|Engine||Flat 4-cylinder, 1100cc|
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The story of the Volkswagen Beetle is an amazing one - from the original design brief to create cheap, reliable transport for the German masses through to the myriad of production changes and variations created over the next five decades. The original "People's Car" created by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his team has become the most successful automobile of all time, with no less than twenty million units produced to date. Although the basic concept remained unchanged over the years - all Beetles retained the air-cooled flat twin motor located behind the rear axle - the model underwent constant refining and each year saw various small improvements take place. In 1957, the Beetle underwent the most significant revisions to date, with a redesigned body appearing in August that year. Both front and rear windscreens were considerably enlarged to improve outward vision, along with a modified engine lid. The dashboard was revised, with the optional radio now located in a central position, plus a larger glovebox and - from September 1957 - additional soundproofing for a much quieter ride. The Beetles from the 1950s era are generally regarded as the most desirable, having been made to a very high standard and command a substantial premium over later examples. The Beetle is a perfect classic car for the modern era - cheap to run and maintain, fun to drive and with a universal popularity few other automobiles can lay claim to.