Without wishing to irritate readers by further references to the VW, in order to indicate that our high opinion of this car is not biased, being borne out by facts, we quote from-the Motor last month: “Perhaps the most important mechanical need is that the product should be reliable. This above all other qualities has enabled the Volkswagen in 1954 to come to the lead in imported car sales as a whole (to U.S.A.). Otherwise, how can one account for the American public taking so strongly to a car which a few years ago they would have said was much too small and underpowered, had no particular styling appeal, and cost little less than the popular American makes ? In the writer’s opinion Volkswagen success is due to the reliability provided by a fool-proof car developed for the masses and with the bugs completely taken out of it by the German Army during the war.”
VW sales in America exceeded 5,000 last year, and Austin, Morris and Hillman are not selling half that number of cars. Incidentally, the VW’s popularity in America is presumably the reason for some Americanese in the latest, beautifully-produced catalogue from Wolfsburg, such as Torsi-o-Matic suspension and Marathon motor ! The Autocar too, bears this out, their H.S. Linfield describing, in the last issue of I954. how he averaged 45 m.p.h. without attempting to put up a particularly good average, from Bournemouth to Bridport, with two short stops, in a 1,131-c.c. version of the VW. the petrol consumption being approximately 34.3 m.p.g. driven for 292 miles as hard as it would go. He concluded : “The VW is not everyone’s cup of tea. I fancy; there are slight symptoms of rear-engine snags in handling, but they seem to matter remarkably little in the range of performance that it possesses. There is some noise, but not so much as I had been led to expect; the ease of the car’s whole performance is quite remarkable and most engaging to those who like the feel of a car on a gear that is almost too high and who do not mind useing a gear-lever. It is a most pleasant gear-change.”
Finally, from Top Gear : ” The popularity of the Volkswagen has been mentioned many times but it appears to be ever increasing, and rough calculations show that this little car has reached a proportion of three out of every five cars seen on the road in Switzerland; its commercial counterpart, the Microbus, is also becoming increasingly popular. and is used for a myriad of purposes.”
O.K. chaps, lecture concluded !