Today in 1972 the Beetle Breaks Global Car Record Despite Ties to Hitler

February 17, 1972 the Volkswagen Beetle broke a four-decade long world car production record– surpassing Ford Motor Company’s iconic Model T’s production record.

The Beetle is inextricably linked to 1930s Germany. Following Adolf Hitler’s election to Chancellor in 1933, a new initiative was introduced to build new roads and affordable cars. Designed by Austrian-born engineer Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951), Hitler envisioned an inexpensive, mass-produced, “people’s car.”

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