Finally, and some would say most importantly, Beetle.ie has a goal in life. That goal is to capture all of this history, your history, your photos and your stories and publish them all in the most comprehensive history of VW in Ireland. This book will not only look at the extraordinary life of Stephen O’Flaherty and the VW story that he brought to Ireland but will include previously unpublished photos from the early days in the factory, tales from people who worked there at the height or VW production but it will also highlight the VW ‘show scene’ from its infancy in the late 1970’s and 1980’s through to present day. The scene has evolved, people have come and gone, trends have most definitely come and gone and now it’s time to immortalise our history once and for all.
We are encouraging people to tell us their stories, and there are thousands! As anyone who has owned or owns a classic aircooled VW can attest, the simple task of filling up with petrol can take an eternity because any aircooled VW will attract conversations and curious questioning from people of all ages and walks of life. Some may look longingly at your VW while they recall their own VW from back in the day, one that served them well no doubt while others will regale you with stories from their youth, which was spent in the back, behind the rear seat and how each trip meant a hot bottom from the engine behind.
It is fair to say that Ireland embraced the Beetle and its siblings and in return, those plucky little aircooled VWs got the people of Ireland motoring.
In researching Beetle.ie Cathal has interviewed mechanics who served their time on aircooled VWs, the franchise dealers as well as countless owners. Each one has an unending array of stories which are often unbelievable, nearly always funny but more importantly, our VW history which is why Beetle.ie became a reality.