Just Shut Up A Minute And Listen To The Music In This Old Volkswagen Ad

This’ll take less than two minutes, I promise. Just play this old 1966 Volkswagen ad here, one that’s introducing the ferocious 53 horsepower 1500cc engine for the Beetle, and try and note what the song is that’s being played so jazzirifically:

Recognize that song? Ever had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Yep, that’s Hava Negila, a Hebrew folk song that’s sung at pretty much any Jewish event with even the slightest excuse to carry someone around in a chair.


Given VW’s history, it’s sort of an ironic choice, though, then again, maybe this was Volkswagen’s very subtle way of paying a quiet tribute to Josef Ganz, the Jewish auto journalist and car designer that contributed heavily to the Beetle’s design, despite having his contributions erased by the Nazis.

Who cares, I guess; it sort of works as a soundtrack to a Beetle-on-Beetle race.

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Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)