50 Years Of Driving, Woman’s Volkswagen Beetle Is Restored To Mint Condition

Kathleen Brooks bought her first Beetle in December 1966 in Riverside, Calif.—a red 1967 model she quickly named “Annie.” Ever since, Annie has been Kathleen’s daily transportation, racking up more than 350,000 miles over 51 years, or enough to circle the globe 14 times, and Kathleen, now 73, still drives Annie to work.

Brooks works with breast cancer patients and survivors to provide comfort and cosmetic care during treatment and recovery. She’s also a three-time breast cancer survivor herself. If anyone deserves a free factory restoration for their car, it’s her.

After hearing about Kathleen and Annie’s special relationship, Volkswagen’s North American Region undertook a unusual project—offering to restore Annie at the North American home of the Beetle at the Puebla, Mexico, factory. Volkswagen took 11 months at the company’s Mexico factory to fully restore Brooks’ Beetle, replacing 40 percent of its parts, and saving 357 individual pieces. The restoration team even went as far as to recreate all of the original stickers Brooks put on the car over her years of ownership. In order to restore the paint to its original condition, the team took the color from inside the glove box and matched it to the sandblasted, restored chassis.