A beautiful story of a man, a woman and a beetle they drove for 55 years.

In 1960, Ivan and Beth Hodge bought a VW Beetle while on honeymoon in London.

Now, after 55 years, two trips around the world and 188,000 miles, they are finally saying goodbye to the vehicle.

“We bought it in August 1960 for 430 pounds,” Mr Hodge told Linda Mottram on 702 ABC Sydney.

Ivan and Beth Hodge with their VW Beetle in India. Image via ABC.

"We settled on the Volkswagen because we are not mechanically minded and we knew how reliable they were, and something about it being water-cooled," Mrs Hodge said.

"Air-cooled," corrected Mr Hodge.

"I told you I wasn't much good at motors," Mrs Hodge added.

The Hodges took their Beetle around Europe, through Portugal, Spain and France, then on to Yugoslavia.

From there they continued through the Middle East to India.

The VW Beetle famously has a reserve fuel tank, but Ivan Hodge says that caused an issue because it meant they didn't carry any extra fuel.

"The quality of fuel in Iran, in the desert was terrible; there were only petrol dumps [tanks in the ground with no petrol station attached] along the way," he said.

Beth and Ivan on their way to Mumbai in 1996. Image via ABC.

"Along came some very well-organised Germans, gave us a lecture, and gave us some petrol, so we got out of that mess-up."

They ended up in Calcutta before shipping the car back to Auckland, where they were living at the time.

They gave the car to Mr Hodge's parents, who had paid for it in the first place, with 18,000 miles on the clock.

At the time, Mr Hodge's father was the local policeman in Levin on the North Island of New Zealand and the Beetle was used as a police car.

"It was the days of six o'clock closing, so he would drive to the pub, and of course he would be spotted because little German cars were very obvious in New Zealand at the time, so the patrons all went out the back door as he came in the front door," Mr Hodge recounted.

In 1996 the couple took the car back from Mr Hodge's parents and celebrated with another drive from London to India, this time ending up in Mumbai.

"That added a few more miles onto it," Mrs Hodge said.

The Hodges have now given the car to Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology.

But while that Beetle has reached the end of its travelling days, Mrs Hodge broke the news while on air that what she wanted now was to buy another Beetle.

Mr Hodge remains to be convinced.

This post was originally published on the ABC and was republished here with full permission.

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