Don't call it beginner's luck, call it just reward for hard work and passion.

Wanganui's Doug Rennie and Selby Allison both won top prizes at the New Zealand Volkswagen national championships in Taupo over Easter weekend.

Mr Rennie's 1972 Variant and Mr Allison's modified Beetle and Taipan won first place in their respective classes.

It was the 25th anniversary of the convention and all three vehicles were entered for the first time.

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Mr Rennie has spent the past three years restoring his VW, working on it right up until the final day. In fact, all three VWs had been stripped back and completely restored.

"It was a surprise to win," Mr Rennie said. "I was going really just to have a look at all the cars - and I was blown away because there were some awesome cars there."

The prized Variant is more than just a showpiece for Mr Rennie, it is also his day-to-day vehicle. The square-back has plenty of room to fit the kids in the back.

A restored Volkswagen drives much like a modern vehicle, according to the two Wanganui enthusiasts.

"They're cool to drive and have a good feel," Mr Rennie said.

"Every time I get in and turn the ignition I get a bit of a buzz."

The next national convention in Nelson is now on their radar, and Mr Allison has a third VW restoration in the pipeline, though that won't be ready for a couple of years.

"Once you get the bug, you just want to keep doing it," he said.

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The pair said they had had plenty of help from others.