June 22 – Worldwide VW Beetle Day

Posted on June 22, 2018

When I was a little kid, the streets were filled with big cars. Big Chevys, big station wagons, big Studebakers and Oldsmobiles.

And then, somewhere in the 1960s, these little guys began to appear:

(Actually, VW Beetles, often called "bugs," were sold in the U.S. from 1950 on - before I was born, even - but I didn't see them until a boom of popularity brought them to EVERYONE's attention. Exactly when I first noticed them, I'm not sure - but definitely before 1968s The Love Bug!)

Unfortunately, the 1930-something beginnings of this German car was connected to Hitler, who wanted a new, inexpensive car "for the people" (Volkswagen means "People's Car"). But shrugging off that bit of taint, it is a great idea to produce cars that people can actually afford, and the Volkswagen Beetles have been so popular for so long partly because they are almost indestructible and endlessly customizable.

VW Beetle convertibles have been super popular:

Bugs were converted into dune buggies.

VWs became rally race favorites.

Such a small car was relatively easy to paint in a flower-power hippie-dippie way!

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