Volkswagen Beetle motor car, 1965.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche and championed by Adolf Hitler, the Volkswagen ('people's car') Beetle was intended to be a cheap motor car for the German worker. It was only constructed in small numbers before and during World War II, but after the war, under the supervision of the British Army, production at the company's Wolfsburg factory began to increase. The Beetle was phenomenally popular, not only in Germany, but all over the world, eventually attaining cult status. Production ended in Germany in the late 1970s, but the cars continued to be built in Mexico. In 1981, the 20 millionth Beetle was produced, far outstripping the 16 million units of the previous best-selling car, the Model T Ford.