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Autoart delivers impressive VW Beetle

By Mark Savage
Published: February 18, 2013
Autoart 1955 Volkswagen Beetle 1200
Autoart 1/18 1955 Volkswagen Beetle 1200
More than 21 million Beetles were made and sold since going into production in 1938, with the final original-style Beetle rolling off a Mexican assembly line in 2003.

That fact makes Volkswagen's Beetle the most-produced car ever, at least using the same basic design. So it's no surprise that Autoart has taken up the Beetle's cause for 1/18 scale collectors.

Autoart nailed it.

Most folks, especially us Boomers, know the story of Hitler demanding a "people's car" (Volkswagen) for Germany in the 1930s and carmaker/designer Ferdinand Porsche coming up with the buglike design. Only a few were made before WWII, but vehicles based off the design, known as Type 82 Kubelwagens, were built for the German war effort.

That may seem a pretty odd way for the most-popular car ever built to be born, but the Beetle's simplicity and reliability led to its popularity exploding after WWII  not only in Europe, but also the U.S. market.

One irony: the British had the chance to build the Beetle after the war, as the Volkswagen factory was shipped to England. Yet British carmakers declined to build the car, deciding it was too inferior in quality and design to be sellable. Remember, this comes from the folks who, even into the 1970s, had trouble getting the electrical systems in their cars to work.

But that's history. This Autoart beauty is the popular 1955 1200 series and reflects the simplicity of the time and the popular Bug appearance of the car with its open oval (not split as in earlier years) rear window and rear-drive, rear-mounted air-cooled engine.
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Autoart's model features opening doors, hood and trunk, so you can see the simple engine (with belt and hoses), plus the bolt-on chrome bumpers front and rear. There are tiny running boards with chrome trim along the sides, plus the plain chrome hubcaps with a stamped VW logo at their center.

A fine glossy black finish, along with good detailing such as chrome trim around all the windows, an accent side modeling and hood trim with VW logo, and chrome handles on the trunk and hood, makes this a sharp collectible.

Autoart does a nice job with the realistic-looking head and taillights too, along with the thin twin exhausts at the rear.

Autoart executes the gray-and-black interior well. This, too, is simple with a glossy off-white wheel and tall shifter lever and knob. The simple dash has a lone round speedometer, and the seat belts  well, there weren't any in 1955. There is a back seat though.

Under the front hood, which is hinged properly as in the 1:1 car, is a spare tire. Again, nothing fancy, just reflecting the simplicity of this iconic car.

Considering that most of the original Beetles in this country have rusted, rotted or fallen into disuse, Boomers and VW lovers will be excited for such a finely detailed model to highlight in their collections. Although Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Corvettes are popular among collectors, don't underestimate the power of mass appeal that the Bug had, and has!

Vital Stats
Product: 1955 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 (black)
Maker: Autoart
Scale:
1/18
Stock No.: 79776
MSRP: $163.90
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Visit www.savageonwheels.com to read 1:1 car and truck reviews by Mark Savage.
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