Sure, it was a gloomy day on the whole and it was raining fat Persian cats and dogs, but there wasn’t one gloomy face in the gang that reflected the greyness of the atmosphere. Why, you ask? Well, because we were surrounded by 13 of the cutest and the brightest classic Volkswagen Beetles around, not to forget some of the most cheerful and passionate Beetle owners you’d come across. Business Standard Motoring, together with Volkswagen, had organised a classic Volkswagen Beetle rally over the last weekend, and we had a great time driving down to the Volkswagen plant in Chakan near Pune, 13 Bugs in tow.
The real driving force behind the rally was a bunch of incredibly passionate individuals who own the cars and who turned up despite dreary conditions. They’re a bunch that really love their cars. It’s not hard to see why, either. The original Volkswagen Beetle is a hallmark in automotive design and the swoopy, bug-eyed people’s car melts your heart sooner rather than later. Beetles of all colours, customisations and generations turned up . There was even a soft-top Beetle and a fast, customised 2.0-litre engined Bug. Some of the pristine Beetles charmed us senseless with their bodywork, running gear and tastefully retro interiors. The drive down to Chakan had its own set of challenges — bad roads, worsening weather and traffic jams — but the Bugs took it all head-on and rolled through just fine.
In fact, they were doing such good time that we were having a hard time keeping up with the cheery cars in a Skoda Yeti! Later, Volkswagen Group Chief Representative India and President and Managing Director, John Chacko and Alexander Skibbe, head of communications, Volkswagen India, received the Beetle owners club at the Volkswagen plant and a one-on-one chat with each member of the club, curious about the stories behind the cars. The VolksWagen plant visit was well-received by the gang and so was the surprise DuPont had lined up afterwards — custom-made car covers, tailored for the classic Beetle! All in all, it was a great day out, with lots of fun, and the Beetle owners certainly showed that the joy of motoring is as much about the people behind the machines as it is about the machines themselves.
To see more lovely pictures of the rally, click on 'More Photos' link below the main photo