This final special edition (badged Ultima Edicion), that more significantly marks final production of the air-cooled Beetle, was unveiled on Thursday 10th July, 2003 at a presentation at the Volkswagen plant where it is built in Puebla, east of Mexico City. VW Mexico will make only 3000 of the last edition which brings together aspects of the car’s 70 year history.
The edition comes in either LB1M Harvestmoon Beige or LB5B Aquarius blue paintwork, 1.6 engine, whitewall tires, a CD player with four speakers plus chrome bumpers, trim, hub caps and exterior mirrors, Wolfsburg symbol on bonnet above handle, chrome glove box badge, colour coded wheels, tinted glass, rear parcel shelf, VW Ultima Edicion plaque.
At 84,000 pesos, it costs about $1,300 more than the typical old-style Beetle. Final production of all Beetles ended in Puebla on 30th July, 2003 after 70 years of production worldwide. Some also produced in a light Metallic Blue and one out of 3,000 Ultima Edicion Beetles was painted in Snap Orange (LD2B) – not the “Salsa Red” of the last Standard Beetles. This car was a special request from Prof. Wilfried Bockelmann, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand, with responsibility for ‘Technical Development (information courtesy Luis Manuel Lopez).
Some years later, there were rumours on internet sites and social media of the existence of an Última Edición painted in red. Many things were said, such as “It’s a reproduction”, “It was a special order from Wolfsburg” and “It was a special order for the CEO of the VW Group”, etc, etc. Well, there was an element of truth in in the comments…
It wasn’t long before images were leaked to the press of an Última Edición painted in Snap Orange (LD2B). This unusual car is very much a genuine Última Edición and was ordered like this from Wolfsburg by its owner who was, at the time, Member of the Development Board of Volkswagen Group, Professor Wilfried Bockelmann (1942-2017) who was said to be a big fan and promoter of the Mexican Vocho.
The unique car attended several events in Germany, Switzerland and Austria where it was a big hit. For several years, Herr Bockelmann enjoyed his Snap Orange Última, until sadly he died in 2017 at the age of 75.
Following his death, Herr Bockelmann’s children made the difficult decision to sell the car, so they offered it to Walter Köhler, president of the VW Käfer Club Última Edición e.V. club based in Germany and founded in 2004.
From the car’s colour of Snap Orange, he was given the affectionate nickname ‘Snappy’ by his club. Snappy’s value is currently estimated to be up to €40,000.
-Translated from a post on the ‘Germanos, a la mexicana’ FB group, published on 4 December 2018.
See also New Beetle Final Edition and the K-UE-Club website for the Ultima.
‘Automovil’ ad courtesy Peter Frost.