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Is This Proof Volkswagen Thought Beautiful Women Couldn't Drive Stick?

Volkswagen was pleased to announce in 1973 that you no longer had to worry about the reason you hadn't yet bought one of their "station wagons".


They hadn't figured out a way to protect you better in a front impact collision and going up hills was still strictly 45 mph or less, but they had installed the other thing you had been waiting for—a fully automatic transmission.

The company chose a beautiful girl running through a field to illustrate the relief that potential Volkswagen owners long alienated by standard transmissions would surely feel when they found out the great news.


While it's likely just a wise decision to feature an attractive female rather than the average VW buyer circa 1973 in their ad, several decades later you can't help but speculate exactly what suggestion this vintage advertisement was making.

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We had a 1970 Bug with the Semi-Automatic Transmission. It had a "Low"; 1; & 2 along with reverse. By the time I had it in 1975, it was kind of beat up. I remember having a friend time me from 0-60 @ 24 seconds! However, it really helped me learn how to drive a conventional Stick. Because all I had to do was to learn the Clutch Pedal, as I already had the shifting portion and taking your foot off of the gas down!

I guess we all miss our first car. Looking back now, it withstood 3 learning drivers, one an incipient teenage boy hoon who took it over some jumps and backwoods.