After being honoured by a cavalcade of Volkswagen cars and vans, the Beetle was officially handed over by Ivan and Beth Hodge to the museum on 28 March.
'It was a wonderful celebration for the Beetle, with family and friends, and all of those fantastic people from MOTAT and Volkswagen who have helped with the Bye Bye Beetle tour,' Ivan said.
The museum's chief executive Michael Frawley said: 'MOTAT is honoured to become the custodian of Ivan and Beth’s VW Beetle to ensure their remarkable story lives on. This vehicle has become a symbol of endurance, dependability, loyalty and innovation. We intend to relay these noble qualities on to our visitors by showcasing the VW Beetle at MOTAT and inspiring them to become like the Hodges – true trailblazers.'
Volkswagen supported the final Bye Bye Beetle tour in New Zealand. Tom Ruddenklau, VW NZ General Manager, said Volkswagen was proud to be involved, and described Ivan and Beth as 'a fantastic couple, who have seen and done so much in their Beetle, and they are always giving back to the community'.
The Beetle has always been a part of the Ivan and Beth's married life and they will miss its presence in their family. But they're keen to share the happiness of their 'love bug' with as many people as possible.
Beth said: 'We hope that the display of our Beetle at the museum, with its special story, will inspire the younger generation to set off on an adventure and explore the world'.