Volkswagen Restors 71-Year Old Woman's Beetles After 350,000 Miles
The Volkswagen Beetles is with no doubt one of the most iconic cars of all time, whether it's the bug like appearance, reliability or price, this might as well be one of the most successful cars in automotive history. It also went on to inspire one of the most important Porsche model, the 911. The Beetles kept being built for more than 7 decades, but received several refreshes and major changes to modernize it. However with time sales plummeted and VW recently decided to drop the Beetles.
The company decided to restore an old 1967 Volkswagen that was owned by 71 year old Kathleen Brooks who used the car for her daily transportation for more than 51 years, thus clocking a jaw dropping 350,000 miles. To her, the Beetles wasn't just a car, it was a life-long companion. It has been alongside her in all the happy days and dim ones, it became part of her family.
“We often hear stories of dedicated Volkswagen owners, but there was something special about Kathleen and Annie that we felt we needed to honor,” said Derrick Hatami, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen of America. “The original Beetle launched our business in the United States. This isn’t just a Beetle, it’s a member of her family, and after all the time our employees have spent with this special vehicle, we feel Annie is a part of our family as well.” With Annie being the name Brooks gave the Beetles.
Brooks' story was the main reason VW decided to restore the car for. She is a three time cancer survivor, but not only did the Beetles help her get to her therapies but also help her get to other cancer patients to provide comfort and cosmetic care during treatment. "The Beetles was always there for me. I’ve said many times she and I are so much alike because she’s old, she’s faded, she’s dinged, she’s dented, she’s rusted, but you know what? She keeps running. And as long as I take as good care of her as I can, she’s going to continue to run.” she added.
The VW took 11 months to restore and about 40% of the components were swapped with new ones. About 350 other components were refurbished. However, the VW isn't entirely in its 1967 spec, as VW upgraded the brakes to the latter disk brakes setup of modern-day cars, upgraded the suspension and the AM/FM/Bluetooth stereo. As for the engine and gearbox, they were completely rebuilt, and the car now is as good as new... if not better.