Update Dec 29, 2014 - Brian promised himself that he would get his grandfather’s Karmann Ghia back on the road by Christmas and I’m excited to report that not only did he get it back on the road for Christmas, he was able to drive it to over 100 miles without any issues. All the engine needed was a good tune up, but the brakes had to be rebuilt and most of the fuel system needed replacing. It still needs a few things, but they are mostly cosmetics issues. He’s also excited to let everyone know how surprised the whole family was to see it and that when he pulled into the drive way his grandfather was all smiles! It sounds like all the hard work was well worth it! Be sure to read Brian’s original story and see his most recent photos below. Special thanks to Brian for the update!
From Sept 27, 2014 - Some of the best finds really aren’t finds at all. They sometimes are cars that have been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. They might be our first car or one that we grew up going on family vacations in. And whether they are rare or run of the mill family haulers, they hold a special place in our hearts because of the roll they played in our lives. Well Brian C’s recent find has been a part of the family for nearly 40 years and holds a special place for him. To really do this story justice, I will let Brian tell you it in his own words.
I wanted to share the car I recently picked up. It may not be the rarest vehicle, or the most exciting, but it has a good story, with what I assume will be a pretty happy ending here in the next few months or so! This 1974 VW Karmann Ghia has been in my grandfather’s (Papa’s) hands since 1977. He worked at University Volkswagen in Seattle as a salesman for a majority of his career. He took this in on a trade and decided he liked it enough to keep it. It was his on and off commuter into the early 1990’s when he decided to restore it. He put a new interior in, fixed some small body damage, rebuilt much of the mechanicals and got the car ready for paint.
About that time his 5 children, my mom included, decided it would be a great present to him to have the car painted as a surprise for his birthday or some other holiday, I can’t remember exactly. So they snuck it off to the paint shop and had it sprayed. Low and behold, it was the wrong shade of orange, not factory, as my Papa had wanted. The car was driven slightly thereafter, and I even remember riding in it when I was about 5 years old. Come 1994, the almost perfect condition car is parked and hasn’t seen the road since. Until now at least!
It has been parked at my grandparent’s farm and as a car lover myself for the majority of my life, I always wanted to do something with it, but I knew it was sort of a sensitive subject. After 20 years I decided it was time something got said and so I started talking to my Papa about the ol’ Ghia in the gravel. He said take it. But to be fair I gave him some cash. The Ghia, with less than 90,000 original miles, got some new tires and made it to my backyard via trailer where it is now parked next to my Opel GT. Without much work a buddy and I were able to get it sputtering, but it will be a long ways before she’s cruising. However, I told my Papa I would drive the car back out to the farm come Christmas time and hopefully get him back behind the wheel!
So while it may not be the most exciting vehicle, it is certainly a sentimental one. And hopefully someday it will be the right color!
I want to thank Brian for sharing this story with us and I wish him the best with his new project! It is always good to hear stories like this, it reminds me of all the cars that have played a roll in shaping my automotive passion and who I am today. How about you guys, any cars that really made an impact on you?