The “World Volkswagen Day” will be celebrated on Sunday the 21st of June in remembrance of this unique motoring marvel that made motoring a way of life with over 21 million examples that found their way into every nook and crevice of the world. Organized by The Volkswagen Beetle Owners Club, the parade will head to Mount Lavinia Hotel where the grand finale will take place.
The event will pay tribute to Mr.Gordon Gunasekara who made his dream come true by driving a VW Kombi Van from Ceylon to the UK way back in 1973. The colonial atmosphere will be transformed into a mini fete with German food and music. Headed by Mount Lavinia Hotel’s own German Chef Michael Goeggerle, the culinary team will dish out popular German snacks and beverages for all those who wish to come and admire the rows of Volkswagen Beetles that will be on display.
Mount Lavinia has a special bond with the history of the VW Beetle in Sri Lanka. Rather co-incidentally, the first VW Beetle was brought to Mount Lavinia with the importation of a fleet of Buses of German origin that was consigned to the order of the Colombo South Motor Bus Company based at Mount Lavinia. Along with the fleet came a German Engineer who brought along with him his trusty 1949 Model VW Beetle that was registered in 1951. This also adds to the great lineage that is shared with VW and Mount Lavinia.
It was over 60 years ago that the first consignment of VW Beetles were introduced to the driving public of Ceylon which began the “wave” of “Beetle mania” that found the ownership of many who took up the challenge against the odds and the criticism of a rear engine air-cooled machine that resembled a “Beetle . The challenge was proven with humble thanks to the un-rivaled reliability, economy and more than all, the light steering and responsive handling that won the hearts of over 3500 owners within a short span of 7 years from 1953 right up to the restriction era of 1960.
The Beetle has created a sense of “joy” to the many generations of owners who have considered the “Bug” as a member of the family which may have been the decisive factor of the World dedicating a “day” for the diminutive Beetle that is celebrated around the Globe. As in the previous events, VW’s of all ages and colours are expected to participate in this year’s celebrations as well. This event is certainly not to be missed by any person who goes “gaga” on “Beetlemania”.