2008 Shannons Sydney Summer Classic Auction
1954 Volkswagen Beetle "Oval Window" Sedan
|Engine||Flat 4-cylinder, 1192cc|
This lot is no longer available
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. The big change for 1954 was the increase in displacement of the flat four, from 1131cc to 1192cc and this, with the compression ratio similarly lifted to 6.1:1, resulted in the relatively large gain of 5 horsepower. The top speed on the Beetle jumped to around 100 km/h and acceleration was also improved. The interior came in for some revisions as well, with better quality materials and a strap to hold the rear seat in place, while the starter button was replaced by a key-operated switch. Another small but useful change saw the brake fluid reservoir relocated to a more accessible position in the front apron well. The oval window Beetles from the 1950s are seriously desirable today, 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 both run and maintain, fun to drive and with a universal popularity few other automobiles can lay claim to.