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1967 Volkswagen Beetle Restoration

| Video | 08.12.2018

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.

After hearing about Kathleen and Annie’s special relationship last year, Volkswagen’s North American Region undertook a unusual project—offering to restore Annie at the North American home of the Beetle at the Puebla, Mexico, factory. Over the past 11 months, a team of some 60 Volkswagen employees and trainees reworked Annie back to factory-quality specs, with several custom touches that celebrate Kathleen’s dedication. This week, Kathleen and Annie were reunited, and Kathleen met key members of the Volkswagen team that led the restoration.

“We often hear stories of dedicated Volkswagen owners, but there was something special about Kathleen and Annie that we felt we needed to honor,” said Derrick Hatami, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The original Beetle launched our business in the United States. 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.”

Brooks works with breast-cancer patients and survivors to provide comfort and cosmetic care during treatment and recovery. A three-time breast cancer survivor herself, Brooks says for over five decades Annie was a constant conversation starter with Beetle fans and owners, but also “always there for me.” “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,” says Brooks with a laugh. “And as long as I take as good care of her as I can, she’s going to continue to run.”

Even with Brooks’ best efforts, Annie had several needs when her restoration began in Puebla early this year, from a floor pan rusted through to the ground in spots to suspension, transmission and electrical challenges. Over 11 months, the Puebla team replaced roughly 40 percent of Annie’s parts and restored 357 original pieces, down to recreating the stickers that Brooks had added to the body and windows over the years. To properly restore her faded red paint, the team matched the original shade from the inside of the glovebox, sandblasted the body, repaired with a mix of period-correct and updated parts, and then reassembled.

Several parts of the vehicle were restored with better than their original factory parts, from the disc brakes that were an upgrade on later Beetles produced in Mexico to the AM/FM/Bluetooth stereo designed to mimic the look and feel of original Beetle radios. The wiring was completely redone; the transmission rebuilt and suspension upgraded. The engine was completely disassembled, cleaned, updated and rebuilt. Even the seats received a special touch, with “Kathleen” and “Annie” embroidered in a classic VW font over new leather. And to tie the car to the modern era, the car’s toolkit and jack was painted in deep sea teal metallic, the color of the 2018 Beetle Coast edition.

The goal, says project manager and mechatronics engineer Augusto Zamudio, was not to create a museum quality Beetle, but to bring Annie back to a state where Kathleen could drive and enjoy her for many more years to come.

“When Annie arrived, our team members quickly understood the connection Kathleen had with her car and embraced this project wholeheartedly,” said Steffen Reiche, CEO of Volkswagen of Mexico. “Restoring this car posed a number of challenges, but also provided a demonstration of the dedication we put into every Volkswagen we build.”

When Brooks parted with Annie, she wrote a heartfelt note to the Puebla team members thanking them for their efforts and asking them to take care of her special car. Zamudio says the feeling is mutual – and the team wrote Brooks back a note of their own.

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Nissan GT-R50 By Italdesign Heads Into Production

| Auto News, Design/Style | 08.12.2018

Only 50 units of the Italian-bodied GT-R will be made. Nissan has approved the GT-R50 by Italdesign for production. Created to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and Italdesign, the striking supercar is based on the latest GT-R Nismo but features unique body panels  and a customized interior created by the Turin-based design house. […]

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World Exclusive! Kramer GP2 Prototype First Ride

| Moto News | 08.12.2018

World Exclusive! Kramer GP2 Prototype – First Ride
Trizzle gets a world exclusive first ride – and race! – of the Kramer GP2 prototype, powered by the KTM 790 Duke Twin more Trizzle gets a world exclusive first ride – and race! – of the Kramer GP2 prototype, powered by the KTM 790 Duke Twin more www.motorcycle.com

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Honda Announces Promising New Fluoride-ion Battery Tech

| Auto News | 08.12.2018

The new batteries are 10 times more energy efficient than today’s lithium-ion tech. While some automakers are betting on solid-state batteries to be the next big breakthrough in the world of electric cars, Honda has been quietly polishing an entirely different breed of batteries that it hopes will one day displace lithium-ion chemistry. Scientists from […]

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2020 Audi E-Tron First Drive Review | Electrifying progress through technology

| Green | 07.12.2018

Filed under: Green,Audi,Crossover,Electric,Luxury

The E-Tron will be the first EV luxury SUV from an established brand.

Continue reading 2020 Audi E-Tron First Drive Review | Electrifying progress through technology

2020 Audi E-Tron First Drive Review | Electrifying progress through technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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