Tuesday, July 1, 2014

VW Clocks Up 511,000 Miles

The Sun (UK) - July 10, 2000

Cab driver Brian Sanders is halfway to his first million - in miles travelled in his trusty VW. Brian has driven his J-registered dark red 1992 VW Caravelle people carrier 511,000 miles - further than a trip to the moon and back - in just six years. He has worn out three clutches and a gearbox, but the original engine is still going strong. Proud Brian, 56, said "By all accounts she's clocked up more miles than any other VW on the road in Britain. She's been my pride and joy for six years and she's never once let me down. The engine sounds as sweet now as it ever did." His main route is taking holiday-makers between Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and Manchester Airport, has taken good care of his vehicle since he paid £14,000 for it. He said "The gap between services is only 5,000 miles and sometimes I do that in 10 days, but I've never missed taking her in to be checked over. I've gone through five service manuals, and in return she's just run and run." Brian, who started driving after being made redundant from his job as a colliery under-manager, added: "I just fell in love with the Caravelle when I saw her parked on the dealer's forecourt. The way she's running now, I reckon she'll reach a million miles without any problem at all."

Source: willspin.com

Englishman Who Saved Volkswagen Dies At The Age of 84

Major lvan Hirst, the British army officer who played such an important part in the resurrection of Volkswagen after the war, died last Friday 10 March 2000 at the age of 84.

He was posted to Germany as a member of the British REME in the summer of 1945, with responsibility for the management of the Volkswagen factory. He once said: "Nobody gave me a real brief - I was just told to go there and do something."

In difficult conditions, and against the predictions of prominent members of the British motor industry, Hirst
was successful, not only in re-starting production of the Volkswagen Beetle, but placing Volkswagen on a commercial footing for the first time as a motor vehicle manufacturer. In 1947 he appointed Heinrich Nordhoff, who took over as General Director and steered the fate of the factory from 1 January 1948.

lvan followed the fortunes of Volkswagen and its products right up to the very end of his life. He maintained frequent contact by telephone and in writing with his friends at Volkswagen in the UK and in Germany and was among the first people in Britain to try the New Beetle.

He frequently welcomed to his home authors, TV producers and motoring historians keen to speak to a living legend. These visitors, encountering lvan for the first time, always reported meeting a highly intelligent man who talked factually and with great warmth and modesty about the part he played. From his background in optical and mechanical engineering, accuracy was important to him. This quickly became clear to any journalist who interviewed him for their reporting would be challenged if was riot faithful to the truth.
Major Hirst's last letter to Volkswagen, received at the end of February, made constructive comments on a recent document on the history of the Volkswagen Transporter in which he was credited with developing the first Volkswagen load carrier, the Plattenwagen, and told Volkswagen how happy he was with the Golf V5 automatic which he bought last year.
Though he played an amazing part in the history of the Volkswagen Beetle, awarded "The Car of the Century" accolade at the Auto 1 Awards In Geneva this month, it was not his style to talk about these things unless asked. Many local shop keepers and cafe owners who would know this dignified and friendly old gentleman as their regular customer would not have known of his legendary status as the saviour of what is now Europe's largest car company.

Source: wheelspin.com

Life As A Billboard

Carissa Green is now used to the honking, waving and cheering she normally gets when she drives around town in her Volkswagen. But the film choreographer says taking her silver New Beetle to a movie premiere can be quite embarrassing.
Web ad for using the New Beetle as a billboard  
About a year ago, she hooked up with Freecar.com and had her brand new car wrapped in Jamba Juice advertisements. What once was a shiny metallic vehicle now has the company's mascot, "Super Wheat Grass Dude," and colorful logos completely enveloping the frame. 

Freecar.com started up in October 1999 but really only picked up clients and customers in the last few months. There are now nearly 200 cars in Los Angeles wrapped in advertisements for such corporations as Sprint, Rawlings, Yahoo, Lycos, Sega and others. 

Drivers pick what kind of advertisement they want their car wrapped in or they may opt to receive a new car, the most popular being New Beetles and SUVs, from Freecar.com, said Keith Powers, the company's co-founder. The cars are wrapped in sheets of adhesive vinyl film that are removed upon completion of the contract. Freecar.com pays for any damage because of the graphics. 

A global positioning system is placed inside each vehicle so sponsors know the exact location of their rolling billboards. In turn, advertisers pay anywhere from $750 to $1,200 per month for the service. 

Since Carissa Green started driving her juiced-out car, all of her friends have signed up for the program, although she admits they were a little leery at first about the ostentatious look of her New Beetle. 

"Any embarrassing moments I may have had, like going to a premiere, are completely negated by all the positive things the car has brought to my life," says Carissa, who has worked on the film "The Shadow" and various television programs. 

"My friends thought it might be cheesy. But now they see it's a real hip thing to do for some extra cash
Pete Frost

Source: wheelspin.com