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The Beetle’s juice never ran out


HERE we have car that’s near and dear to many South Africans’ hearts… the Beetle.

This iconic motor was also produced in South Africa at the Uitenhage plant from 1951 to 1979. The vehicles arrived in SA as complete break-down kits which were re-assembled locally. Over the years, people have become accustomed to calling this VW “Volla” pronounced, “Folla.” 

These cars gained popularity because their mechanicals were simple and easy to fix in the unlikely event of a problem. Its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, also made it one of the most unique cars on the road.

Whether it was the 1600cc or 1300cc motor, the Beetle was never a performance icon but it did show that with some modifications, it had motorsport potential.

We’ve also seen people place some seriously powerful engines in Folla bodies, to make insanely fast, mad Beetles. We’ve seen everything from Beach Buggies to Baja race cars to drag strip rippers.

Since the cease in production of the first Beetle, some two generations have past the original but have failed to capture the hearts and minds of the people; probably because the new versions are more premium than anything else.

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