My first car was a Volkswagen. A 1969 VW Fastback. It came on the heels of my bothers both having Beetles – cars that were fun to drive but did not seem “cool” to me. So the Fastback was bought, without a working clutch thus the affordability for a 16 year old. So I learned how to repair VW’s too. That car was the enjoyment of my high school years and got me to sports games after school for my newspaper reporting gig. I had to sell it as college did not allow freshman to bring cars.
My 1981 Rabbit after college was a serviceable car but a bit of clunker until after a year of a video shooting & editing job in NYC, where I’d pass under the World Trade Center (that’s another story) gave me funds to buy a “new” used car not a VW. A mistake. I learned the meaning of reliability of that clunky old Rabbit and remember its drafty sun roof well.
A life partner, then marriage. A home then child came in Boston. A winter ready jeep seemed right but after it ran its course I was back to VW. And not to my own accord. The 2003 New Beetle was bought by my wife, as she was working on their “Drivers Wanted” Ad campaign, seemed to fit our life perfectly. The single child family of suburban living, with creative executive jobs that needed to be commuted to – our daughter drew in that car, threw up in that car, basically grew up in that car. We paired with a 2006 Jetta Wagon so we could go camping, golfing, vacationing and drive to the country, to a piece a land we dreamed to build on one day.
The opportunity to build a house and move to the White Mountains of New Hampshire allowed us many options – hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and general merriment but a Beetle had become to small for our lives. A few years later a brand new jeep was nice but when wife’s new job travel called, a 2013 Diesel Golf responded. The new car bought during the move it ran its course and it was paired with a 2014 Diesel Passat sedan.
So all is good, right. No. Two words – Diesel Scandal. WTF! VW! – I was a committed, passionate brand evangelist. Then you tricked me into doing more harm than good. I was really saddened. I really liked that Passat. My wife was more pissed than I – see for yourself
Well your buyback program for one car afforded me a Mini Cooper on your dime. And when time for the other diesel to be sold back we went for a 2016 Golf because the deal was too good to pass up. Two cars – no car payments, thanks VW! But while the anger slowly goes away I think of these VW’s and its brand that made an impact on my life. I think of the few other V-dubs who were used/repaired/sold and did not make the cut for this story. I think of the VW schwag my daughter grew up with. The VW agency pals of my wife’s who became friends. The VW ads I awed, mocked and eventually taught with. I think of all the mile and memories we’ve had with Volkswagen. A brand that greatly impacted me – sure. Yeah, I guess the folks in Wolfsburg ain’t that bad.