Officially Type 1, the Käfer (pronounced Kay-FER meaning beetle, in German) was a 2 door, 4 passenger, rear-engine economy car that was manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen from 1938-2003.
The need for this kind of car was formulated by Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country's new road network. Hitler contracted Ferdinand Porsche (of Porsche cars) in 1934 to design and build it.
Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design. Several design elements of the Beetle were a copy of Josef Ganz’s earlier built, Tatra V570 for which Ferdinand Porsche was prosecuted in the German courts. Over 21 million of these Beetle's were made.
Herbie (the car) with #53 was seen in the famous movie, The Love Bug. This scale model is a replica of that car seen in the movie.