1970 Volkswagen Beetle SMW 548J

When Adolf Hitler commissioned ‘the people’s car’ he wanted to revolutionise the mobility of German citizens and utilise the country’s then-new road network.

He specified a car that could transport two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph) while not using more than 7 litres of fuel per 100 km (39 mpg UK). It was also imperative that the car needed to be cheaply produced, maintained and repaired.

The resulting rear-engined, air-cooled motor car became the longest-running and most manufactured of all time, with over 21.5-million having been produced between 1938 and 2003.

SMW 548J is a 1970 Beetle that would have originally been powered by a 1,500cc version of Volkswagen’s air-cooled flat-four engine. Despite still heavily resembling the form of the first Beetle, later cars such as this one were thoroughly revised to improve safety, handling, performance and practicality.

Looking up the MOT history of this car reveals a pretty spectacular fail sheet from back in 2017 that even included the harrowing advisory of ‘slight corrosion everywhere’. It’s clear that someone has since spent a lot of time and money on getting this 50-year-old car back together and it’s great to see it is still being enjoyed in 2021.

  • SMW 548J 1970 Volkswagen Beetle
  • SMW 548J 1970 Volkswagen Beetle side
  • SMW 548J VW Beetle front
  • SMW 548J VW Beetle front
Registration Number:SMW 548J
First registered (UK):10th August 1970

More ’70s cars spotted in Bristol

Oli Woodman

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