You never forget your first car, as one Beetle enthusiast has found out. The search for this bright green 1973 Beetle continues
The Somerset town of Glastonbury is recognised every summer for its hosting of the world's biggest music festival. In 2015 however, it’s the scene of a tragic four-wheeled love story.
In 2003 Ollie Joseph went to university. Like many, to make his move into higher education he needed to sacrifice a number of home comforts, from home cooked meals to relaxed washing-duties, and made-up beds to his beloved car: a 1973 apple green Volkswagen Beetle.
Ollie purchased the car aged 14, before embarking on a five-year restoration project. After getting ‘Kermit’ up and running, he was forced to sell his project in order to pay for his university fees.
14 years later, and after years of searching, Ollie is yet to be reunited with the car, now believed to be fully restored, with only a stainless steel steering wheel left in his possession from the Bug . ‘I’ve tried everything legal, Ollie tells Classic & Performance Car.
‘So far I’ve approached the police, the DVLA, private detectives, made a Facebook campaign, and attended VW Shows. The last one I went to I got the announcer to ask if anyone had seen it.
‘I even cold-called the person I sold it to, but the car had already been sold on to another person somewhere in Taunton.’
So far the only trace has come via the DVLA, with the car listed as SORN, minus any MOT or tax. Not that that offers any comfort to its pursuer.
‘It’s very frustrating. The hardest bit is knowing that it’s probably within a 50-mile radius of me, and that I’ve probably driven past it in a garage somewhere.
Since finishing university in 2005, Ollie has owned a number of VWs, from Campers to Caddys, but is yet to find a car to fill the hole left by Kermit, a symbol of his adolescence.
‘I remember when I was 17; me, my mates and my girlfriend went down to the ‘Run for the Sun’ VW Show in Newquay. It supposedly has the biggest water fight in Europe every year. We were cruising through the town in the Beetle, firing water guns out of the windows. People were stood outside pubs with water bombs, people in the street were chasing each other and the cars were each firing at each other. The camping, the car, the water fights… they were great memories for me.
‘I’ve been through loads of VWs since the Beetle, like Caddys and slammed Campervans, and the reason is because none of them satisfy me quite like the Beetle.’
Now aged 30, Ollie admits his latest push to find Kermit may be his last, with the necessities of life looming over his emotional car-hunt. ‘I only picked the pace up last year. I need to start growing up and buy a house soon, so I can’t be buying toys that I’m only going to use a couple of times a year for much longer.
‘To find it would mean so much to me. The times and memories I had in that car were just brilliant. I’d love to pass it down my family as a family heirloom, and to share it with my own kids in the future.’
Ollie is asking anyone with information about his beloved ‘Kermit’ to contact him on 07833 706606, as he long to buy back and cherish the car forever.
Words: Joe Diamond