A Karmic Car Connection

This is the first installment in a series of short essays about my relationship with my first car, a 1970 Karmann Ghia.

KarmannI have had only one true car love in my life. It began quite unexpectedly when I was 21 years old. When it finally came time for me to buy my first car, I went used car shopping with my dad. Like many young people during the 70’s, I really wanted one of the ever popular red Fiat convertible sports cars. However, within minutes after talking with the salesman, it became blatantly clear that I did not have the financial resources to purchase such a car. Knowing that I had my heart set on a sports car, the salesman showed me the only option he had: a 1970 yellowish-orange VW Karmann Ghia. I have to admit, I did not care for the color, wasn’t thrilled that it wasn’t a convertible, and was more than a bit apprehensive about it being a stick shift (my previous interactions with driving boyfriends’ stick shift cars had been less than positive). Nevertheless, I agreed to take it for a test drive. After a crash course from the kind and patient salesman, it was my turn to get behind the wheel. From the moment I grabbed the big black steering wheel, shifted into first gear, eased up on the clutch, and lurched down the street, there was no looking back. I felt an immediate bond, or Karmic connection, to this spunky little car and I knew we were destined to be together. So, I wrote the check, signed the papers, and off we drove (although not so smoothly at first) into the sunset.  As we traveled down the path of life together, little did I know how this car would steer me in a whole new direction.

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