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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Who designed the VW Beetle?

Who designed the VW Beetle?

Ferdinand Porsche? Wrong!

The Beetle was actaually designed by Hans Ledwinka a Czechoslovakian designer with Tatra as the
Tatra 97.

Tatra sued VW but this was set aside when Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, but the law suit was sucessfully reopened in the 1960's and  Tatra were awarded 3M DM.

Here is an extact from Wikipedia:

Resemblance to KdF-Wagen / Volkswagen Beetle
Both the streamlined design and the technical specifications, especially the air-cooled flat-four engine mounted in the back, give the T97 a striking resemblance to the KdF-Wagen or Volkswagen, the later Beetle. It is believed that Porsche used Tatra's designs since he was under huge pressure to design the Volkswagen quickly and cheaply[2]
. According to the books Tatra - The Legacy of Hans Ledwinka and Car Wars, Adolf Hitler called the Tatra 'this is the car for my roads'.[3][2] Ferdinand Porsche later admitted 'to have looked over Ledwinka's shoulders' while designing the Volkswagen.[4][2]
Tatra sued Porsche for damages, and Porsche was willing to settle. However, Hitler canceled this, saying he 'would settle the matter.' [5] When Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis, the production of the T97 was immediately halted, and the lawsuit dropped. After the war, Tatra reopened the lawsuit against Volkswagen. In 1967, the matter was settled when Volkswagen paid Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Mark in compensation.

So if you're asked the question on Masternind or Eggheads you know the real answer.

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