The Last "Love Bug"

The very last VW beetle is decorated with a wreath of roses and a message on its windscreen which reads "Volkswagen of Mexico last Sedan in the World, 30th July 2003" as it rolls off the production line at VW's Puebla plant Wednesday July 30, 2003. AP

It happened this week – the end of the road for a well-beloved car.

To the accompaniment of a mariachi band, the very last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off an assembly line in Mexico. Its plate license number is 21529464.

The Beetle journey began nearly 70 years ago, when Adolf Hitler ordered car designer Ferdinand Porsche to create a so-called "People's Car" – Volkswagen in German.

With an air-cooled engine placed in the rear, the Beetle was unlike any other car on the road.

And once World War II was over, the Volkswagen Beetle was finding eager drivers all over the world.

By the 1960s, the Volkswagen was even vaulting to success in America, fueled by a series of memorable and self-deprecating ads.

The Beetle had even become a movie star, with roles in Walt Disney's "The Love Bug" and Woody Allen's "Sleeper." More recently, the Beetle was Austin Power's shagmobile.

In the real world, however, the curtain was gradually coming down on the Beetle. Tough competition led Volkswagen to stop U.S. production in 1977. Gradually, assembly lines elsewhere were shut down as well, ending this week with the last one in Mexico.

But even though this final Beetle is going straight to the Volkswagen museum in Germany, you will still be seeing plenty of its older siblings on the road for a long time to come.

After all these years, you can still find plenty of people who love the "People's Car."
  • Violet Feng

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