Where the VW Beetle Came From

For many years, I "knew" that the Volkswagen was invented by Ferdinand Porsche. But the story is actually much more complicated. In 1923, long before auto companies were competing to offer Hitler a "people's car" (Volkswagen), Josef Ganz was working on a design for a small, beetle-shaped car. By 1930 he had a prototype, and by 1933 a manufacturer was making Ganz's Standard Superior model pictured here.
Hitler by then was determined to support the development of a Volkswagen for the German people. Having found no cooperation amongst the big car manufacturers, an independent development consortium was created, led by Ferdinand Porsche. As a Jew, Josef Ganz was an impossible choice. Porsche was now set the task to design a people’s car for 1,000 Reichsmark – a maximum selling price propagated by Ganz in Motor-Kritik.

The Nazis made sure that any Jewish connections to the Volkswagen were erased from history. They banned Ganz from publishing, as well as the entire German press from publishing anything about him. Overnight the name Josef Ganz disappeared from the German motoring scene.

You can read the story of Josef Ganz and his auto designs at Dark Roasted Blend. Link

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