Historically, Beetles have been viewed as popular classic cars, though it was recently announced production is coming to an end in 2019. This didn’t stop fans from attending the Lisburn Beetle and campervan festival in Ireland back in September. A range of models were on display, including a mini replica of the famed Herbie Beetle. Many cars were showcased by the Northern Beetle and Bus Owners Club (NBOC).
The oldest Beetle on display was owned by Anthony and Mary McPeake. Their 1956 car was originally built in California. Anthony said “we’ve owned this Beetle for a couple of years now. We bought it off a guy on the south coast of England, but he’d got the car in California. I’ve always been interested in Beetles. They’re the people’s car and there’s a sense of nostalgia about it all. Days like this where we can get out and about with others is nice too.”
Anthony has acknowledged the stoppage in production. “It’s the end of another era. I’m sure something else will be reinvented and I hope that it does come back. The newer models are nice too. I think everyone is just happy to see Volkswagens on the road.”
Another stand out car was a 1974 red and white Beetle, owned by Malachy McBurney. His passenger Pauline Bradley communicated his passion for classic cars. “He’s always owned Beetles. He’s always driven them and so has his father. This car was originally gold and was sprayed about four years ago.”
Eamonn Winters, owner of a 1973 Beetle, described it as a “totally different animal” to a standard model. “My father owned Beetles since 1952 and may family all learnt to drive in the Beetle. We drove round fields, then when my father figured we could master the controls he let us go on the road.”
The festival is proof that there are plenty of people who’ll continue to enjoy the Beetle, even if it stays gone for the foreseeable future. NBOC committee member Victoria McCullough summed up the event by saying “as long as there’s still the love out there it will live on.”