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VW archives

December 13, 2009

Volkswagen’s advertising of the 1950s and 60s was ahead of its time in promoting affordability, practical solutions for large families, and low fuel consumption. Minimal, and characteristically deadpan, the ads still look fresh today.
Roy’s VW Ad Archive compiles printed adverts, postcards, billboards, calendars, and even stamps, from 1952 up to the present day (or thereabouts), and features examples from the US, Europe, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. The site may look a bit unsophisticated, but the content is well organised and extensive. Nice one, Roy!

Now, I’m certainly no Beetle-geek, but there seems to be no shortage of VW-related online resources provided by people who are. VW Postcards and Found VW Postcards are, perhaps unsuprisingly, collections of postcards of the 1950s and 60s which feature the eponymous vehicles. Although some were obviously produced by VW for promotional reasons, many are simply scenes in which the photographer just happened to capture the image of VW in the landscape. This indicates the VW’s popularity at that time, as well as the broader importance played by the automobile in leasure and hoiliday activities of the time – postcard of a carpark, anyone? I find the images fascinating not for the vehicles featured within them, but for the colour, tone, and architecture of the landscapes, which provoke such a distinctive nostalgia for post-war America.
Finally, for the kids, there’s a
Spot the VW game. Happy hunting.

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