Reader Submissions: Family Bonds Include VW and Lancia

Family Bonds Include VW and Lancia

By Petrolicious Productions
September 29, 2014

Owner: Frank & Tim Goedhart

Year, Make, and Model: 1986 Lancia Thema 2.0i & 1967 Volkswagen Beetle 1300

Location: Amersfoort, The Netherlands

Photographer: Tim Goedhart

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved cars. Thinking back, it seems completely natural. I have found pictures of me as a two-year old surrounded by my toy cars, sitting in front of the television, on which my dad was watching Formula One. And that is how it went, every Sunday, for years and years. My dad has a lot to do with me being a car-guy. I would read his car magazines, go with him to events, and ride along in every classic he owned. A long time ago, we decided that modern cars just weren’t exciting enough for us. We would drive them only if necessary, for example because you simply can’t get a Lancia Delta Integrale as a company car.

Now that I am older, and my dad and I both own nice classic cars in addition to our modern cars, it’s fun to think back of those old days, how it all started.

Both our hobbies are so different. He is now a Lancia driver, after stints with a Volvo Amazon and Saab 900 Convertible he is now back to the brand he really loves. His 1986 Thema 2.0i is in absolutely mint condition. It is a car from Switzerland, with the original dealership stickers on the back. It is a delight to drive because it’s so comfortable.

As for me, I have been driving my beloved 1967 Volkswagen Beetle 1300 for a while now and I absolutely love it. Driving it is such an unusual experience. All of a sudden, getting to your destination is more fun than actually being there.

The first time I realized that was last summer. My girlfriend and I decided to rent a Volkswagen T2 Westfalia camper and drive around France in it. It was the perfect holiday. That van was the most amazing piece of engineering I ever experienced. It did everything we asked it to do without any problems. It brought a smile to every face we crossed along the road. We only drove the backroads, never taking the highway. We saw amazing places and we both fell in love with the perfect simplicity of the Volkswagen.

After one week back home I started to miss the bus—the sound of the aircooled engine, the smell of the forty-year old seats, but mostly how it brightened up my day. Unfortunately, we live (car-wise) in a boring period of time. Modern cars all look the same and drive the same. The happy face of the green bus was an interruption on all of that. You couldn’t hate it, even when it had a problem it still brought a smile to your face. I missed that, so I decided to start searching for an aircooled Volkswagen.

I came across this gorgeous Delta Green ’67 bug. The seller did not have a hard time selling it to me, because from the moment I walked in the garage I could not get the huge smile of my face. Still, a little negotiation transpired and after two days I was the happy owner. That was also the very first time I drove a Beetle. I just assumed it would be like the bus but than lower and more directly handling. And yes, as I drove off it reminded me instantly of the bus. Old Volkswagens just have a certain vibe to them—relaxed, no hurry, just enjoy the ride. They’re not fast, obviously, driving 60 km/hr with the windows down feels like going 130. You’re constantly working to keep the huge steering wheel straight, finding the right gear to be in and turning your head because there is no mirror on the right. But it is awesome. And it is great that so many people agree! The fact that there were more than twenty million Beetles built means that the car played a roll in almost everyone’s lives. All the stories, all the smiling faces add so much more feeling to the car.

The vintage Volkswagen scene is one of the best scenes there is. I love the fact that everyone does something different to their Beetle, but is also very acceptant. No one will criticize the choices you made on your car. We all love to go to events together and enjoy ourselves with a good bbq and a lot of car-talk.

I have some plans for my car, but nothing radical. I always wanted to take some great trips in the Beetle. Europe has so many great countries to visit, and I think the journey will be even better with the Bug. So I am planning on doing the modifications that will make the car able to go anywhere I want. I really like the endurance-rally theme, so that is what I want to do on my bug as well.

But for now, I just enjoy it as a daily driver to university and I look forward to all the great journeys. There is only one car that I would trade for my Beetle, and that is a T1 or T2 bus…

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Arno Leskinen
Arno Leskinen
8 years ago

Very nice. We have the 1967 Beetle that my In-Laws bought new when my wife was born. We also have a 1972 Lancia Fulvia in the garage, so it is nice to see another VW/Lancia family!!

Rene Borggreve
Rene Borggreve
8 years ago

Nice story, it’s so recognizable, it’s nice to share your hobby with your family. My grandfather bought a new split-window Beetle in 1948 as one of the first Beetles in Holland. That car was wrecked in 1951 and the bought a Morris. The Lancia is also a great car because it’s so underestimated. Enjoy your hobby.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
8 years ago

I fondly remember the Beetle my grandfather used to have. Riding in it always felt exciting, even at the slow pace you’re restricted to. However, I was much too young to ever drive it. Makes me want to buy one some day.