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The result of a 1935 meeting between Adolf Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche (an Austrian automobile engineer), the Beetle, officially called the Volkswagen Type 1, is one of the world’s most iconic cars.
It is believed that Beetles started to come to Pakistan in the 1950s, driven over by European tourists, as well as by Pakistanis returning from their studies abroad. The car, with its rear mounted, air-cooled engine and four-wheel independent suspension, quickly developed a reputation for superior build quality, reliability and competent road manners.
A few years later, Volkswagen opened showrooms in Pakistan’s major cities, and the car continued to sell well until the early 1970s. It was then that compact Japanese saloons (with better fuel economy and four doors) arrived in Pakistan, and spelt the end for the insect-shaped, two-door vehicle. Consequently, the last Beetles were delivered to Pakistan in the mid-1970s (even though they continued to be produced overseas until 2003). Continue reading