BACK TOGETHER: Volkswagen reunited Barry Openshaw with the Beetle from his childhood. Well, sort of... Image: NewsPress
England - Family holidays, impromptu road trips, having fun with your mates... there's something special about your childhood car.
Do you wish you could reunite with your childhood ride? For one Volkswagen Beetle fan, his dream of seeing his father's car one last time was made a reality.
Volkswagen says it has received thousands of responses from fans sharing their memories of its cars.
Among the many great memories was a tale of Manchester pub-restaurant manager, Barry Openshaw, who reminiscences about his dad’s Volkswagen Beetle 1300 from the 1970s.
READ: Stranger agrees to restore this driver's classic 1973 VW Beetle
Barry, 43, said: “My dad, Ron, bought the Beetle back in 1973. It was a unique colour because it was gold! It felt quite special. He used to take me to Southport, sit me on his lap and I used to steer the car - just up the beach. We did a lot together.
“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.”
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Hunting a Beetle
Stirred by his recollections, Volkswagen decided to reunite Barry with the beloved Beetle and set about tracing it.
While the actual car was unavailable, the brand did manage to source an identical model which was painstakingly re-sprayed and restored.
Gallery: #YourVW - Taking one Beetle lover 'back to the 70s'
Classic handing over
Barry’s brother Keith was flown over from Canada to present him with the classic Beetle, on the beach where he drove it on his dad’s lap all those years ago. Speaking after the emotional handover, Barry said: “I feel humbled to have this Beetle. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and it looks like new! It really takes me back to my time as a kid in the 70s.”
READ: This 1974 VW Beetle could sell for more than R700 000
Volkswagen Communications Manager 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 as often as he can.