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The evolution of the marque.

The past becomes tangible, memories are revived, emotions are brought to life, historic automobiles set the pulse racing, and a marque with history has one thing over its competitors – its credibility based on many years of trust. The saying at Volkswagen – it goes on and on and on – from the Beetle era continues to apply to the Golf in the modern age.

Only a few hundred metres separate the past and the future here. The Volkswagen AutoMuseum is situated near the Volkswagen factory where the latest Volkswagen models are produced. On an exhibition space covering some 5,000 square metres, a total of 130 vehicles provide a fascinating insight into the product history of Volkswagen. Among the main exhibits are many rare concept vehicles, prototypes and one-off models.

The AutoMuseum was officially born on 25 April 1985. That is the date on which the technically and historically significant collection curated by the Volkswagen Group – housed in a former clothes factory with a certain industrial charm – was first opened to the public. On 1 January 1992 the museum was converted into a non-profit-making foundation: the Volkswagen AutoMuseum Foundation. In spring 2001 – at the same time as the ZeitHaus museum opened in the Autostadt – the museum concept was revamped and the decision was taken to concentrate solely on the Volkswagen marque, further enhancing the attractiveness of the exhibition.

Especially appealing is the fact that rare concept vehicles and prototypes stand alongside mass-produced Volkswagen models, thereby allowing direct comparisons to be made. Which details were used in mass production and which were discarded? Besides mass-produced vehicles and prototypes, the exhibits also include curious one-offs, such as the film star Herbie, a wooden Beetle and the ‘See Golf’ – a seafaring Golf with hydraulic pontoons.

The story goes on: the Volkswagen AutoMuseum collection is being continually expanded. Regular special exhibitions focus on fascinating details in the history of Volkswagen products – and highlight them from new and unusual angles.