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
- ZDI 455
- (a) Type:
- Type 1
- (b) Year:
- (c) Colour:
- Diamon Silver Metallic
- (d) Paint code:
- (e) Engine CCs:
- (a) Country of origin:
- United Kingdom
- (b) County first reg'd:
- (c) Current or last known location:
Last Edition Beetle
This is a rare Beetle to surface these days. Even more so on these shores as this particular model wasn’t sold here so any that you might happen across are all bound to be imports. Nevertheless, this one bears a genuine Original Irish registration. How can that be? Read on to find out!
First of all, some background info. The car in question, ZDI 455, is a “Last Edition Beetle”. It was one of a very limited batch of only 300 cars sold in the UK to mark the end of Beetle production in Europe in 1978 and accordingly, the end of Beetle sales in the UK. In general terms, the LEB is just another ordinary ’78 1200 Beetle. There are no performance additions or factory accessories. What sets the model apart from the last of the late model Beetles is that fabulous Diamond Silver Metallic (L97A) paint job and the tasteful blue velour interior. The only other feature that marks this as a Special Edition is the dash plaque that was affixed to the glovebox door. It was unique to each car in the batch and identified the car’s sequential number from 1 to 300.
Back to the car we have photographed here. The current owner, Gordon Minchin and his dad found this car resting in Enfield, Co. Meath, where it had been for the last 15 years. The last tax disk expired in 2000 and the story goes that it had been retired in 2000 and bought but not used five years later. Through our research at Beetle.ie, we have determined that the car was originally registered in the UK circa February 1978 but in January 1980, less than two years into its career was imported to Ireland, Roscommon to be specific. Hence the original Irish registration number ZDI 455. It was sold to a Sligo based owner in 1987 and lived there until the Co. Meath owner bought it in 2005 but obviously never used it. Gordon and his dad took ownership this year, 2020.
It appears to be unrestored and still bears its factory Diamond Silver Metallic paint. There are a few areas that need tidying up but Gordon says that the floors are solid. It wasn’t running when they got it but with a bit of diagnostic work, they realised the starter motor was the problem, changed it for a working one and lo and behold! ZDI 455 lived again!! Incidentally, the original 1200cc engine in the car was replaced at some stage with another 1200cc engine.
ZDI still bears its unique dash plaque, identifying it as number 294 of 300, so almost the last of the Last Edition Beetles! The blue interior appears to be in good shape too.
While it would be a fantastic Beetle to hold onto, Gordon and his dad have decided they will let it go to a new custodian. If you are interested in ZDI 455, a rare Last Edition Beetle bearing a legitimate Original Irish registration, then please get in touch with Gordon on 087 4390151
** Credit for the main photo here goes to Shane Arnold, dated circa 1990s **
Submitted by: Gordon Minchin>