Volkswagen is symbol of youth, culture
Beetlemania comes to Cambridge as hundreds of Volkswagen owners descend on the Waikato town.
Complete with the fab four, the Beetle, Kombi, Polo and Golf, it will be one of New Zealand’s largest single-make car shows, which will be held during Easter.
This year’s Volkswagen Nationals is a combined effort between the Waikato and Auckland Volkswagen owners clubs.
The event, the recipient of a $1000 funding grant from the Waipa District Council promotions fund, promises to be one of the largest Volkswagen Nationals.
Auckland Volkswagen Owners Club president Andrew Baylis is looking forward to coming back to Cambridge.
‘‘It’s been 10 years since we last held the event here and Cambridge was most welcoming.’’
The nationals have been held every Easter since 1991 at different locations but 2008 Cambridge ‘‘rated as one of the best’’.
The people’s car, ‘‘Volkswagen’’ in German, was formulated by Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car mass produced for his new road network.
Its popularity has never waned. It especially became wellknown across the world in the 1960s.
‘‘More than any other make of car, the Volkswagen has become a symbol of youth culture over many decades,’’ Bayliss said.
People from every walks of life have a story to tell about their old Volkswagens.
Bayliss who owns eight classics and a Volkswagen Polo, recalled his first experience with a rear-engine Kombi when he was travelling through Europe on his OE.
The Kombi was being restored in a Cambridge garage one night.
‘‘When the lining came off the wall of the car, the owner found among the cockroaches, the previous owner’s stash of doobies [marijuana].
‘‘Every VW has its own story and the nationals is the ideal place to recall them.’’
The weekend is expected to draw around 300 Kombis, Beetles, Karmann Ghias, Golfs and every model Volkswagen ever made.
Bayliss admits the car is not the easiest to handle. It’s not the fastest or the most reliable but there is just something about them which draws people in.
The resurgence of the Volkswagen in today’s modern fleet of cars is heartening and Bayliss hopes it continues.
People will be able to inspect the cars at the show and shine event in Victoria Square, Cambridge between 10am-3pm on March 31.
The popular Volkswagen has been adapted for every lifestyle.
Once dubbed as ‘‘The Love Bug’’, the Beetle remains as the most recognisable Volkswagen on roads today.