"Stretchmobile with teak floor, twelve-cylinder in the compact class, beachmobile in jolly look – all this and much more has been preserved in the archives in Wolfsburg and Osnabrück. If engineers were allowed to do as they pleased, there would be such amazement. Many ideas, many drafts, and many one-off showcars. But none of them for sale. A volume manufacturer like Volkswagen is dependent on the consistently high demand of its models. And yet, the members of the board did not turn out to be spoilsports, as they often gave the go-ahead for emotionally charged unreasonableness on wheels – preferably in an open-top design.
It all began with the Beetle convertible, which was developed by Karmann in Osnabrück and then built on a Volkswagen contract: from 1949 to 1980, in more than 330,000 units. Sadly, it has been all but forgotten that, in addition to this, a roadster version of the open-top Beetle was launched.