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Episode 40 - Russell Hayes and "Volkswagen Beetles and Buses:

Smaller and Smarter"

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Images courtesy of Russell Hayes & Quarto

Prolific automotive author, Russell Hayes, discusses his newest book "Volkswagen Beetles and Busses: Smaller and Smarter". They discuss the origin of the cars, the impact the vehicles had on society, and how Volkswagen may be positioning them for the future.

After a brief introduction, Robert takes a moment to marvel at the sheer number of Volkswagens that were produced (1:14) before Russell dives into the unexpected history of the 'people's car'...specifically the Beetle (3:02). Then Robert asks Russell to drill into the history of Volkwagen after the British involvement following WW2 with a man named Heinz Nordhoff (7:19) and VW's efforts to go international and the difficulties in sharing the Beetle's new style with other cultures (8:50). Then Russell examines the complex shared history of Porsche and Volkswagen and how the companies have continued their relationship to the present day (10:49). Before taking a short break, Robert asks Russell for his advice on the most collectible Volkswagens (13:07).

Robert takes a brief detour to discuss the more obscure makes and models created by Volkswagen--like the Karmann Ghia (15:57) before steering the conversation back to the Volkswagen's arrival in America (18:41) and the creation and impact of the VW Bus (22:52). To conclude, the two men speculate on the future of the Beetle and Bus designs in Volkwagen's legacy (27:36).

Get Russell's book:


(Due to some technical difficulties in connecting across continents, there are some audio glitches at certain points in the recording that could not be removed.)


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Diane Parker and the Historic Vehicle Association

Freeman Thomas: Part 1 


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Hosted by: Robert Ross

Produced & Edited by: Chris Porter

Theme Music By: Celleste and Eric Dick

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