BYE BYE BEETLE
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
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.
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.
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.