VW Beetle Split Window

VW Beetle Split Rear Window (1938-1953)

KdF Wagen – Kraft durch Freude (strength through joy) was the initial name for the car that would become the Volkswagen (People’s Car).

1939 KdF advertisement
KdF Prototypes 1939

1950 VW Export

“Wherever real automobile enthusiasts get together, and whenever the conversation turns to progress in automotive design, the name VW is certain to be mentioned.

Such is the reputation of this car that it has become the criterion of “small car” construction among even the most discriminating buyers of automobiles. A reputation like this had to be earned. Even the 1939 VW model incorporated four years of painstaking development and over 1.5 million miles of actual road tests. The war years served as a Final test. In the guise of a military vehicle the VW did yeoman service under all sorts of going. From the torrid heat of the sandy African deserts to the bitter cold of the snow-covered Russian plains it fulfilled the severest de¬≠mands in a manner unequalled in history.

Today the VW is the leader in the international field of small cars; the masterpiece of the most modern European automobile factory, the most popular of all German cars, not only in the homeland but anywhere in the world.

Well over 100,000 VWs have been built and sold since 1945; indeed a proud record and a well deserved success. They wind their way, fleet, nimble and untiring, through the heavy traffic of the largest cities in the world – a pride and joy to the hundreds of thousands that are so well served every day by them – a pride and joy also to the engineers and more than 10,000 workers who build them.”

Excerpt from the 1949 brochure