What Is the Coolest Car Accessory for Coffee Lovers?

Thanks to the cup holder, coffee and cars coexist quite nicely today, but long before you could take your Starbucks for a drive, Volkswagen owners had a far more elegant option: a built-in coffee machine.

In the late 1950s, a Germany company called Hertella sold dash-mounted coffee machines as VW Beetle accessories.
In the late 1950s, a Germany company called Hertella sold dash-mounted coffee machines as VW Beetle accessories.

Available for a brief time in the late 1950s, the Hertella Auto Kaffeemaschine was an accessory that could be mounted on the dashboard of a Volkswagen Beetle. It came in 6-volt and 12-volt versions and featured a shimmering silver percolator that poured directly into a cup.

Unfortunately, the world was apparently not quite ready for such a device, or maybe it was just the gadget's shortcomings, such as the lack of a power switch (it started as soon as you plugged it into the cigarette lighter) that made sales stagnant. On the plus side, the Hertella coffee machine was reportedly easy to clean and came with porcelain cups with metal bases that attached magnetically to the device.

The best of the Beetle:

  • The basic design of the iconic VW Beetle came from an 18-year-old Hungarian student named Béla Barényi, who submitted the idea for a "people's car" in 1925.

  • The Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1) holds the record for longest production life, from 1938 until 2003.

  • Seventeen years after the first Beetle was produced, there were one million of them on the road.


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