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    26/04/2022

    Customer Stories pt. 12: The Super Beetle

    Customer Stories

    Name: Kerry Davies

    The classic: VW Super Beetle

    Both my son and daughter are Beetle enthusiasts too, which is a really special thing to share. I remember coming back from work one day, and driving behind a Beetle which looked just like my daughter’s. I called her up to tell her and she asked me, ‘has it got the Beetle bounce?’.

    ‘As she said that, I noticed the driver’s head was bouncing up and down with every bump in the road. It’s just a funny family term we’ve come up with: the Beetle bounce!’

    Kerry Davies, the proud owner of a metallic green VW Super Beetle, shares his love of this iconic classic with both his son and daughter. ‘It all started in 1992, long before I had this green Beetle,’ he recalls. ‘In those days, I didn’t even know what a Beetle was! My son Adam was sixteen at the time, and was looking for his first car when he asked whether he could have his own Beetle. I wasn’t sure at first, but we found a ruby-red 1970 model on the side of the road with a ‘For Sale’ sign on it.

    ‘I had a friend called Mark Humphries who used to drag race at Santa Pod throughout the 1990s, so I asked him to view the Beetle with me and see if it was a decent buy. It turned out to be an absolute steal, so I bought it for my son as his first car. A few years later, we restored another 1970 Beetle for my daughter Helen, so we then had two Beetles in the family!’

    Heritage customer Kerry Davies with his VW Super Beetle drawing by Ian Cook
    Kerry Davies with the drawing of his VW Super Beetle drawing by Ian Cook

    Kerry’s own interest in Beetles actually came from his children learning to drive. They both had part-time jobs during their studies, so Kerry would accompany them to work as a supervising driver, then drive the cars back himself. ‘I grew to really love driving them,’ he recalls; ‘it certainly gave me the Beetle bug!’

    Despite his son and daughter both owning a total a four Beetles between them in the following couple of decades, it was only when the Covid pandemic hit that Kerry thought about getting his very own.

    Low angle front corner of metallic green VW Super Beetle
    Kerry’s metallic green Beetle, otherwise known as ‘Growler’

    ‘My son’s company had gone into liquidation just before the first lockdown,’ Kerry explains. ‘He was looking for a new job and had some spare time on his hands, so I set him on a project to find me a Beetle that I could call my own. That’s how, at the age of 69, I ended up with a metallic green 1972 Super Beetle – and I absolutely love it.’

    Kerry’s Beetle has a roof rack and spotlight, with a beautiful green hue that looks almost black when the weather is bad. ‘I remember the first time I ever saw it. The dealer showed me a video of the car and I was totally convinced that it was actually a black car!’

    Full back view of VW Super Beetle with basket on top
    Growler from the back, complete with stickers, roof rack and baskets

    Adventures at Santa Pod

    One of Kerry’s favourite places to take his classic is Santa Pod Drag Raceway in Northamptonshire.  ‘It’s got a great quarter-mile strip and they hold lots of VW events there,’ Kerry explains. ‘In 2021, Adam and I went to VW Action and booked a ‘Run What Ya Brung’ session, where I raced him up the drag strip even though we were both in standard cars! It was a wonderful feeling.’

    Kerry is also a huge fan of Bug Jam, the legendary VW weekend festival. ‘Adam and I have been there using our own tents, but we’ve also booked glamping for a little bit of luxury,’ Kerry says.

    ‘It’s a really lovely event with a fantastic atmosphere. They have two music tents, although at the age of 70 that’s not really my thing! My wife and daughter also like to come, although they don’t tend to camp. It’s a great way to spend time together, and it’s really special that we all have this shared interest.

    ‘At Santa Pod, they have a puddle that cars go into to do a burn-out. Basically, they heat up the back tyres and create loads of smoke. I remember driving my Beetle – which you’d never do a burn-out in – across the track and nearly driving in the water accidentally. The track steward came over to me saying, ‘Excuse me, stop a minute! I take it, sir, that you’re not doing a burn-out?’ and told me not to go near the water again!’

    Kerry and Adam are returning to Bug Jam again in July 2022, although his son also wants to do Run to the Sun: a popular three-day VW event which involves a trip to Newquay. ‘My only worry about that is whether my Beetle would get there!’ Kerry says. ‘I’ve never personally had any trouble on the road, but there are often classic car owners on the side of the road when going to and from any classic car events – I’m worried that will be me one day.

    As with most classics there have been a few mechanical incidents with the Beetle, including on one of Kerry’s Santa Pod journeys. On the way home, which was a journey of around twenty miles, we lost all the lights! As I’m not a mechanic, I didn’t know how to fix it, but it turned out to be an issue with one of the fuses which was easily mended.

    ‘Funnily enough, I had the same trouble in my Honda Accord Estate, which has automatic lights. I remember driving along in the dark and the lights refused to come on, which was really strange. On top of that, later that day my key fob wouldn’t open the door, so I had to call the AA! Weirdly, the gentleman who came out said he’d just bought a Honda Accord Estate, then proceeded to tell me about the VW Beetle he’d just bought from his friend. It was really strange that we both had exactly the same cars!’

    VW Super Beetle driver's seat interior view
    In the driver’s seat of Kerry’s beautiful Beetle
    Side view of metallic green VW Super Beetle
    The side view of the Beetle

    What’s your favourite part about owning the Beetle?

    ‘It’s difficult to choose a single thing, really,’ Kerry ponders. ‘I think the three main things are that I enjoy driving it, enjoy being part of the community, and enjoy having the shared interest with my family. If you drive down the road, more often than not people turn around with smiles on their faces because they know a Beetle is coming; it just has a unique sound that people seem to recognise.

    ‘The community is amazing, too. The local community in Northampton is full of like-minded people who organise events where we all meet up in a car park and then travel in convey to a local classic car meet and just have a great time. There’s a real sense of comradery, even among classic car owners who don’t have a Beetle!

    ‘As for the family aspect of it, we all have this shared interest and it’s really special. I remember coming back from work one day, and driving behind a Beetle which looked just like my daughter’s.

    ‘I called her up to tell her and she asked me, ‘has it got the Beetle bounce?’. As she said that, I noticed the driver’s head was bouncing up and down with every bump in the road. It’s just a funny family term we’ve come up with: the Beetle bounce!

    ‘We’ve got countless t-shirts and pieces of VW memorabilia dotted around the house, too. We even have a Beetle calendar every year! I had a friend who gave me a birthday present about five years ago, which was a metal sign saying ‘VW parking only’. It’s now on our driveway next to the Beetle.

    ‘They’re just such iconic cars. I drove through Northampton not long ago and there was a young man who gave me a salute, a thumbs-up and made the VW sign. He even waited for the light to change just to watch me drive off! You don’t get that in a Honda Accord Estate!’

    Stickers on top of the VW Super Beetle
    The Beetle adorned with stickers and memorabilia
    Ian Cook's drawing of Kerry Davies' VW metallic green Super Beetle
    Ian Cook’s drawing of Kerry Davies’ VW Super Beetle

    Would you like the chance to be part of our Customer Stories project?

    If you’re a Heritage Car Insurance customer and you’d like your classic drawn on one of our live drawing sessions, please send a maximum of 150 words about what your classic means to you and at least 2 images to marketing@heritagecarinsurance.co.uk. We’ll send the original drawing to you for free, as well as a printed T-shirt and mug. It’s a wonderful project to be a part of, so if you’re interested simply get in touch!

     

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