While we hesitate to contemplate how many pregnancies might have been started in the back seat of a Beetle – as cramped as it may be – certainly quite a few have been born in the back of Wolfsburg’s baby. While the number of babies whose first view of the world was the inside of a Volkswagen Type 1 isn’t known, once upon a time, Volkswagen of America used to officially recognise offspring born in its cars – we guess because they were regarded as responsible for cultivating future generations of VW owners.
Between 1964 and 1967, VWoA gave out 45 awards to parents whose kids had been born in the back of Beetles, presumably en route to hospital. Together with a congratulatory for ‘helping to prove there’s always room for one more in a VW,’ the child also received a US government savings bond which, we guess, might have been quite handy for putting towards a new Volkswagen later in life. The offer was known as Bonds for Babies Born in Beetles and was announced in magazines, although VW did warn ‘Act now! This offer may be withdrawn at any time.’ Quite what it meant by ‘act now’ is up for debate – was Volkswagen really pushing for couples to get pregnant and then deliberately try and give birth in a Type 1? Still, the bonus seemed to be appreciated by those who received it; one mother writing back to Volkswagen in gratitude claimed, “I never knew having a baby could prove so exciting.”
As far as we know, no such awards were given to anybody having a baby in a Bus. There’s much more room for obstetrics in one of those. Where’s the challenge?
… If you do insist on having a baby in the back of a Beetle, a Krankenwagen is probably the best choice!
Words: Richard Gunn