And he's a beauty.
Volkswagen has had an illustrious history, but there is one car that the brand will always be remembered for: the Beetle. Although the modern lineup has no place for the Beetle, the original car is still one that millions of people know and love. Back in 2008, the brand decided to improve publicity for the company by means of employing a sort of spokesperson, but instead of choosing a human celebrity, Max the Beetle became the face of the company, going on tours across America and meeting with numerous real-life celebrities.
These celebrities that Max met with included the likes of supermodel Heidi Klum, Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff, and basketball coach Bobby Knight. Essentially, Max acted as a supporting cast member in various ad and publicity campaigns, including new vehicle launches. Max was also taken to various car shows and was kept rather busy. In order to make the most of Max's character, the car needed to be in multiple places at once.
As this is impossible, Volkswagen commissioned five identical 1964 Beetles to be acquired and fully restored with period-correct parts where possible and reproductions where not. The attention to detail even went as far as the paint, which doesn't have a clear coat since the original cars didn't either.
The restorations were carried out by State of Mind Customs in Michigan, with the first three Beetles ready after just a month. At first, Volkswagen planned for the five restored vehicles to be static displays, but the restorations were so thorough that even the engines and transmissions were completed by the deadline. All five are now exactly identical, with the exception of their license plates. The first, known as Max 1, now resides in Volkswagen of America's headquarters in Viriginia. While it's cool to see modern tech in an old Beetle, we love seeing original classics being preserved too, and we hope Max continues to be loved for decades to come.