Saturday, December 13, 2014

1977-1979 VW Sedan

"Fusca. As boas idéias são simples."

"Good ideas are simple" – this slogan certainly applies to any of the few automobiles that once, for various reasons, were produced in high numbers and became ubiquitous around the world. Among them, the Ford Model T, the Jeep and, of course, the Volkswagen Beetle.

The Beetle is the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche, who was famous for challenging conventional design solutions throughout his career. An air cooled four-cylinder boxer engine, placed in the rear of the car? Torsion bars instead of a conventional suspension? An "aerodynamic" body on a car that could not even reach 100km/h (62 miles per hour)? A whole city founded and erected just for the production of a new automobile? In the 1930s, when the design of the Beetle was penned, this was absolute automotive extravaganza.

In part, the Beetle's unconventional layout was necessary because Porsche needed to achieve tough targets, set by its „financier", the German Nazi-regime. Their planned "KdF-Wagen" should become an affordable vehicle for the mass-motorization of Germany. Promoted by the "Kraft durch Freude“ ("strength though joy“) leisure organization, it was incidentally a clever way to collect more than 268 million Reichsmark from Germany's middle class: each week, the citizens should save 5 Reichsmark and buy stamps to collect in a savings book. When the book was filled with stamps worth 990 Reichsmark, they should exchange it for a brand new "KdF-Wagen". But World War II transformed these dreams –and Germany– into ashes. Needless to say that nobody saw his money again. The almost 700 civil "KdF-Wagen" produced until 1945 had been assigned to Nazi big shots.

After humble postwar beginnings, the VW Beetle production constantly picked up speed. Above all, the Beetle became famous for its utmost simple design that was at the verge of austerity. Less components meant less chances of failure. The Beetle's reliability, caused by its simple construction and the painstaking German quality control, paved the way for the car's ever increasing popularity. In the 1950s, Volkswagen began exporting the Beetle to the U.S. where it should become a smash hit. Volkswagen also opened factories in Brazil and eventually in Mexico to cope with the demand of the Latin American market.

Our pictured Beetle is a Brazilian VW Fusca (which means Beetle in Portuguese). To the casual observer, the shape of the Beetle remained virtually similar throughout the 65 years of its production, but there were constant improvements that make it possible to narrow down the time in which the car was produced. In 1977, the fuel cap of Brazilian Beetles moved out to the right front fender, and since 1979, the car received bigger tail lights. Thus, this VW is a child of the three years in between these two milestones. When and how it arrived in Cuba, however, we can't tell. Maybe one of our readers knows the answer..?

0 Kommentare: