Romping around at the Hawke’s Bay VW Club
Pete Robertson, owner of a vintage VW Beetle in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland
While bugs and bugs might be a little scary for many people, crawling around in an iconic VW bug or station wagon tops the list for many members of the Hawke’s Bay VW Club.
The club was formed in July 2005 when 23 people attended the inaugural meeting at Pakowhai Community Hall. A small group of enthusiasts — Owen Mullis, Rob Barret, Jeremy Dunningham and Selwyn Rowe — became the original members of the main board, says member Julie Williams.
“These were like-minded Volkswagen enthusiasts who wanted to share the joy of ‘VDub’.”
Williams says the club’s goals are to generate interest and encourage the use and maintenance of Volkswagens regardless of age.
“We also want to promote the amateur sport of motorsport for the general pleasure, education and entertainment of the public.”
There are currently 16 financial members, including those in their mid 20s to early 60s couples, with about another 10 prospective and former members attending some of the club’s events.
Williams says there are about 20 V-Dubs at the club, although not all of them are on the road. The club tries to meet once a month, meeting at one location and then traveling to another location for about half an hour to have time for a social gathering.
Recent gatherings have included a Christmas party in Waimarama and overnight camping in Waipatiki. The club has also competed in the New Zealand National Championships, which various clubs may host at Easter.
Anyone who currently drives an old Volkswagen or is interested in restoring an old Volkswagen or drives a newer model can join the club, Williams says.
“Anyone interested in the VW icon – no limits.”
The club has possibly one of the oldest VW station wagons in New Zealand, and while there are no club-based replacement parts for the mostly air-cooled vehicles, Williams says there is a pool of knowledge among members.
“No Google search would be this helpful.”
Members have become friends and take trips each year to the Easter Nationals, the Bulli Campout in Central North Island, Run to the Sun at Mount Maunganui in February and the Knuckle Dragers Campout in March.
Describing the club as a small enthusiastic social group of like-minded people, Williams says they all take great pleasure in belonging.
“It’s great to get out and have a good time and meet like-minded people. I’ve always been hesitant to join a car club because I thought they always talked about a topic but I was surprised I joined, these people are normal , intelligent and enjoys having fun going to social events and go out.”
■ Visit hawkesbayvwclub.co.nz or the Facebook page for more information.