The design of the Beetle took place over a number of years, and the KDF wagen (later the Volkswagen) was introduced to the world in 1939. The body style has not changed dramatically in the years since, although there have been numerous engineering, safety and aesthetic changes.
Perhaps the most noticable feature of the early Beetles is the two-piece rear window, commonly referred to as a "Split Window". All Beetles (except convertibles!) produced until March 1953 were Split Windows and are now highly desirable collector's cars.
The early splits had a distinctive dashboard, with two gloveboxes - one at each end. The "oval window dashboard" cut that down to one glovebox, and made a few other changes in the general dash appearance. The oval style dash was used in late '52 and early '53 splits, setting them apart from their predecessors.
So is that it for Splits around here? Not by a long shot! Those are two of the three currently driving around here (Sorry, no picture of #3...yet!). Although there was a fourth street-driven Split locally, I am unsure as to it's current location. There are two others undergoing restoration locally, but it's a slow process. Another couple splits are rumoured to be hiding nearby, in unknown states of disrepair, but their locations are unknown to me...