Volkswagen produced a few promotional items for the Last Edition Beetles, including flags and descriptive boards to allow dealers to spruce up their showroom displays and explain the significance of the model. Very few of these items have survived, but we know a couple of owners who've got examples lovingly preserved. If anyone out there can provide us with some better photos or scans of any of these articles to display on the website, they'll be gratefully received.
This is our only photo of a Last Edition Beetle in an original showroom display. It shows LEB number 194, and was taken at Martins-Cartune Ltd of Ormesby Rd, Middlesborough on 10th January 1978.
Here's one of the descriptive boards from a showroom display. This example came from at a VW dealership in the Isle of Wight, eventually finding its way into Julie's loving embrace in April 2017. This magnificent example of the copywriter's art reads thus:
This is one of the last gallant 600 in Britain. First created over 40 years ago, the Beetle has become a legend in the history of the motor car. Loveable and ever reliable, the Beetle is a breed apart. Your very last chance to buy a part of motoring history. The Last Edition.
Like any self-respecting tribe, we have our own standard. The LEB banner was included in the promotional material supplied to dealers when the cars were new, but very few examples have survived. Julie owns two of them, and we're aware of at least one other. The first one Julie obtained was purchased from a mystery man who found her at the LEB Register display at Stanford Hall in 2005. He'd been harbouring it for many years, and was very pleased to exchange it for a sizeable wad of beer vouchers.
In 2003, we decided to mark the 25th anniversary of the Last Edition Beetles with the production of a limited edition of commemorative plaques. These were designed to be very similar to the original numbered plaques supplied with (some of) the cars, but at the same time readily distinguishable so as to prevent any confusion. The new ones are shinier (stainless steel), slightly heavier gauge, and the lettering is embossed and filled rather than just painted on. They should outlast most other LEB components ! We took care only to supply the anniversary plaques to bonafide LEB owners, and completely sold out.
In 2008, we thought it was worth celebrating another five years of Last Edition Beetling, and had another small batch of plaques made.
There aren't many of these about. Jim McLachlan celebrated the 21st birthday of his Last Edition Beetle, number 91, with the production of a limited edition of just 21 model cars. These 1:43 scale models are based on the Corgi Toys 'Motoring Memories' Beetle.