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Photo: Lennard Kugeler

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Käfer X (R)Evolution

EXHIBITION SHOWCASING SEVEN VOLKSWAGEN “BEETLES” IN THE GROUP FORUM

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On 17 February 1972, the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed the Model T built by the Ford Motor Company to become the new world champion in terms of production figures. We are celebrating this milestone with the new “Beetle X (R)Evolution” exhibition on show in the Group Forum. Here we invite you to take a journey through the history of the model. The exhibits are accompanied by design elements such as Persian rugs, chairs and potted plants to create a cosy living-room atmosphere.

The exhibition includes seven hand-picked vehicles from the ZeitHaus collection that allow Beetle fans to appreciate the technical and visual developments that the Volkswagen Type 1 went through during its 65 years in production.

PORSCHE TYPE 60 (PROTOTYPE V3, 1936)

The exhibit on show in the lobby of the former Metropol shop is a reconstruction – the original was destroyed after the test phase. The prototype V3 marks the beginning of the Volkswagen model’s success story, and it is also the starting point for the new exhibition. Produced in 1936, the V3 was the first functional prototype of the final Beetle design with a four-cylinder boxer engine – and in the iconic Beetle shape.

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE EXPORT (1951)

The Volkswagen Beetle democratised the private use of automobiles in Germany. In the US, the Export version became a compact car trendsetter – in stark contrast to classic American road cruisers. The exhibited vehicle has a two-part rear window reminiscent of a pretzel, which is why it was dubbed the “Pretzel Beetle”.

VOLKSWAGEN 1200 EXPORT “OVALI” (1956)

In March 1953, the exterior of the Beetle underwent major changes: the “Pretzel Beetle” became the “Ovali” after the two-part rear window gave way to a one-piece, oval shape. The exhibited vehicle from 1956 features a folding sunroof and went on sale for 4,850 Deutschmarks.

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE EXPORT (1962)

The amount of glass featured on the Beetle steadily increased during the course of its production. The showcased vehicle from 1962 has a significantly larger rear window than the “Ovali”. In 1972, the straight windscreen was replaced by a curved panorama windscreen.

VOLKSWAGEN 1303 GSR

Launched on the market in 1972 as a special model at a price of 7,650 Deutschmarks, the GSR celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022. After just three months, in March 1973, all 3,500 units of the “yellow-black racer” had sold out. The body of the vehicle was painted in Saturn Yellow, while the bonnet, door handles, trim strips and bumpers were Black. The sporty character of the GSR was also evident in the vehicle interior thanks to sports seats, sports steering wheel and round air vents.

VOLKSWAGEN 1302 JEANS (1974)

The “Jeans Beetle” special model went on sale for 6,795 Deutschmarks. In addition to the denim seat covers with coloured seams and riveted pockets, each vehicle in the series also featured Lemmerz steel sports wheels. Halogen headlights were fitted as standard, as were the heated rear window, the instrument panel upholstery and the iconic Jeans lettering on the sides. The vehicle from the ZeitHaus collection in Nepal Orange is from Series III, which was available from 1974/75.

VOLKSWAGEN 1200 L “JUBI BEETLE” (1985)

The vehicle on show is from the special “Jubi Beetle” series painted in Tin Grey and featuring special equipment – and also happens to be the last Beetle officially imported to Germany from Mexico.