The Quick 10: 10 Beetle Bits

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On this day five years ago, the last of the old-style VW Beetles rolled off of the assembly line. I always wanted to own an old, convertible-style Bug. Practical for the cold Iowa winters, no, but I was madly in love with it. To commemorate this momentus occasion, I give you today's Quick 10:

10 Beetle Bits

1. The Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Yeah, that Porsche.
2. Volkswagen didn't start using the name "Beetle" or "Bug" until after the public did "“ it was originally known simply as the Volkswagen Type 1.
3. The very last of the old Beetles produced (#21,529,464) is now at Volkswagen's Automuseum.
4. Lots of kids play Slug Bug here in the Midwest. If you see a Bug somewhere, you immediately punched whoever is closest to you and say, "Slug Bug, no slugs back." Apparently the game is called Punch Buggy everywhere else in the world.
5. In Denmark, the Beetle is called Boblen (the bubble).
6. If you've only seen the movie version of Transformers, then you don't know that Bumblebee was originally a Beetle. Michael Bay didn't want the audience to make comparisons to Herbie the Love Bug, so he changed Bumblebee to a Camaro for the big screen.

7. The Beetle on the cover of the Beatles' Abbey Road album was sold at an auction for $23,000 in 1986. It is now on display at the Volkswagen museum.
8. The Fremont Troll in Seattle, a huge statue lurking under the Aurora Bridge, is clutching an actual Beetle.
9. Beetle engines are often hacked into other things, including ski lifts, small airplanes, air compressors, water pump-powerers and motorcycles.
10. The factory at Wolfsburg, Germany, was supposed to be given over to the British after WWII. No British car manufacturer wanted to take responsibility for the company, though, saying that "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car", "it is quite unattractive to the average buyer" and "To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise." Whoops.

July 30, 2008 - 11:06am
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