Ray Johnston from the Gold Coast with his 1966 VW Beetle Tangerine Dream, named after the Beatle’s song, at the display in Leslie Park on Saturday.
Ray Johnston from the Gold Coast with his 1966 VW Beetle Tangerine Dream, named after the Beatle’s song, at the display in Leslie Park on Saturday.

VWs more than just a car for these fans

EVERYONE has a Volkswagen story, from Herbie the Beetle to the hippie Kombi van, and there were plenty of stories to be told during the VW Warwick event at the weekend.

Warwick celebrated the iconic German car brand, as hundreds of Beetles, Kombis, Passats and Golfs rolled into town for one of the biggest motoring events in the region.

Among the many VWs on display in Leslie Park on Saturday was Janet Reid's 1963 Beetle, which has a long history in the Rose City.

"It was sold brand new in Warwick in 1963," Mrs Reid said.

"I knew the lady who owned it originally."

After undergoing a quadruple bypass earlier this year, Noel Dore, along with his wife Lyn, was keen to get out and race at Morgan Park in a 1976 Beetle.
After undergoing a quadruple bypass earlier this year, Noel Dore, along with his wife Lyn, was keen to get out and race at Morgan Park in a 1976 Beetle.

There were plenty of locals sharing their VW stories in the park, from those who once owned one or learnt to drive in one to those who are collectors of the cars.

Warwick resident Ronnie Look compared driving his Volkswagen Beetles to driving a go-cart.

"They are just the best car ever. I love them," he said.

"I have nine of them at home. It's just a passion of mine."

The VW passion is still very much alive for many, including Brisbane's Noel Dore whose main aim when recovering from a quadruple bypass earlier this year was to get back behind the wheel and race in his 1976 Beetle.

"Everyone has a VW story," Mr Dore said.

"I've had VWs for 30 years and this is my fourth year at the VW Nationals."

Locals Sam and Janet Reid with their 1963 VW Beetle which was purchased new in the Rose City and has only had two owners.
Locals Sam and Janet Reid with their 1963 VW Beetle which was purchased new in the Rose City and has only had two owners.

Mr Dore, who defied the odds and raced his beloved competition car at the Leyburn Sprints in August, can hit speeds of 130kmh on the track.

The keen VW enthusiast's wife Lyn said the cars were an addiction.

"They are just fun. We've got a Kombi at home and we just sold our show car," she said.

"I love that the kids love it. Everyone just loves them."

People travelled far and wide with their cars, driving for thousands of kilometres to join the annual gathering of VWs.

Among the distant travellers was VW mechanic Michael Clarke, who drove from Melbourne in a Kombi van towing his racing Beetle.

BEETLE MANIA: Volkswagen Beetles in an array of colours and models lined up in Leslie Park on Saturday.
BEETLE MANIA: Volkswagen Beetles in an array of colours and models lined up in Leslie Park on Saturday. Jayden Brown

With 30 years experience as a VW mechanic and more than 40 years of involvement with the brand, Mr Clarke knows his way around the cars.

"It's good - there's no worries about it," he said.

"VW people are a bit of a different lot but they're good people."

While he may be a collector, with multiple vintage Volkswagens at home, Mr Clarke also loves to race.

"At Morgan Park my car can probably clock about 90 miles," he said.

"On a quarter mile it hits 120mph."



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