WHI 357

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WARNING.— The person in whose name this vehicle is displayed may or may not be the current owner of the vehicle. Readers are warned, therefore, that this entry is not proof of ownership.


Registration Mark
WHI 357
(a) Type:
Type 1
(b) Year:
(c) Colour:
(d) Paint code:
(e) Engine CCs:


(a) Country of origin:
(b) County first reg'd:
Tipperary South Riding
(c) Current or last known location:

Model information

1200 Beetle Deluxe


This Beetle and its information comes courtesy of Robin Wager from the long since defunct VW Motoring Magazine who very kindly gave us permission to use the images. The photos and the magazine show report was done by Aongus MacCana after he attended the 1992 running of the Beetles Reunion in Limerick.

‘The Spirit of VW’ Mary Lonergan and her 175k mile 1969 1200 Beetle. Photographed by Aongus

Aongus’ show report is an excellent snapshot in time and shows how the scene has changed from what it was back then to how it is now. One thing that really jumped out from the report was the comment that there were ‘only 200 Beetles’ there that day. If we were lucky enough to get anywhere near that number at a show today the place would go insane! How times have changed!

Aongus gave a lovely description of him seeing this Beetle in the lineup and how it stood out from the many other Beetles. The description was funny and he captured it brilliantly, and as some of a certain age would recall, he nailed it because that’s the way it was in rural Ireland back then. Have a look at the attached article and you will see that it captures the not only the ‘Spirit of VW’ as intended but Aongus also captures the spirit of the VW scene as it was 30+ years ago. Well done Aongus.

I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Aongus but to me, Aongus was the one person who opened up the Irish VW scene as it was back then, to a UK audience through his reporting on the Irish Volkswagen scene in the UK based VW Motoring Magazine. He was the first to really profile and highlight Irish shows, not only to those of us in Ireland who were not able to make the shows but to the international readership who saw for the first time that Ireland had a vibrant Volkswagen scene. The proof was in the fact that after Aongus’ first show report on the Beetles Reunion in VW Motoring Magazine, the social media of the time, UK based VW enthusiasts travelled over to the Beetles Reunion every year after that, and you can’t get a better endorsement than that. Well done Mr. MacCana.

Back to this Beetle, and what we know is that it was assembled in Dublin in late 1969 before being sent ‘down the country’ to be sold. It was registered on December 19th 1969 in Tipperary South Riding, hence the ‘HI’ registration. Mary Lonergan was typical of so many Beetle owners in the country at the time but sadly, not many were captured for posterity like Aongus thankfully did. The Beetle was a well minded but well used Beetle and these would have been everywhere at one time in Ireland but despite being a workhorse, there was a certain pride taken in maintaining this Beetle as it aged, something we may never see again in terms of car ownership.

Submitted by: Aongus MacCana & Robin Wager

Additional Photos