A Beetle love affair
> Proud owners of classic VW models take a drive down memory lane
SUBANG JAYA: A lawyer still drives his father’s 1967 Volkswagen Beetle for road trips around Malaysia and Thailand.
A well known lawyer, Sreekant Pillai said his mother had brought him home after his birth from hospital in the same Beetle and later his father used to drop him to school in the same car. “So I have a very close attachment to the vehicle,” he said.
“My father subsequently gave me the car, when I went to college and I have been using it since,” said Sreekant.
The “Bug” was purchased by his father, M.G.G Pillai, a journalist and political activist, in Singapore. He used the car for 26 years until 1993. He passed away in 2006. “I grew up with that car,” said Sreekant.
He had restored the Beetle over four years and spent about RM25,000 and kept the original features. The car, which came with no air-conditioner, still has no air conditioner. He decided to keep it original as it has sentimental value attached to it.
Sreekant said he travelled everywhere with no air-condition. Even the colour is orignal.
Sreekant has driven the “bug” in East Malaysia and Thailand and even has a blog about his trips. He is planning another trip to Laos with other Beetle owners, in the future.
“My Dad’s car is 49 years old, it is older than me and it still works,” he said. “I really believe cars like this should be driven and not kept in the house or showroom to look pretty, although it is pretty.”
Sreekant, who drives his “1972” model Beetle, which he purchased in 2015 to work, participated in the 8th “Bug-O-Rama” 2016 at the outdoor carpark at Summit, USJ yesterday. His blue Beetle was among the Volkswagens on display.
A variety of Beetles in fascinating colours were among the classic Volkswagens at the event. It was jointly organized by Kelab Volkswagen Beetle Malaysia (KVBM) and Summit, USJ.
Vincent Lee, deputy president, said this year about 40 models of Volkswagen “Kombi” van, which is a rare model was showcased, compared to only 20 models, last year.
Another model, a military “Volkswagen Kubel 181”, belonging to Lt. Col ( R ) Mohd Idris Hassan was the centre of attraction.
Mohd Idris, 75, who had served the Royal Malay Regiment for 30 years, said the model which was built for military use was acquired in a run down condition and was restored over three years.
Another Beetle owner, S. Thavanesan, 46, had on display four classic VW vehicles, among them a 1978 model “Kombi” van, which he calls his “Hippie Bus”.
Lt Col (R) Mohd Idris with his VolksWagen Kubel 181.