Colin Shinkin –
Colin’s first car was a 1965 Ruby Red 1200 Beetle ‘Deluxe’ which led him very quickly to an obsession with all things VW. After studying art and design at Cambridge Art School he relocated to London working in various publishing and graphic design studios.
His next vehicles were a 1972 1302S ‘Super Beetle’ and a 1970 American specification Beetle 1600 – ‘left behind’ by an American Air Force employee. An avid reader of Dune Buggies and HotVWs and VW Trends magazines during the early 70s Colin visited as many shows as possible and watched with excitement the US customisation and drag scene develop over here.
At the end of the 90s it became clear to Colin during a VW forum chat that there was very little documentation regarding Special Edition Sales Campaign models. As he was now happily embracing the ‘new media’ of the internet SEBeetles.com quickly followed. The now defunct 1302super.com website was also a labour of love during that period.
Colin’s most recent Beetle was a Willow Green 1972 May Beetle. Now resident in west London Colin has resigned himself to the fact that the VW bug after 45 years has well and truly bitten and shows no sign of cure.
Stephen Paul Hardy –
The start of Stephen’s passion for the Special Edition (Sales Campaign) VW Beetles – what we call “SE Beetles”- goes back to June 1970 when, as a teenager, he saw one of the first factory produced Sales Campaign Editions on his local Volkswagen dealer’s forecourt. The special bright paintwork of that June Beetle and the succession of colourful and charismatic SE Beetles that followed throughout the 1970’s fired his imagination and a passion for the subject that has lasted for 45 years.
A respected authority on a whole range of VW production history topics Stephen has had a significant number of articles published over the years in national – and international – circulation magazines catering for enthusiasts interested in both miniature and full size Volkswagens alike.
All his articles from the 1980’s were, for convenience, written under the quasi-pen name of “Beverley and Stephen Hardy” supplemented later also by a small amount of work for “VOLKSWORLD” Magazine under the pseudonym Jan Sebestyén. From the mid 1990’s all his published work can be identified simply through the use of his own name, sometimes given as “Stephen Hardy” and sometimes given in full as “Stephen Paul Hardy”.
Against a boyhood background of the first VW coming into his family life in 1966 in the form of a brand new 1300 Beetle his own ownership kicked off, in scale model form, in 1971 and in full size form in 1974. His VW ownership (in all sizes) has been continuous since then.
His first article on SE Beetles saw the light of day in the May 1981 issue of “BEETLING” Magazine published in the UK by Autometrix Publications. A lot of resulting reader interest in that article and collaboration with equally well known authority, particularly on early VW production matters, Chris Barber resulted in a series of articles in BEETLING’s successor “Volkswagen Audi Car” Magazine during 1983. In these pre-internet days the articles were a definitive reference source not only about European produced SE Beetles but the, then little known and unique, SE Beetles manufactured in South Africa.
Further updating articles on SE Beetles researched by Stephen were published throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s in “Safer Motoring” Magazine (later VW Motoring). Stephen continues to write occasional articles for Autometrix Publications’ current “Volkswagen Driver” Magazine and for “MODEL Collector” Magazine.
United by a passion for the subject Stephen has, since 2015, been working with Colin Shinkin behind the scenes at SEBeetles.com which is the most comprehensive information resources in the world about the Special Edition (Sales Campaign) Beetles. Between them Colin and Stephen are currently undertaking extensive, painstaking, background research with the intent of keeping this immensely successful website up-to-date.
As Stephen recently mused:
“Many of details about the early SE Beetles are still unknown and difficult to accurately catalogue. This is partly because of the nature of their being limited one-off production batches not catalogued within the normal model year information and partly because they came from an era of paper records, Much of this archive information being now lost or forgotten. This situation is further exacerbated by some Editions being factory instigated whilst others, it seems, were batch orders placed by the various official Volkswagen Importer’s to the various “export” markets outside of Germany.
It is perhaps a sobering thought that more is now known about the early Beetle prototypes and production models from the 1940’s and 1950’s than is known about some of the SE Beetles from the 1970’s.
Despite the wonderful facility of internet access, which is enabling enthusiasts to share information in a way hitherto thought impossible, research on SE Beetles’s is in fact becoming more difficult with the passing of time. Many of the details that we do know about them are anecdotal and recorded only in the memories of enthusiasts who were around in the 1970’s. We need to verify all this anecdotal information and record it in a readily accessible, electronic, way now for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations of Beetle enthusiasts while our grey cells are still functioning”.