Cars Then & Now

© Volkswagen of America, Inc.© Volkswagen of America, Inc.
1949 Volkswagen Beetle
Original Base Price: $800
The small 2-door rear-engine car first came to market in Germany in 1938, but didn’t arrive in America until 1949 — after WWII. Two Beetles were shipped to New York City (and subsequently sold) by Ben Pon, Sr., the world’s first official Volkswagen importer. Beetle sales were off to a slow start in America, but in 1958 the convertible arrived, boosting interest in the small German car. The original Beetle was sold in America until 1977 when the car no longer met more stringent safety and emissions standards. By the time the original Beetle ended production in 2003, more than 21 million had been built.

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