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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Volkswagen Beetle (1938-2003)


60 years ago, on December 27, 1945. in Wolfsburg began series production of the Volkswagen Beetle. By the end of this year have produced 55 copies. The last Beetle number 21,529,480 rolled off the production plants in Puebla (Mexico) 30 July 2003.

Shortly after the debut of the Beetle British military authorities ordered 20,000 cars, 500 special vehicles (from the trailers for mail) and an additional 200 trailers. 6,033 laborers worked on the implementation of that order until mid-1946.

Despite the fact that the beginnings of the production of the Beetle were extremely difficult, in 1946. plant gates left 10,020 cars. A year later, as a result of severe winter froze "Mittelkanal," which delivered components, which resulted in the production of the Beetle suspension for three months. In 1947roku Volkswagen through the British managed to export the first 5 copies of the car to the Netherlands.

After the currency reform and the introduction of market economy, production volume, even "exploded". VW Beetle with the VW Transporter (produced since March 1950), became a symbol of German economic miracle. In 1955. Volkswagen celebrated the release of the crew in the world millionth Beetle. Until the mid-70s of the twentieth century, when it entered the production models Passat, Golf and Polo, Volkswagen produced only Garbusy - breaking new records on the occasion of the production.

The first prototypes of the Beetle came to light on July 3 1935. At the beginning of 1936. Convertible version was tested in July of this year, new variant of the saloon with a modified engine. 50,000 km test revealed, however, need further work. In 1937. V3 Series vehicles have been replaced by a series of W30. After 2,315,725 km, it turned out that this concept works Beetle in terms of both durability and fuel efficiency and ride comfort.

In 1938. ready for series production vehicle was equipped with a rear-mounted, air-cooled, four-cylinder boxer engine with a capacity of 985 cm3. He attained the power of 24km (at 3,000 rpm) and allowed to travel at a constant speed of 100 km / h.

Engine cooling fan ensures the belt driven engine mounted above the sheet metal casing, which is mounted on the extended generator. To make room for it, the engine was slightly tilted (according to the patent Porsche in the early twentieth century '30). With such a cooling system, the engine could not freeze in winter or overheat in the summer.

Clutch, gearbox and axle drive system is placed in a common housing. Engine power was transmitted through jednotarczowego, dry clutch. The exhaust system is mounted across the engine.

Trouble-free drive unit was light and had a compact size. Among others thus, average fuel consumption was 7.5 l/100 km. Located on the front mask of the fuel tank had a capacity of 41 liters, and the available cargo space 75 liters.

By the end of the war but built only 630 cars for civilian use. The idea of ​​"a car for the masses," however, was still alive. Therefore, construction of the vehicle began to develop from the first days of post-war production. The new engine with a capacity of 1131 cm3 had the power of 25 hp (at 3,300 rpm) and allowed to travel at a speed of 105 km / h. In addition to the standard model, introduced in 1949, the export version, which is equipped with hydraulic brakes and front shock absorbers, and then in 1952. a gearbox, in which 2 and 4 fourth gear were synchronized.

The power unit of Volkswagen Series 1200, which was launched in 1954., Had a volume of 1,192 cm3 and power of 30 bhp. When you press the gas pedal (which has become a modern, elongated form) car accelerated to a maximum of 112 km / h. In 1960. Wolfsburg engineers strengthened the export version of the Beetle, an additional 4 hp, and introduced the all-synchromesh gearbox. Over the next two years includes more than 2,000 minor modifications, which modernized the vehicle in accordance with the spirit of the times.

World accelerated, and the Beetle with him. In 1965. Volkswagen debuted 1300th Its engine capacity of 1285 cm3 has developed an output of 40 hp at 4,000 revolutions per minute and gave the car to 122 km / h. The following year he appeared Beetle 1500 with an engine power of 44 hp, coming straight from the second generation of the Volkswagen Transporter, which gave the car to 128 km / h.

Increased power. There were also changes include safety and functionality. In August of 1966. 1500 model received a standard drum brakes on the front wheels. A year later, in 1300 and 1500 series were introduced from the cab unlocked filler, so that the refueling was no longer necessary to open the bonnet.

In 1971. model introduced in 1302 to choose from an engine power of 44 hp or a sport version with a capacity of 55 hp. Cars of this type have already been elements of the suspension struts. Telescopic shock absorbers with a stabilizer on the front axle to replace the structure with transversely arranged pipes and beams. The active safety systems introduced a wider wheelbase (to improve adhesion), the passive, however, gained by the mounting of the steering wheel, which broke up on impact.

After completion of the production of Beetles in Germany (in 1974. In Wolfsburg, in 1978. Emden) and move it to Mexico to work on further development of this model has not ceased. For example, the Brazilian market prepared a special version called "fusca", driven by a modified engine (it has been adapted to run on alcohol fuel), 1.6 liter 52 hp power. In view of the fact that the new version of the Beetle was powered fuel with different properties, the car is equipped with copper and nickel coated dual carburetor. Also changed the fuel pump and fuel tank made tinned.

In 1993. 1600 Series Beetle modified for the last time. The engine received fuel injection and cylinder heads provided with hydropopychacze. 3-way catalytic converter replaced the previously installed catalyst unregulated. In this way the Beetle began to meet Euro 3 emission levels and also in force in Mexico, the U.S. standard No. 1

The last copy of the VW Beetle was designated version of the "Ultima Edicion".