Just before Christmas I idled away an hour at the Volkswagen museum, which is based at the maker’s giant Wolfsburg plant.

The collection is satisfyingly random, covering all sorts of things from a replica of the Benz Motorwagen to VW rarities such as the late 80’s Golf Rallye and the Golf Country, which was probably the original soft-roader.

However, perhaps the most interesting display showed how the Beetle was developed during the second half of the 1930s. The Museum has one of the two pre-production prototype ‘people’s cars’ which show how, what became the world’s best-selling single model, it was developed during those turbulent times.

Although, it’s pretty widely accepted that Ferdinand Porsche was more than a little inspired by Tatra models of the early 1930s, the Beetle story goes right back to 1931 and the Auto für Jedermann ("car for everyone") project.