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From its modest beginnings in the 1930s, this flawed but fun machine has captured the imagination of drivers worldwide

VW3, a prototype from 1935/1936.

Volkswagen

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German chancelor Adolf Hitler (seated in back) inspects the first Volkswagen "Beetle" produced in Stuttgart in 1937.

STAFF/AFP

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Picture taken in 1938 shows the first Beetles of the pre-production series VW 38 in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

HO/AFP

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Undated picture shows various Volkswagen Beetles participating in a car race some decades ago.

HO/AFP

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1951: Beetle at the Frankfurt Motor Show Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen

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Peter Cheney's father, Major Ben Cheney, in his Vancouver Island garage with Peter's last Beetle, a 1967 model

Peter Cheney/Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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1952 split-window Volkswagen Beetle

Robert Kendrick

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The MS Dyvi Atlantic arrived in Toronto in May 1968 loaded with 1,070 Volkswagens. The 484-foot-long vessel, one of Volkswagen's charter fleet of more than 60 ships, had seven storage decks connected by ramps. Cars were driven to berths and driven off at destination in a matter of hours through two 'garage' doors in the side of vessel.

John Wood/John Wood/The Globe and Mail

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A screening for Volkswagen Beetles was staged in 1969 in Las Vegas in conjunction with the release of Disney's "The Love Bug."

WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PRN

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VW Beetle: 1974 design

Volkswagen

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Peter Cheney in one of his Volkswagen Beetles

Peter Cheney/Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Peter Cheney's daughter Cate with a VW Beetle art car in Florida.

Marian Cheney/Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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The new Volkswagen Beetle rolls onstage as it introduced at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Andrew Cutaro/Andrew Cutraro/AFP

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2003: VW Beetle 'Ultima Edicion'

Volkswagen

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2006 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Volkswagen

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2012 VW Beetle

petrina gentile The Globe and Mail

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