Devotional: November 26th
Guess who turns seventy this year? Let me give you a hint. They were once German but now they are American. They were given a name that came to mean the entire family but more commonly went by the name of a household pest. They died off for a number of years but have recently been resurrected. Still not sure? Okay, one last hint. What motivates them used to be in the back but now it's in the front. Give up? Believe it or not, the Volkswagen Beetle turns seventy this year.
On February 15, 1936 a car company in Germany came out with a new car. It was small and very economical. Adolph Hitler dubbed it the "People's car", which, in German, is "volkswagen" and thus the Volkswagen brand was born. I am not sure but I believe that it is the only brand name given by a dictator. The Beetle was the flagship of the line. Kinda hard to believe isn't it? A compact car started the whole thing. And I bet you thought it was the minibus that they made first.
I can remember a lot of their old advertisements from the fifties and sixties. They touted maneuverability and economy as the major selling points for the little car. And they were little. One ad that ran even bragged about the car being too small for Wilt Chamberlin to fit into. Indeed, the driver's area was very tight for people much over my height (6' 2") to sit in comfortably. But they were built to cost less and operate for less which a country rebounding from a very expensive war overseas was looking for.
"Two pennies a mile." That was the tagline for one ad that ran back when gas prices started to inflate to a whopping sixty cents. Beetles grew in popularity until they became the chief car being built at Volkswagen's plant in Western Pennsylvania. Volkswagen was one of the first foreign car companies to realize that it was cheaper to build the cars here and sell them here rather than make them in Germany and ship them here. Today's Beetle is mostly American. It costs about as much as a midsize sedan. So much for the "Peoples car."
Over the years a lot of things have changed. Clothing, hairstyles, the job market and where we get our gas, to name a few. It seems like whatever fits the times is what moves the best. The new Beetle seems to fit the times. It is a solid seller in the Volkswagen line even though it is nothing like its predecessor. There is one thing around today that hasn't changed in almost two thousand years. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 He's still the Son of God, still God incarnate, still the only acceptable sacrifice for sin and still the only way to Salvation. He is the "People's Savior".
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