually, my first ever experience of a VW “up close and personal” came when I built a Revell model kit in 1959 of the VW Micro Bus with those 23 windows (see photo). From then on, I was a VW lover and really loved the Buses more so than the Beetle. I’m still looking for a Bus or Camper, and one day hope to own one. As for now, my Franklin Mint 1/24 die cast will have to do.
Concerning my Beetle timeline column, I left out some smaller changes in turn signals (thanks to reader Larry Blanchard), bumpers and increased horsepower, but overall, the Beetle pretty much stayed the same all those years. If you’d like to run the column on VW.com with credit to GateHouse Media, please feel free to do so. Congrats, also, on all the fine cars you build today, including the much improved, front wheel drive Beetle! It’s a great car.