Amordad News
Once upon a time, Tehran (60)

Volkswagen Beetle; The most charming car of the capital of Iran

Translated by Shabboo Goli

This is another of the wonders of history that one of the most controversial figures in history ordered the manufacturing of a car that soon won the hearts of all the world’s people and became the leader of cars of its time, in beauty. We are talking about Volkswagens, which the people of Tehran called Volkswagen Beetle, and the streets of the capital were their hotspots in the 1930s and 1940s. This beautiful and fascinating car was built at the request of the Third Reich, Hitler, so that the Germans would have a cheap and efficient vehicle.

Very soon Volkswagen found its way into other countries and also came to Iran. Although Volkswagens are now off the production line, antique dealers are proud to own each one of them. They are adorable. Where can you find a more beautiful car than a Volkswagen Beetle, with its arched cabin and large round headlights?

It was out of the question for anyone to see a Volkswagen Beetle and not fall in love with it. The streets of the capital were beautified with different colors of the same Volkswagen. The Volkswagen Beetle had a remarkable beauty with its puffy fenders, curved body, and narrow white round tires. The Volkswagen exhaust pipe was slender, and the triangular glass on the side of the body was spectacular. From the outside, the space inside the Volkswagen was small, but as soon as you got on it, it looked spacious and comfortable. The sleek and elegant steering wheel enhanced the beauty of the Volkswagen, and its large, and their headlights could be seen from far.

The funniest part was the engine, which was in the trunk of the car. This was another masterpiece.  People in Tehran of those days used to say funny things about the car, for instance: Someone who had just bought a Volkswagen beetles and started off on a trip with it, got off the car to take a look at the engine. He lifted the hood and found no engine in it. He was confused. He then opened the trunk and saw the engine there. He sighed and thought to himself that could it be that he was driving reverse? And wasn’t aware? People would make jokes and laugh at them.

But why did the people of Tehran call Volkswagen a frog? This goes back to the appearance and shape of the Volkswagen. The design and curvature of its body and the bulging headlights of the Volkswagen reminded Tehranis of a frog! They were not much off the mark. Volkswagen is not unlike a frog. But the Germans called their car the Volkswagen Beetle.

The froggy Volkswagen of Tehran

In Ordibehesh 1332, the first frog volks were brought to Iran. People looked at this strange car with enthusiasm and wished they had one. Soon all the Volks were sold, and the streets of Tehran were filled with frog Volks. The popularity of this car was so great that it surprised the representative of Volkswagen factory in Iran (Industrial Automobile Company). The advertisement for the sale of Volkswagen Beetles in Iranian newspapers was exciting and encouraged people to buy Volkswagen. The ad read: “Everyone asks: Although it has not been more than six months since the arrival of Volkswagen cars in Iran, why has it been sold eight times more than the sales of other types of cars?” The advertisers then wrote in response: “Beauty and power, strength and speed, low consumption and reasonable price of Volkswagen cars, is the answer to this riddle!” It should also be noted that the “exclusive” representative office of Volkswagen Frog in Tehran was at the crossing of Mokhber Doleh.

The froggy Volkswagen had features that could not be found in any other car. These were the characteristics that set Volkswagen apart from other vehicles. Volkswagen was powerful and did not take up much space. The tank was in the front hood, and the flat four-cylinder engine was in the trunk. The engine was cooled by air. It could reach a speed of upto 130 km/h and it was cheap and within most people’s budget. The model brought to Iran from Volkswagen was one of the latest series of Volkswagen with a double glazed window. Later, the manufacturer designed the back window of the Volkswagen in one piece.

In the thirties, the country’s police also used this automobile. The body of the police Volkswagen was black, with a white line running horizontally through the center of the dark body. The phrase “STATE POLICE” was printed on this white part. The country’s Red Lion and Sun Society (now the Red Crescent) also used another model of Volkswagen, which people called “The Lion and Sun Volkswagen”. This model of Volkswagen was the size of a small truck. Not only the Lion and Sun society, but some common people also had this model. There was yet another model in Iran which people called Jeep Volkswagen because it was mainly used for driving on intercity roads.

We mentioned earlier that it is quite a while that the froggy Volkswagens are not manufactured any more. An example of this beautiful automobile, which should be considered a historical and antique car, is still kept at Darvazeh Dowlat gas station, for people to see.  This red Volkswagen has give an impressive effect to the gas station and its side street and is reminiscent of the years spent in the streets of Tehran; Those were the years when Volkswagen Frog Wagons were known as the most beautiful car in the capital.

In Khordad 1395, several owners of old Volkswagen Frogs did an exciting job and, during a show parade, brought their Volkswagen to the streets of Tehran to say that the Volkswagen Frogs are still there! On the same day, the price of one of the antique Volkswagen models of 1968 was 250 million Tomans.

* Using: “Asr-e Iran” and “Wikipedia” websites.

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