43 Years Ago: An Import Dethrones the Ford Model T as the Most Produced Car of All Time
Since its invention, The Ford Model T held the honor of being the most produced car of all time. All that changed in 1972 when the Model T was dethroned by a small import.
That import was the German-made Volkswagen Beetle. Commonly referred to as the VW Bug, this compact car became the most highly produced automobile in the world on February 17, 1972 when number 15,007,034 rolled off the assembly line in Germany.
The car company's name, Volkswagen, literally means the people's car. The cars idea came from Adolph Hitler who wanted to produce a cheap, simple and reliable car that could be mass produced. Hitler hired car company Porsche to design and build the car.
The Volkswagen was one of the first air-cooled rear engine cars. The original Volkswagen was built to travel at high speeds on the German autobahn. While the car was designed in the 1930s it wasn't until 1945 the car began mass production.
The car wasn't officially named the Beetle. That name started as a nickname which later became the actual name of that specific Volkswagen model. After that, the car became informally known as the 'Bug.'