Volkswagen SA have restored the last Beetle built in South Africa after it was almost destroyed in an accident coming back from an auto-show in 2006.The metallic bronze Beetle was the last of 288 353 Beetles built in Uitenhage from 31 August 1951 to 18 January 1979. Like the last ever Citi Golf, it was never used and lived in the VW museum. In 2006 the vehicle was on its way from Cape Town back to AutoPavillion musuem when the vehicle carrier overturner and 9 of the historic cars from the musuem were destroyed.
The museums curator Johan Wagner said: “All the mechanicals and most of the interior from the original car could still be used. They were then transferred to another body of the same era. The original car was loaded with luxury features not found on any of the models which preceded it. It was built with most of the luxury features of the higher specification and limited edition 1600’s like the Fun Bug, Lux Bug, Jeans Bug and Snug Bug.”
Some of its special features include Bilboa cloth upholstery, black fender spats, a special gearlever knob, taper-tip exhaust pipes, a centre tunnel console, a cigarette lighter and Rostyle wheel rims. It was also sprayed in a special bronze metallic paint.
The Beetle had a production run in South Africa spanning almost 28 years, 11 of which were as the country’s top selling car. Testimony to its build quality and reliability is the fact that so many can still be seen on our roads today.