Proud to be Beetlenuts

Hobby club

The Beetle Club in Bangalore is a group of around 30 people bound by their common love for the iconic little car with its distinctive round shape. Founded in 1997 by Dr Shamsundar and his wife Chitra, the club meets every month.

“We are true ‘Beetlenuts’. Once you get bitten by the ‘bug’ you are addicted for life and often the addiction passes down generations,” laughs Chitra.
The most senior member is Air Commodore M K Chandrashekar, who drove his Beetle for 22 years all over the world.

“My two children virtually grew up in the rear of the ‘Ladybug’. We would suspend their baby bassinets between the two coat hangers in the back.

Once they grew up, we passed our Beetle to one of my junior officers whose children fell in love with the car. But in 1993, I got a wonderful surprise when my son gifted me with this one on my birthday. She is the only beetle with an air-conditioner and power windows customised to suit her size, shape and engine,” he says.

Pradeep, a 24-year-old businessman is the youngest member of the club and owns three beetles.
“My father had one when I was five and I simply love it. As soon as I came of legal driving age I bought my first beetle in Bangalore and have acquired two more since then,” he enthuses.

Vikram, another beetle nut, says, “As collectors who share a  passion, we, Beetle enthusiasts have a lot in common. We get together and exchange tips on how to keep our cars in shape, source for spares and solve engine problems.”
“The car is a marvel of German engineering with a one of a kind engine that is air cooled,” he adds.

Byas Nambiar, a finance guy with an engineering background has lovingly restored his beetle from scratch, re-doing the upholstery, paint and engine work himself. “It’s a labour of love,” he smiles.

“The Beetle is a true icon, built in the 30s by Ferdinand Porsche, commissioned
by Hitler. It was made to withstand the most rigorous car testing ever devised
and its water resistant sun roof, tubeless tyres and acrylic paints in vibrant shades are a testament to great German engineering that no other car manufacturer can match. It’s a trouble free car and will serve you well if you look after it,” adds Chandrashekar.

“A Beetle is more like a pet or a member of the family, not just a mode of transportation. Driving around in one you feel like a rock star because people on the street always smile and wave at a Beetle driving by. We look forward to welcoming the new version to India while reminding them that we, vintage car owners, are still very much around,” says Shamsundar.

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