I absolutely love the simple naming mechanism for this vehicle and vehicles made by VW in this era. Type 1, Type 2, etc… – so easy. And this model is just called squareback – so explicable. This one is sporting some healthy dents and dings in the body, as well as an interesting faded tan paint job.
Imagine enjoying a relaxing summer night cruising around in this very clean and restored 1956 VW Bettle, warm wind blowing through the open windows and the purr of the small air-cooled boxer engine behind you. This one was spotted in Canoga Park in Los Angeles County.
Some info via Wiki:
During this period, a myriad of changes were made throughout the vehicle beginning with the availability of hydraulic brakes and a folding fabric sunroof in 1950. The rear window of the VW Beetle evolved from a divided or “split” oval, to a singular oval. The change occurred between October 1952 and March 1953. Beetles built during this time were known as a “Zwitter”, or “hybrid”, as they used the split-window bodyshell with oval-model chrome trim, vent windows and dashboard.
1953 models received a redesigned instrument panel. The one-piece “Pope’s Nose” combination license plate/brake light was replaced by a smaller flat-bottomed license plate light. The brake light function was transferred to new heart-shaped lamps located in the top of the taillight housings.
In 1954, Volkswagen added 2 mm to the cylinder bore, increasing the displacement from 1,131 (1100) cc to 1,192 (1200) cc. This coincided with upgrades to various key components including a redesign of the crankshaft. This increased power from 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) to 36 hp (27 kW; 36 PS) and improved the engine’s free revving abilities without compromising torque at lower engine speeds. At the same time, compression ratios were progressively raised as, little by little, the octane ratings of available fuel was raised in major markets during the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1955, the separate brake lights were discontinued and were combined into a new larger taillight housing. The traditional VW semaphore turn signals were replaced by conventional flashing directional indicator lamps for North America.
For 1956, the Beetle received what would become one of its more distinctive features, a set of twin chrome tailpipes. Models for North America gained taller bumper guards and tubular overrider bars.