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VW Beetle with unique Glasurit finish wins 'Best in Show'

New Zealand 2021 VW Nationals provides a walk down memory lane.

A former spray painter with a love for older generation Volkswagens recently earned ‘Best In Show’ at the 2021 VW Nationals held in Kapiti, just north of Wellington, New Zealand with his beloved Beetle featuring a unique finish with BASF’s premium refinish brand Glasurit.

Noel Williamson has been around Volkswagens for many years after what started as a bit of a hobby, turned into a passion project. “I was away from Volkswagens for about 20 years, and about 12 years ago I re-kindled my love for them,” said Noel.

With a few VW vehicles under his belt, Noel’s recent ‘Best In Show’ success came from his iconic Beetle known across the world for its shape and charm.

“I bought the vehicle for the show about 20 months ago, we had a swap meet at my workshop and a chap that I had never met before had a bunch of photos of the car he was selling,” recalls Noel. “I thought it was a good car to buy and put it back to how I wanted it to be.”

The gentleman that Noel  purchased the Beetle from was a very good VW mechanic, so a lot of the mechanical work had already been done, but the body was in a shocking state of repair and required a full body restoration, which Noel completed over a 12 month period.

“Thanks to COVID I had a fair bit of time. I did a hell of a lot of work on it during the lockdown in New Zealand and Craig Walker [Glasurit distributor from Specialised & Automotive Coatings Ltd.] obviously has helped me a lot,” said Noel. “I’m an ex-spray painter, I run an automotive detailing company so I got everything done in my workshop right up until final coats, which was done by a Glasurit shop.”

With no intention of the car being a show piece, Noel admits “it just got out of hand”. With a great eye for detail, his pursuit of perfection to finish the car to the standard of the vision he had set for himself may have been a blessing in disguise.

When asked why he chose to refinish his beloved Beetle in BASF’s premium automotive refinish brand Glasurit, Noel simply said, “I am an old Glasurit painter from way back. I love the fact that it does have Glasurit on the car” adding, “When Glasurit first came to New Zealand 30 something years ago, the person that actually brought it into New Zealand was a friend of mine and he got me to try it out. I used to paint AC Cobras, and it was our ‘go to’ product just because of the versatility of the product and the high-end finish. I know it’s only got better and better over the years. I’m a Glasurit guy through and through.”

It was through his relationship with Craig Walker that Noel was directed to a quality paint technician using the brand he has grown to appreciate. “Craig has been extremely helpful right the way through with product knowledge,” said Noel. “I have been out of the trade so long, he helped me through quite a few things in regards to epoxy etch primers and to go through the process with the black primer on the car as well.”

The decision to refinish the vehicle in a unique combination of half gloss, half black satin seemed to be easy for Noel. “People loved it [the finish], it was the combination of the two [matt and satin] with all the trim that’s usually chrome being blackened out also,” he said.

The 2021 VW Nationals attracted approximately 187 vehicles including Kombis, Beetles and everything VW. The event drew a large crowd of car lovers which was supported with music events, food trucks, and sponsored by local craft brewery company ‘Panhead’. “We had a lot of fun, it was more of a casual coastal vibe,” said Noel.

The main event was held at the Southward Car Museum, with an evening dinner attended by an estimated 270 people. It was at this event that Noel’s beloved Beetle was awarded Best in Show. An award decided by 10 judges from all around New Zealand. “We had contestants involved who were husband and wife teams, father and daughter, males and females. All who have been involved with VW for a long time.”

Why VW’s? “They just put smiles on peoples faces. Whether you are old or young, people still know what a VW Beetle is.”

Noel intends to continue to show the Beetle at as many shows as he can. Future projects are not far from the handwork of Noel, his next being a VW Fastback Type 3 model he intends to refurbish with his daughter, with the intention of continuing to use Glasurit paints.

We look forward to seeing Noel’s next family passion project bring us more joy!