The Ragster Dashboard
The sumptuous leather seating of the Ragster
Dr Ferdinand Porsche
One of the first prototypes from 1935
A later prototype from 1937
Beetle Cabriolets circa 1939
more than 15,000 Schwimmwagen amphibious vehicles were built during the Second World War, more than 1000 of them manufactured by Porsche.
A steam-powered, wood-buring Beetle was produced for a time during the latter years of the war
Production commenced again soon after the war - this picture from 1947
1949 Karmann-Cabriolet - Karmann also produced the Beetle-based Ghia
By 1951, the Beetle was beginning to make its presence felt at major automotive shows
And in 1953 the split rear window was opened up for better visibility
The millionth Beetle was manufactured in 1955
By 1958, the Beetle was already 30 years old, and had become a citizen of the world.
Family portrait from 1969. The VW symbol had long since disassociated itself from Nazi Germany and was by then one of the symbols of the "peace and love" movement headquartered in San Francisco.
1972 saw the Beetle overtake the Model T Ford as the world's most prolific vehicle with the manufacturing of the 15,007,034th Beetle.
The magic number - the point that history was made
1977 - the drop-top Beetle was a symbol of Seventies freedom
1981 - the numbers keep mounting
Volkswagen's Concept 1 was shown for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show of 1994.
And another look. Will history repeat itself with similar success for the Ragster?
Detroit, 11 January 2005 Volkswagen has shown a concept based on the ever-popular Beetle at the Detroit (NAIAS) Motor Show. Based on the concept of both a Ragtop and Speedster. Its most visible characteristic is a drastically lowered roof line with a large ragtop, and already the response has been positive enough to suggest the concept will see production and the world's best known automotive icon will continue onwards in yet another incarnation. This article looks at the new Ragster and the history of the Beetle, from Dr Ferdinand Porsche's early prototypes, through to its proliferation to every corner of the planet and a production of more than 20 million vehicles.
Other Images from this Gallery