There are just a couple of weeks left before the big double birthday party: Volkswagen New Beetle fans from all over Europe are going to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the cult car line; at the same time the New Beetle Sunshine Tour is starting its fifth run in July. Alongside the production models, special paint jobs or completely new body work will all be on display at our grand review drive along the Baltic Sea coastline. The birthday tour starts midday on Saturday, July 19, at the Volkswagen Center in Lübeck. Its goal? A beach party featuring New Beetles on the beach grasslands at Grömitz.

The private initiative of the "New Beetle Sunshine Tour" got started by Beetle Cabriolet driver Gabriele Kraft of Lübeck in 2004. She takes charge of the organization of the party, which comes along each year in July. "What had its origin on a small scale has grown meanwhile into a regular international meeting. This year three New Beetles from Ukraine will be joining us as a first," she says. More than some 190 cars with participants from all over Europe have registered already, and Gabriele Kraft is pretty optimistic that there won't be a single spot left on the beachy grasslands at Grömitz. Even Beetle freaks from as far away as Scotland have logged on with us.

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The Grömitz community and Volkswagen, the sponsors of the New Beetle Sunshine Tour, have definitely dreamed up a fine birthday surprise again this year. A really spectacular art project has been initiated to follow up on the drive-on show-truck-stage that we had last year, complete with its open air concert. New Beetle drivers who would like to be there when it happens this year can register for free on the Internet at the homepage www.beetle-sunshinetour.de.