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Volkswagen Beetle: 75 Years and nearly 25M sales

A view of the 1977 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

A view of the 1977 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet Photo Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen's Beetle is among the most historically significant vehicles ever made. Known internally as the Type 1, it debuted in 1938 and was produced on the same platform globally for 75 years and 21 million cars.

In 1997 Volkswagen began building the New Beetle, which it sold through 2011. For the 2013 model year Volkswagen returned to the original Beetle moniker and bestowed it upon a somewhat more conventional-looking vehicle.

Click through to see how the Beetle has evolved through the years.

The prototype of the Volkswagen Beetle, which made
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The prototype of the Volkswagen Beetle, which made its debut in 1938.

The Volkswagen Beetle that made its debut in
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Beetle that made its debut in 1938.

The 1949 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The 1949 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

A 1960 Volkswagen Beetle with a sliding top
Photo Credit: AP

A 1960 Volkswagen Beetle with a sliding top is tested by technicians of the Paris Volkswagen devision to prove to what extent the body of the vehicle is watertight. Half the car was submerged in the Seine River in Paris. (Oct. 4, 1960)

The Volkswagen Beetle as it looked in 1968.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Beetle as it looked in 1968.

Another view of the 1968 Volkswagen Beetle.
Photo Credit: Beetle

Another view of the 1968 Volkswagen Beetle.

A side view of the 1976 Volkswagen Beetle.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

A side view of the 1976 Volkswagen Beetle.

A view of the 1977 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

A view of the 1977 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

A celebration at the VW plant in Puebla,
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

A celebration at the VW plant in Puebla, Mexico marks production of the 20 millionth Beetle in 1981.

Pope John Paul II passes by a Volkswagen
Photo Credit: AP

Pope John Paul II passes by a Volkswagen Beetle donated by a delegation of workers from the Volkswagen plant of Puebla, Mexico. (May 26, 2004)

Volkswagen launches the 'New' Beetle in 1998
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen launches the 'New' Beetle in 1998

A view of the 1998 Volkswagen Beetle
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

A view of the 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

Franziska Metheit stands between a Beetle and a
Photo Credit: AP

Franziska Metheit stands between a Beetle and a New Beetle in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. (Nov. 2, 1998)

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle convertible
Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle convertible

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