1949 Volkswagen Sedan

Summary

The Volkswagen Beetle was different from any American car. It looked like an insect, its engine was where the trunk should be, and it didn't have a radiator. But it recalled the spirit of Henry Ford's legendary Model T. Both cars were simple, reliable, economical, and never deviated from their basic original design. The VW would go on to break the Ford's all time sales record.

The Volkswagen Beetle was different from any American car. It looked like an insect, its engine was where the trunk should be, and it didn't have a radiator. But it recalled the spirit of Henry Ford's legendary Model T. Both cars were simple, reliable, economical, and never deviated from their basic original design. The VW would go on to break the Ford's all time sales record.

Artifact

Automobile

Date Made

1949

Creators

Volkswagen AG 

Place of Creation

Germany, Wolfsburg 

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

82.47.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Material

Metal
Glass (Material)
Rubber (Material)

Color

Black (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 61.0 in

Width: 60.5 in

Length: 160.0 in

Wheelbase: 94.5 in

Inscriptions

On hubcaps: VW emblem

Specifications

Make & Model: 1949 Volkswagen sedan

Maker: Volkswagenwerk GmbH, Wolfsburg, West Germany

Engine: horizontally opposed 4, overhead valves, 69 cubic inches

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Height: 61 inches

Wheelbase: 94.5 inches

Width: 60.5 inches

Overall length: 160 inches

Weight: 1600 pounds

Horsepower: 30 at 3300 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 53.3

Price: $1,280

Average 1949 wage: $3,000 per year

Time you'd work to buy this car: about 5 months

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