By the late 1960s, the humble little Vee Dub ‘Bug’ – alongside its larger cousin, the Type 2 – had become the transport of both the everyday commuter and the ‘counter-culture’ class warrior – the latter primarily found on the east coast of the USA. Quite the transformation from its origins just two decades prior as the utilitarian, mass mobility dream of top-ranking Nazis.
Troubling past and early years consigned to history, the inherent qualities of this rugged and dependable Volkswagen shone through. Customers in their hundreds of thousands were becoming besotted with the Beetle, and with every production year that passed, it became more usable.
The lethargic engines of the early cars made way for practically sprightly (by comparison) 1960s units, giving the Beetle a new lease of life that would last right through to the end of production. The dawn of the 1960s saw the Beetle gain a front anti-roll bar and steering damper, making it both handle better and transmit fewer shocks to the driver.
The first new engine was added in 1960, and a significant displacement hike came along in 1967 with the introduction of the 1500cc – this latter development almost doubled the horsepower of the original Beetle. Though it still only had 53bhp, that was revelatory to many contemporary VW customers.