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Beetle Mania: VW Beetle Owners Show Custom Rides at Beetle Sunshine Tour

Sections: Aftermarket, Installations

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VW Beetle owners from far and wide, driving every imaginable customization of all three major generations of the Beetle, assembled over the weekend of August 17 and 18 for the ninth annual Beetle Sunshine Tour on Europe’s Baltic Coast. Here’s a look at some of the rides:

In a press release (media credential required), Volkswagen said in all, 414 customized Beetles, ranging from those with neon wheels to pickup truck conversions to race-tuned models, participated in the event. All generations of the car were represented — the original Beetle, the New Beetle, and the latest generation, which VW called The Beetle in this release. Yes, they capitalized the “The,” perhaps as a way to differentiate it from the original simply known as Beetle.

But enough about that. You came here to see some photos. While our budget is not so fat as to allow us to fly to the Baltic Coast and nab photos, Volkswagen was cool enough to take several photos at the event and share them:

Knitted Robe on New Beetle Cabriolet

The completely knitted robe of this New Beetle Cabriolet owned by Marthe and Magnus Schwarz earned the car the “Most Beautiful Beach Beetle of the Year” title at Beetle Sunshine Tour 2013, as voted on by fellow tour participants. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

The knitted sweater worn by the New Beetle Cabriolet owned by Marthe and Magnus Schwarz looks super-keen, but I shudder to think what happens when it gets rained on. Does it shrink up? Do its colors run? It would be pretty cool to be able to completely change your car’s demeanor by changing its “clothes,” I must say. This outfit would be great for parties, as the Sunshine Tour is pretty much a party. Perhaps for business, the Schwarzes have knitted a body wrap inspired by an Armani suit?

New Beetle Flower Power

This New Beetle displayed its “flower power” with photo-realistic enormous daisies and roses all over its exterior. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

I’m not sure who owns this New Beetle, nor am I sure whether those flowers are painted onto the car the old-fashioned way or if it’s one of those photo-realistic vinyl wraps I’m seeing used a lot in commercial applications nowadays– Volkswagen didn’t provide that information with the photo. But either way, this takes VW Beetle “flower power” to a whole new level for me. The flowers look very realistic. If they’re painted on the sheet metal, my applause to the artist, because getting automotive paint to look this photo-realistic is no small feat.

New Beetle Coupe Tuner

This tuned New Beetle Coupe is captured in repose in front of Luebeck’s Holsten-Gate during Beetle Sunshine Tour 2013. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

The Volkswagen photo people once again didn’t say who owned this nicely customized New Beetle Coupe, but I’m a fan of the body kit. I especially like how the front turn signals are revised to be more modern looking — perhaps those are indeed LEDs; I can’t be sure. I also really like how the body kit’s side moldings harken back to the original Beetle’s running boards. Finally, given the “Let the Music Play” inscription on the side of this New Beetle, I’ve got to wonder what kind of killer sound gear might be hiding within its bubble-topped interior.

Pickup Truck conversion for New Beetle

This pickup truck by way of New Beetle was displayed at the ninth annual Beetle Sunshine Tour. (Photo courtesy Volkswagen)

OMG I MUST HAVE IT! A brown Bug pickup truck? Why hasn’t Volkswagen been building this all along? Big props to the owner, whoever he or she may be, for making the proper color choice as well as incorporating not just an old-school stepside look but also an equally old-school exhaust stack.

Seeing all these customized Beetles makes me wonder: What’s your favorite customized Beetle? A fiberglass-bodied rail buggy? A tubbed-out drag Bug? Tell me about it in the comments. Bonus points for you (don’t worry, like Whose Line Is It Anyway, “The points don’t matter,”) if you link us to photos!

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