Sunday, June 28, 2009

Type 345 update

Congratulations to Rick Christensen and his son Alex, the new owners of the '68 Type 345 that I spotted in the neighborhood. Rick and Alex have already started in on getting it ready for next year's VW Classic. Rick's beautiful '66 Type 34 took first in its class at this year's VW Classic, and he might just have a lock on it again next year with this car. I'm glad it's going to a good home.

It turns out it is the same car I had remembered seeing about 15 years ago. The previous owner, Dean Naleway, is a super nice guy who bought the car in 1981 from the original owner and only put about 2,000 miles on it each year over the 28 years he owned it! Now that's the kind of previous owner you want your car to have had.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1500 Ghia tool rolls

I decided to try making an original-style tool roll with the reproduction Type 34 fabric.

Highlights of VW Classic Weekend 09

...from a Type 3 point of view of course.

Thanks to the 1500 Club, the Type 34 Registry, West Coast Classics, DKP and Nick's Burgers, ISP West, the VW Classic, and old and new friends for another great one.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Men without hats

VW used the same sales brochure to promote the 1500 Karmann-Ghia from 1961–64, updating its written content and changing and/or retouching some images to keep things up to date. It's interesting to see what they thought needed to be updated (obvious improvements like the 1500S engine, of course, but some minor details too) and what they left alone. And it wasn't just the car that got updated: sometime in 1963 the owner lost his hat. Why would VW go to the trouble and expense of removing his hat of all things?

The first few years of 1500 Ghia production coincided with the time when custom no longer required men to wear hats. An old urban legend blamed/credited President John F. Kennedy for the decline in hat wearing, but it's more likely that he just helped to popularize a trend that had already started years before.

But if you're VW and you have cars to sell, you have a decision to make. At what point are the advantages of a hat (demonstrating headroom, implying sophistication and upward mobility) outweighed by the disadvantages (possibly appearing stodgy, old fashioned, and conservative)? Maybe Kennedy did have something to do with VW's decision after all -- he gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in June 1963.