BEETLE : A LEGEND ON WHEELS
One o f Hitler’s dreams was to increase the number of car owners in Germany, so he employed Dr. Ferdinand Potsche, the well-known construe lOr, to design an affordable and reliable car for the people. Hitler and “Potsche often had arguments, but Potsche was afraid of him, so he stayed in the project and continued his work in the Waifs burg car factory. In 1938, the factory produced the first cheap car “for the people”. It included all the characteristics that Hitler ordered. The engine was at the back of the car and it had quite a specific shape:
It was very round and it looked like an insect. That was the rcason why It was called “Beetle”, During World War II, tile Germans used the Wolfs burg car fac tory to make all-terrain cars – Kubclwagcns – and airplanes for the army. However, as soon as the war ended, Beetle production sta rted again and the Beetle immediately became even more popular than Ford’s Model ‘T’.
The great success started with the Import of Beetles to Holland In 1947. By 1972, the total number of Beetle cars produced had increased to over 15,000,000.
Then sales started to go down because the Beetle was still a 19405 design, although there were some small changes in the engine. Tn the end, rhe Beetle lost the war against technology.
In 1974, the new Golf model replaced the Beetle in the Wolfsburg car fac tory. The car designers decided to make a car completely di fferent from their original Beetle model.
In 1975, Volkswagen introduced this new Golf in the United States where it was called the ‘ Rabbit’.
Over the years, the Germans produced many models of Volkswagens, using the Beetle and Golf as a starting point and including man}’ other concepts and standards. These were produced in Emden, Osnabruck, Wolfsburg and other Gennan cities. Today many people say that Volkswagcns arc among the most comfortable and powerful cars in Europe.
The production of the Beetle in Germany ended in 1978. However, in the early 1980s, there were still millions of Beetles on the road. People formed Beetle Clubs all around the world thinking that it would never disappear. Around 1990, thefe were fewer Beetles on the road.
Today, it is almost impossible to see the Beetle in the streets, but the owners of the few remaining Beetle models still try to keep their small cars in the best possible condition . They enjoy driving the Beetle because it has a history behind it. This makes it very special for them.
A. What do the (ollowing reCer to?
1. These (para. 4) :
2. it (para. 5)
B. Mark the following statements True (T) or False (F).
T F 1. Hitlerwanted Porsche to loCate the engine at the back of the car that he
T F 2. The Beetle was more modern than Ford’s Model ‘T’.
T F 3. The Rabbit was quite similar to the Beetle.
T F 4. In the 1980s, there were Beetle clubs not only in Germany but also in many
C. Fill in each gap using the information in the first paragraph of the text.
Hitler wanted to (1) ____________________ In Germany. He
thought that German people needed a/an (2a) ______________ and
(2b) car, so he hired a/an
(3) called Dr. Ferdinand Porsche.
Porsche did not have a good relationship with Hitler, but he continued his work because
(4) . In 1938, the
(S) ___________________ produced the Beetle.
D. Answer the following questions.
1. Why was the production of the Beetle stopped during World War II?
2. Why did the Wolfsburg car factory start to produce the new Golf instead of the Beetle
3. Why is Volkswagen still popular in Europe today?
4. What is so special about the Beetle?