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Volkswagen Beetle (oval screen) (1953 - 1957)

Last updated 10 April 2017

All the good aspects of the original Beetle, but you can see out of the back
Still glacially slow, even if it could cruise at its maximum all day long


The first design change to the pre-war Beetle came in 1953, when the rear window was enlarged and reprofiled. Poor visibility was always an issue with the original Beetle because of its split back window. The arrival of the oval rear screen coincided with the commencement of imports into the UK.

For British drivers, of more importance was the additional power that these 1953 Beetles received. The engine was enlarged to 1192cc, boosting power by an additional 5bhp to 30bhp. It was more than enough to power the 710kg car with enough speed to keep up with the traffic - although today, classic fans might find the overall lack of pace rather frustrating.

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