Dreams never die
…for the lucky ones, sometimes a dream comes true.
We used to have a Variant Squareback – in Hermanus.
Hermanus, holiday home, childhood happy days.
When I was 17, we brought the Variant from there. It was supposed to become my and my stepsister’s car. My Dad had her re-sprayed and then he fell in love and the Variant became his pride and joy – his Baby.
Article by Werner Alker
When I got Herbie in ’93, I thought he would not live longer than three months. Actually, his fate was already determined – Spare parts!
My ’69 was stripped and ‘in’ for revamping at the time and should have been done within 3 months. Little did I know that it would take 12 years to get the sprayed body back. In the meantime Herbie did all the work. He even got a re-spray and interior revamp so that I could also park him outside and be seen at club outings and shows. And as time went on I liked him more and more. He had the pleasure (and pressure) to do a few laps at Zwartkop Race Track on an open day. But the best he showed was when I entered in the 1999 African Beetle Marathon, an endurance run over 7500 km around Southern Africa. Herbie did it in style, no breakdown, no punctures and WON. So, there is no way that he would become spares for others. All he needed really, was some pampering, t.l.c etc.
The dream of racing started at an early age for John Kernick, as many weekends were spent next to the East London race track with his father, who not only worked for Dunlop at the time, but also planted the first seeds for his son, grandsons and great grandsons’ racing passion.
John made his dream of racing a reality in 1958, when he and a friend built their first go-kart. Because of their height difference and the fact that they shared the same kart, it was decided to move the foot pedals to the nose of the kart in front of the tie rods, unlike all other karts of that era, which positioned their pedals behind the tie rods. The kart wasn’t the only thing that they shared. Early days and empty pockets forced them to borrow a helmet on race days from their local delivery man.