Who draw this? You ‘d be surprised to know that a drop out from Art College, a wannabe painter with a passion for architecture and industrial design, made this out, sketching the car on a napkin inside a German restaurant. His name was Adolf Hitler. This drawing was handed personally by him to Jacob Werlin, head of Daimler Benz, with the straight request to translate it into reality. It’s quite interesting to note, at this point, that the hippie generation chose this vehicle as their symbol for freedom, love and anarchy. May be they were a bit confused between ‘will to power’ and ‘power to weed’ but this is not enough to cast off a doubt: were they all high on drugs or was this guy a misunderstood genius? The question is still a matter of debate.
Even more intriguing is the way car designers stuck to the Fuhrer’s original sketch. Okay, you might say they had to. Hitler, after all, was notorious for his bad temper and the guy was used to get rid (literally) of anyone who dared even to discuss his ideas. But this is exactly what happens also in many advertising agencies when a client comes up with an idea. The only difference is that Hitler demonstrated to have a real talent for car design whereas clients, most of the times, tragically lack any creativity and taste. Nevertheless, complacent agencies adopt clients’ tips and are happy to please them for the fear of losing the budget (and their life).
In the following pictures I played with symbols and objects. It strikes me the way good design has the power to overturn ideologies. (I also came up with this trim-moustche version of the car, probably good for trapping mosquitoes). Beauty and humour will save the world. Anyway, back to the main topic, i just wanted to underline a fact: Volkswagen was developed with the idea of giving every German a car. Ford did the same for Americans, but hippies didn’t choose the Model-T as the vechicle to drive their revolution. They went instead for the most reliable, cheap, beautiful and smile-faced car in the world: the VW beetle.