Whether you drive it for business or pleasure, racking up those miles and memories together is what makes us value our cars so much. But then there comes a day when your car has given its all and you have to part with it unless you’re lucky enough like this lady from California.
Kathleen Brooks bought her first-ever VW Beetle in December 1966 from a dealership in Riverside, California. The car, which was dubbed “Annie,” went on to serve Brooks for over half a century.
Brooks, 73, has been a three-time cancer survivor herself and now works to provide comfort for breast cancer patients and survivors.
Annie was her daily source of transportation. In the last five decades, it had amassed a whopping 350,000 miles. That’s enough to circle the globe 14 times.
However, the years definitely took their toll, and Annie was beginning to show signs of aging. Her coat had lost its luster, the engine was faltering, and rust slowly began to devour her body.
In a video posted by Volkswagen, Brooks laughed as she said: “I’ve said many times she and I are so much alike because she’s old, she’s faded, she’s dinged, she’s dented, she’s rusted, but you know what? She keeps running.”
“And as long as I take as good care of her as I can, she’s going to continue to run,” she added.
The bond between Brooks and Annie was so incredibly special that Volkswagen of North America took notice of it. To the sheer delight of Brooks, they offered to restore Annie and make her look brand-new again.
Volkswagen of America’s executive vice president for sales and marketing, Derrick Hatami said: “We often hear stories of dedicated Volkswagen owners, but there was something special about Kathleen and Annie that we felt we needed to honor.”
Brooks and her beloved Annie were then separated for a period of 11 months, as her car was shipped to a Volkswagen factory in Puebla, Mexico.
A team of 60 engineers was assigned to work on the car in order to restore it to factory-quality specifications.
In their quest to get the car back to its best shape, they left no stone unturned as they replaced 40 percent of the car’s parts and restored 357 original components.
Annie was completely rewired, with the suspension upgraded, the transmission rebuilt, and the engine overhauled. The names “Kathleen” and “Annie” were even embroidered into the leather to give the seats a personal touch.
With Annie’s interiors being refurbished to factory-model condition and equipped with an AM/FM/Bluetooth stereo, she was all ready to be reunited with her lovely owner.
“This isn’t just a Beetle, it’s a member of her family, and after all the time our employees have spent with this special vehicle, we feel Annie is a part of our family as well,” Hatami added.
Project manager Augusto Zamudio said that the objective was not to create a “museum-quality Beetle” but to ensure that Brooks would soon get to drive and enjoy Annie for many more years to come.
For Brooks, the period in which she was separated from Annie proved to be really trying. Ever since she bought her in 1966, Annie has held a “constant” presence in her life.
“She’s been with me through everything,” she said.
Speaking about her immense love for Annie, she added, “She’s not a part of me, but she’s an extension of me.”
When the fully restored Annie was presented to Brooks, she was simply rapturous. She penned a heartfelt letter to the VW team thanking them for their selfless act.
“This was a labor of love for all of us,” Zamudio responded. “It was emotional to see Annie go after all the time we have spent working on her, but we are happy Kathleen and her can be reunited.”
As Annie is ready to accompany her owner through the ups and downs of life yet again, we can’t help but smile at this amazing reunion.
Watch the video below:
Kathleen Brooks bought her first Beetle in December 1966 in Riverside, Calif.—a red 1967 model she quickly named “Annie.” Ever since, Annie has been Kathleen’s daily transportation, racking up more than 350,000 miles over 51 years, or enough to circle the globe 14 times, and Kathleen, now 73, still drives Annie to work.—#Volkswagen #VW #Beetle #ByeByeBeetle
Nai-post ni Cowell VW noong Lunes, Disyembre 31, 2018