BEETLE fan Barry Openshaw has struck motoring gold – thanks to a social media campaign by Volkswagen.
The pub-restaurant manager from Manchester found the memories flooding back as he shared reminiscences of his dad’s Volkswagen Beetle 1300 from the 1970s.
It follows a social media activity using the #YourVW tag, celebrating Britons’ love for, and memories of, the German brand.
On the back of an appeal for recollections via Facebook and Twitter, Volkswagen UK’s social media team received more than 1,700 responses from car fans.
Says 43-year old Barry: “My dad, Ron, bought the Beetle back in 1973. It was a unique colour because it was gold! It felt quite special.
“My oldest brother, Keith, courted his wife in that car. He got married and moved to Canada, it’s got to be over 30 years ago. There’s just something about it that takes me back to my childhood.”
Spurred on by those recollections, Volkswagen decided to reunite Barry with the Beetle and set about tracing it.
While the actual car was not available, VW did manage to source an identical model which they painstakingly resprayed and restored.
Barry’s brother Keith was flown over from Canada to present him with the classic Beetle, on the North West beach where he drove it on his dad’s knee all those years ago.
Volkswagen communications chief Thomas Brady said: “We were overwhelmed with the response to our initial request for memories of Volkswagen and, after we’d reviewed all the posts, Barry’s story really stood out.
“It was incredible to see his reaction when we presented him with the 1970s Beetle, and well worth all the hard work in sourcing and restoring the car.”
A video telling Barry’s emotional story has been created, and Barry now plans to keep the car – continuing its restoration and showing it at classic car events.
To view Barry’s Volkswagen Beetle story visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXl6mmx3nNs