In recent years I've been fortunate enough to apply a few ticks to my bucket list of iconic cars to drive.
Clearly that's because their owners think I might write nice things about them, which does happen from time to time.
Often though I'll jump at the opportunity to drive landmark cars simply to be reminded of what made them great and how they would have compared with the competition of their day.
It's why I didn't need much convincing when I was offered a drive of Volkswagen Group Australia's immaculate 1962 Volkswagen Beetle.
I've only driven three classic Beetles - the 1946 Beetle from the York Motor Museum, an ex-girlfriend's Superbug from the 1970s and this one.
What they all had in common was the Beetle's characteristic floppy gearshift, a brake pedal that needs to be primed and foot pedals sprouting from the floor like daffodils.
The simplicity of the bog-standard 62 model was abundantly clear, but so was its inherent quality. No expanses of hard black plastic here.
The engine, which is of course the classic flat-four dak-dak out the back, makes a "towering" 30kW from its 1192cc. There may well be lawnmowers more powerful and quieter than this.
From the driver's seat, the bonnet falls away like a roller-coaster track and the vertical windscreen is inches from your nose.
But icons tend to be idiosyncratic and if there are enough strong points to counter that, the weirdness can be forgiven.
From the understressed engine ticking away behind the back axle to the spartan interior and unmistakable style, it's no wonder I had a smile on my dial.
The famous long-distance racer, which took the winner's trophy in the renowned 24-hour classic in 1976, 1977 and 1981, was en route from Stuttgart, Germany, this week.
It was due to make a late arrival in Melbourne just in time for this weekend's Phillip Island Classic - one of the biggest historic racing events on the Australasian motorsport calendar.Motor Moments update:
9754 3379.Send event details to email@example.com
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