1970s / German / Volkswagen

Zeithaus treasures: 1972 Volkswagen 1302 S Weltmeister

Volkswagen’s Zeithaus museum is home to several commemorative cars, as we’ve seen over the past few months. The 1302 S featured here is special because it was the 15,007,034th Beetle built since production started.

That number isn’t as random as it might initially seem. Up until that point, the best-selling car ever was the Ford Model T, of which 15,007,033 examples were built. The commemorative 1302 celebrates the day when the Beetle became the best-selling car in automotive history. It was consequently nicknamed “weltmeister,” which means “world champion” in German.

The Weltmeister Beetle was built on February 17, 1972. Largely stock, it’s recognizable thanks to a metallic blue paint job, 15-inch Lemmerz alloy wheels with chromed center caps, as well as special decals on both doors and on the rear window.

As was typically the case, Volkswagen didn’t bother making any mechanical modifications. Under the sheet metal the Weltmeister is a standard 1302 S, meaning it’s powered by a 1.6-liter air-cooled flat-four engine tuned to make 50 horsepower at 4,000 rpm.

The milestone car (pictured below) joined Volkswagen’s official collection right after it rolled off the assembly line. The Wolfsburg-based brand celebrated the occasion by releasing a limited-edition model named Marathon in select markets that looked just like the Weltmeister Beetle, minus the decals.


 

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