– by Kerrie Alexander
AT seven years old, an aqua blue dream catcher caught the eye of Kirrily White at a Fraser Coast market. She told her parents on that day that later in life she would own a Volkswagen Beetle in that exact colour.
Now 20, the very same dream catcher hangs from the rear-view mirror of her 1967 Beetle, which Kirrily had colour-matched for a custom metallic respray.
“I said to mum and dad that I wanted my Beetle to be this colour when I buy one and do it up,” Kirrily said. “So, the dream catcher was what really started all the inspiration.”
The restoration project started after Kirrily found the dusty old blue beetle in Howard with plenty of missing parts and hail dents. With the help of her car-orientated family and two-and-a-half-years of costly and time-consuming restoration work after school, work and on weekends – the car is now unrecognisable.
The iconic car appeared across pop culture and is, alongside flares and the peace symbol, a representation of the swinging 60s. In keeping with the time, Kirrily sculpted the gorgeous classic vehicle back to its former glory with her own personal touches added.
The Wide Bay Rodders Car Club member has gone on to place in the Top 10 vehicles twice and won Best European Car at local car shows. She said the white vinyl interior, the bumper bars, classic steering wheel, the chrome trim and no headrests, are standout features of the vehicle.
Timber floorboards were also installed and high heels, along with drinking, smoking, or eating in the car, is strictly against the rules of riding in the Beetle.
“It’s a real 60s theme and that’s what inspired it.
“I never wanted to have a black interior because the 60s was all about right colours and happy times, and I wanted something that would stand out and be in people’s face.
“You look at other old school cars and they either have vinyl or carpet, so I wanted something that was easy to clean, and different.
“It’s flat, so it’s so much easier.” So, how does she drive you might ask? “It drives rough … but that’s the joy of old cars,” she said.
“It gives you goose bumps every time you go to drive it.”
BEETLE FAST FACTS
• Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian automotive engineer, created the Volkswagen Beetle after receiving a contract from Hitler in 1934 for prototypes. Beginning in 1938 and ending in 2003, the Beetle was in production for a whopping 65 years, the longest a vehicle has been produced in history.
• When production began in 1938, the public simply referred to the stylish little car as “Volkswagen” or “people’s car”. That same year The New York Times referred to the Volkswagen as a Beetle and the name caught on.
• Beginning in 1938 and ending in 2003, the Beetle was in production for a whopping 65 years, the longest a vehicle has been produced in history.