Since the age of 16, Virginia native and tie-dye enthusiast Tasha Lacks had her heart set on one day becoming the owner of a Volkswagen vehicle, a brand of cars that made her eyes twinkle as she played “punch dub” from the backseat of her parents’ car in the 80s. Her dreams finally came true in 2021 when her husband, Jessie, gifted her with a one-of-a-kind present for her 40th birthday: a tie-dye, flower themed Volkswagen Beetle.
Gifting the tie-dye Beetle, which sports hearts and roses in its detailing, was no simple task. Determined to bring some positivity to the bleakness of the pandemic, Jessie, for 40 days preceding the big reveal, presented Tasha with various tie-dye gifts that further expanded her existing collection of everything from tie-dye clothes to tie-dye curtains.
“I went through the process of thinking and asking myself ‘what does she like?’ and ‘what does she need that she doesn’t already have?’,” Jessie says, recounting the gift planning process. “Once I eventually got a list of 40 things, I had to also lead up to something truly groundbreaking. And that’s when I went on the journey of looking for the Volkswagen.”
After finding the Beetle in October of 2020, Jessie then faced two major tasks: perfecting the car’s tie-dye design and hiding it from Tasha for the next seven months. With the help of a local business, his father and his 11-year-old son, Jessie was able to have the car customized with its tie-dye, flowery design, as well as repaired and hidden in his dad’s garage. All this happened right under Tasha’s nose, who had visited her father-in-law’s home several times prior to her 40th birthday.
”Do you know how many times we visited there between October and May?” Tasha asks. “I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had decided to go into the garage while we were visiting, but it’s just amazing that I never saw it at all.”
Tasha’s 40th birthday finally arrived on May 22, with family and friends hosting an outdoor cookout to celebrate. After some elaborate storytelling and necessary persuasion to get Tasha in the house and blindfolded, Jessie led Tasha outside to unveil the car for the very first time.
“I was just so shocked. I didn’t know what it was or where it was from. I honestly didn’t realize it was going to be my car,” Tasha says of her initial reaction to the car. “But when they said, ‘it’s yours to keep,’ I lost it and started jumping up and down and screaming.”
“This is the coolest thing ever!”
So far, the local fans agree; the car has garnered honks from fellow drivers, photo requests from police officers, waves from strangers, and an abundance of comments and smiles from just about anybody who encounters it.
“That’s one of my favorite parts about driving the car,” Tasha says. “I’ve had so many conversations with strangers about it. Kids also love it and absolutely adore its color, so it’s been a fun experience all around.”
Affectionately called a “chick-magnet” by Jessie and Tasha’s son, the car has been a hit with the entire family.
“If I’m having a bad day, I get in my car and I take a drive with the top down and it just makes me feel better. The fact that it’s a Bug makes me feel happy when I’m in it,” Tasha says. “My son will also actually go places with me now because he likes to ride around in this car, and that makes me happy.”
In addition to his wife and son’s elation over the tie-dye dream, Jessie too appreciates not only the car itself, but the significance of its make and brand.
The Beetle “symbolizes to me a time when the world was in chaos and there were certain groups of people trying to bring peace and happiness to the world. And I think that’s a feeling that resonates with a lot of people when they see a Volkswagen that stands out,” Jessie says. “It makes people happy and it’s an iconic car.”