In 1935, Germany commissioned engineer Ferdinand Porsche to develop a people’s car capable of putting the nation on wheels. It needed to be simple, efficient, and affordable. Porsche built the first test cars in 1936, and he manufactured the first pre-production models of what would later become the Volkswagen Beetle in 1938.
These pre-production cars were called Porsche Type 60 internally. They were very close to the regular-production Beetle, right down to the split rear window and the air-cooled four-cylinder engine mounted out back.