VW Beetle Body, Floorpan & Exterior Parts

A Short History Of The VW Beetle (cont.)

Changes on the rest of the range included; new heater controls, axle changes, with torsion leaves being removed from the upper tube and added to the lower tubes, the bonnet was now opened from the inside via a Bowden style lockable cable, the decklid was no longer lockable, export models featured the two spoke “batwing” style steering wheel, and lighter colour interior fittings, the glove compartment materials were changed from metal to plastic, head gaskets were introduced, the clutch lever was reinforced, and a larger accelerator roller was fitted.

The rear decklid no longer featured a separate pressing for the license plate. Alongside the introduction of the export model, VW made a whole range of accessories available from either the factory as part of a new car, or via the dealer as aftermarket fittings. These included; chrome mirrors, handles, trims, bumpers and lamps, bud vases, luggage and cleaning products. The 1950 model Beetle was largely unchanged from the previous year, though Bosch headlamps replaced VW’s own brand versions.

In 1951, VW produced 93,709 Beetles, and of those 35,742 were exported to 29 countries. The biggest buyers outside of Germany were Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Finland and Brazil. Export models were distinguishable from the domestic market counterparts by the crotch cooling vents in the front quarter panels (specific to ’51 only models) as well as a chrome trimmed windscreen seal.

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