BYE BYE BEE­TLE

The Tribune (NZ) - - MID WEEK MOTORING -

A Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle made fa­mous by a glo­be­trot­ting Kiwi cou­ple has made its last road-trip.

Ivan and Beth Hodges now in their 80s, took the car they bought in 1961 for £439 while on their hon­ey­moon in Bri­tain, on a fi­nal North Is­land run be­fore do­nat­ing it to Auck­land’s Mu­seum of Trans­port and Tech­nol­ogy (MOTAT).

On their pil­grim­age, the cou­ple vis­ited Ivan’s home­town Marton, and Levin – where the Bee­tle served as a cop car dur­ing the 60s while on loan to Ivan’s po­lice of­fi­cer fa­ther.

The cou­ple have driven the car around the world twice. In 1961, they drove it back from Eng­land across Europe, in­clud­ing the com­mu­nist coun­tries, through the Mid­dle East and down through Asia. 35 years later, they re­traced the jour­ney, doc­u­ment­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence in a book For Love and a Bee­tle.

Part of their lives for al­most 60 years, Ivan and Beth de­cided to do­nate the car rather than see it taken to the wreck­ers.

MOTAT’s Michael Fraw­ley says the Type-I 1200cc flat four-en­gined Bee­tle will be dis­played as a sym­bol of trail­blaz­ing en­durance, de­pend­abil­ity, loy­alty and in­no­va­tion.

For more about the Hodges’ jour­ney visit volk­swa­gen.co.nz/ news/bye-bye-bee­tle

’FUN-RAIS­ING’ RIDE

Aussie im­port, the Shit­box Rally has en­joyed its first taste of international suc­cess on New Zealand roads.

Last month’s North Is­land event for cars worth no more than $NZ1700 (in­clud­ing rego and in­sur­ance), was ini­ti­ated in Aus­tralia six years ago by James Free­man as a fundraiser for the Aus­tralian Can­cer Coun­cil. It’s now the largest sin­gle char­ity con­trib­u­tor to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, with over $6.5m raised since 2010.

75 ec­cen­tri­cally at­tired teams in their ec­cen­tri­cally liv­er­ied ve­hi­cles took part. Equipped with ca­ble ties and gaffer tape, al­most all 150 par­tic­i­pants com­pleted the sev­en­day, back-road, 2500km Auck­land­based round trip via In­gle­wood, Woodville, Aki­tio, To­laga Bay and Opotiki.

‘‘It was com­pletely dif­fer­ent driv­ing and land­scapes to any­thing we are used to in Aus­tralia,’’ James says. ‘‘New Zealand is a place of breath­tak­ing beauty, won­der and some of the most amaz­ing roads in ex­is­tence. I amthrilled with the first NZ Rally and can’t wait to come back.’’

The rally raised over $380,000 for the Can­cer Society of New Zealand and Can­cer Coun­cil Aus­tralia re­search pro­grammes.

FIZZY SKODA

Skoda has bro­ken out the 50th birth­day bub­bles for a break­through model.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the Skoda 1000 MBX De Luxe in March 1966 at the Geneva Mo­tor Show cre­ated a sen­sa­tion for the Soviet Bloc built sedan. The first suc­cess­ful Czech pro­duc­tion car, its highly orig­i­nal shape and tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions made it a hit with Western car buy­ers.

To­day, the model is among the most sought after and highly val­ued clas­sic Sko­das,

Dur­ing the 80s though, the mar­que lost its way and lus­tre. Fol­low­ing the demise of com­mu­nism, the com­pany was part­nered in 1990, with VW which took over com­pletely in 2000.

It’s been a long road back, but Skoda is again pro­duc­ing cars of en­gi­neer­ing and styling ex­cel­lence – al­beit noth­ing quite as cool as the 1000 MBX of 1966.

RENTAL SO­LU­TION

MyCarYourRen­tal is a newly launched P2P ve­hi­cle rental com­pany of­fer­ing car own­ers a plat­form for rent­ing out their ve­hi­cles, re­duc­ing traf­fic and mak­ing use of ve­hi­cle down­time.

Founder Hen­rik Stovring says the MyCarYourRen­tal plat­form could be likened to an AirBnB for cars.

It can even be used for camper­vans, coaches, trucks, and trail­ers. Any­one can go to the web­site and list their ve­hi­cle for free in or­der to rent it to some­one else. The plat­form prom­ises a safe en­vi­ron­ment where all users are ap­proved ahead of list­ing or rent­ing any­thing.

‘‘Should any­thing go wrong, you are cov­ered by the con­cept’s in­sur­ance, so your own won’t get drawn upon,’’ Hen­rik says.

When some­one lists their ve­hi­cle for rent, they get to de­cide the rate and whether or not to ac­cept rental re­quests.

He says the con­cept has been used around the world for the past 8 years as part of the ‘‘shar­ing econ­omy’’, and it has taken off over the last 2-3 years.

Through the re­cently launched mycaryourren­tal.com/ web­site, Hen­rik claims he al­ready has more than 300 users and 100 cars.

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