The last VW Beetle may have rolled off the production line in July, but these two car lovers say it makes them even prouder to have one in their garage.
Annette Mullen and Taylor Hemers-Lawson both own 1971 VW Superbugs and are members of the Bad Little Bug-gers V-Dub Club.
They love the curves, the sound and the attention their cars get on the road.
Taylor, 19, learnt to drive in her first Beetle, a 1963 model.
The Rothwell resident has all the Herbie movies and a complete VW Hot Wheels set, plus a model of her own car at home.
“I’m obsessed,” she says, laughing. “There’s nothing else like the Beetle.”
There’s no airconditioning or mod cons but when you’re moving and the windows are down, both agree it’s a fun car to drive.
Annette, 42, reckons everyone has a “bug story” and says there’s a romanticism attached to the Beetle and the Herbie movies.
“I’ve always had an interest in cars … the Beetle, I like the curves and I think they’re really cute,” she says.
The 1971 VW Superbug is her first Beetle and she’s had the beautifully-restored former rally car for about six years.
“It has a rally car engine in it, so it goes a bit faster than the normal ones,” Annette says.
She says the eye-catching paint job attracts attention.
“I’m pretty chuffed she’s responsible for bruised arms out there – punch buggy no returns,” she says.
Taylor says that for as long as she can remember, her family was associated with cars, but mostly Fords and Holdens.
She recalls seeing her first Beetle, and saying that she wanted one of them.
“I think it’s the history of the bug. It intrigued me, growing up,” Taylor says.
She’s had her current Beetle for a year and a half, and it’s about to be restored inside and out.
The colour will remain honey brown — its original colour — but in a similar style to Annette 's car, white will be added to the doors.
Taylor will also add old-style baskets and suitcases to the roof racks.
They both enjoy seeing the next generation of car lovers turn their heads to take a look at their cars.
In fact, Annette dresses her car up for rallies to make sure it grabs attention — even adding a tiara.
“I find it amazing when kids say, ‘Mum, Dad look at that’ and they’re looking at my car,” Taylor adds.
When asked how they feel about the last third-generation VW Beetle rolling off the production line in July at Volkswagen’s Puebla facility in Mexico, they sigh.
“I’m still depressed about it.
“But it makes me really proud to have one of them,” Taylor says.
“I live in hope they will change their minds like they did with the Kombi. They found a market. I’m optimistic,” Annette says.
The Bad Little Bug-gers V-Dub Club holds rallies and events across South East Queensland, including The Valley of the Dubs at Samford Showgrounds from March 27-29.
Visit blbvw.org.au for details on how to get involved or head along to the show shine ’n’ swap component on March 29.
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