Brand: Pirelli, Profile: 80 | Beetle 1500

Volkswagen Beetle 1500

Perennial people's car. Built from 1966 to 1970 in gradually updated forms.

Originally fitted with a 560-15 crossply tyre. A good radial alternative would be a 155SR15.

The first Volkswagen Beetle prototypes were built in the mid-1930s; production started in 1945 with all cars getting an 1131cc air-cooled flat-four engine. A Karmann-built cabriolet was introduced in 1949, hydraulic brakes came in 1950 then from 1954 an 1192cc engine was fitted. In 1965 this became a 1.3-litre unit; just a year later there a 1.5-litre powerplant was introduced.

Perhaps the most radical change came in 1967, when a restyle brought vertical headlights, bigger bumpers and dual-circuit brakes, plus 12-volt electrics for the 1300 and 1500. Three years later the Beetle 1302 brought MacPherson struts up front plus a 50bhp 1584cc 1302S option. A panoramic windscreen and bigger rear lights were the headline features of the VW Beetle 1303 of 1972, then in 1974 all Beetles got rack-and-pinion steering.

German Beetle production ended in 1978 with all Beetle saloons now made in Mexico; Karmann built the final cabriolet in 1980. From 1992 a catalytic converter and electronic fuel injection became standard, then in 2003 the final Beetle was made.

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