What keeps this Beetle running? Love.
A holiday homecoming: Volkswagen Beetle owner of 51 years reunited with 'Annie' after once-in-a-lifetime factory restoration.
Eleven-month project with Puebla team members celebrates a dedicated California Beetle owner
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 an 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.
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.