By Rod Ward
In the 21st century Volkswagen AG is one of the largest car-making groups in the world, but it began as a political gesture by the Nazi Party to offer cheap motoring to the German public. Designed by Dr Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s, the KdF (Kraft durch Freude; Strength through Joy) car introduced to the world the ‘Beetle’ shape, which was retained for many decades. Wartime military variants included the Kübelwagen and the Schwimmwagen. This publication covers Type 1 Beetle saloons and cabriolets, Karmann Ghia coupes and convertibles etc, and Type 2 vans, microbuses, campers, estate cars, pickups and ambulances. (T1, T2 and T3 Transporter variants had air-cooled engines). Also covered here are the Type 3 ‘1500’ saloon, estate car and Fastback, plus a larger Karmann Ghia coupe, and Type 4, the 411 and 412 saloons and estate cars, as well as the VW-Porsche 914.