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The Nostalgia Bug: How a Son and Father Came Together Over a Karmann Ghia

I bought this Karmann Ghia for my dad because it was his dream car. He's had a lot of cars, but in the early 60s and 70s, this was the ticket. Growing up my dad would always mention it. People say jokingly that it's kind of like a poor man's Porsche, but my dad has had two Porsches and still never forgot about that Karmann Ghia.

About seven or eight years ago, my dad was in San Diego walking around and saw one on the street. He called me and asked me to come take a look at it, but told him that there was no way that he was going to buy it. It was so beat up and was going to be a major project. Then I started searching for one and this one popped up in Arizona. I didn't even see it in person. I had a friend check it out and tell me that this is one of the cleanest, straightest bodies he’d seen. He even offered to buy it from me if I ever wanted to sell it. In that moment I said to myself, “All right, I’ll keep it”.

Back in the day, my dad had five transmission shops. My first job when I was 16 was cleaning transmission parts. So I got in and we redid everything, all the fuel lines, everything. It wasn't even safe to drive, honestly. The exhaust was falling apart. We did the suspension, the whole front end, the disc brakes and the front beams. We got it cleaned up and it rides really smooth now. The next move is to see if I want to enhance the speed, because it's basically stock. My six year old can run faster than this car.

When it was finally ready, my dad drove it around the block with a look of pure satisfaction. He always wants to drive it when he comes to visit. It’s definitely an incentive to get him come babysit for me now and then. For now, we’ll enjoy cruising around in it. After all these years, I love having that connection to my dad to do something fun together.

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