German auto giant Volkswagen launched the final edition of its iconic "Beetle" car from its Mexican factory in Puebla on Wednesday. The bug-shaped metallic blue sedan rolled off the production line in central Mexico to rapturous applause, the last of a model first manufactured in the late 1930s.
The last 65 models of the "Beetle Final Edition" will be sold in Mexico on the internet for a base price of $21,000, and can be reserved with a $1,000 payment. Each vehicle includes a commemorative plaque on its left side, numbered from 1-65. As well as metallic blue, it will be available in black, white and beige. Dozens of factory workers had turned up from early morning to put the final touches on the car, which was unveiled after seven hours of work.
The employees wore bright yellow coats bearing the words: Thanks Beetle, as the unveiling proceeded in a festive atmosphere tinged with nostalgia for a car that has generated a loyal following like almost no other. The vehicle's history goes back to the Nazi era, having first been developed by Ferdinand Porsche with support from Adolf Hitler, who in 1937 formed the state-run Volkswagenwerk, or "The People's Car Company." After the war, the Allied countries eventually made Volkswagen a priority in an effort to revive the German auto industry.
The advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1959 rechristened the car the "Beetle," and began touting the vehicle's small size as an advantage to consumers, according to the History Channel. The car attained further popularity with the 1968 Disney movie "The Love Bug," the story of a racing Volkswagen with a mind of its own.
Andy Warhol did prints featuring the car and a Beetle featured prominently on the cover of "Abbey Road," the final album to be recorded by legendary British band the Beatles.