For many years the Volkswagen Beetle was the car in which everything began. Innumerable young people learned to drive in it, innumerable people drove it as the first car in their lives. Over the years improvements were continually being made to the car in order to keep the Beetle competitive. By 1968 the Beetle had reached a standard that always kept it ahead of the competition. The former 1131cc engine became a 44 hp 1500 cc engine. Front disc brakes and a new semi-trailing-arm rear axle held its temperament in check. The headlamps were now vertical and it was possible to fill up the tank through a side flap.