Go, Speed Racer!

18th June 2009

This is the first time Hank has ever been in Gerta, my legendary birthday Karmann Ghia.

We’ve been thinking about selling Gerta, because it’s ludicrous to have two cars in the city, especially since I can’t take Hank anywhere in a car that’s essentially a coffin on wheels.

Maybe we should just keep it so I can be buried in it.

45 thoughts on “Go, Speed Racer!


    You crazy! You canNOT sell that car. Unless I’m mistaken, you own a cabin somewhere. You should park it there. Unless that cabin doesn’t have a garage. Then you should BUILD A GARAGE for that car and THEN park it there. You know, for weekend drives in the country while the sitter stays home with the kid. Until he’s sixteen. Then all bets are off.

  2. MomVee

    I have a friend who has a Karmann Ghia in high school. She is so sorry she sold it. SO SORRY.

    If I lived anywhere near you, I would take the car. But since I don’t, I insist that you keep it.

  3. Vanessa

    I used to have a canary yellow Ghia named Bailey. I sold her for much the same reasons, and every time I see one now, I want to cry. I hope I will see her again, and be able to buy her back. If you sell Gerta, you’ll always regret it.

  4. Vanessa

    But if you do sell her, let me know? I’m interested! And I’ll be your friend so you can still visit her on weekends and holidays.

  5. amy

    you have that car. Man- you are that girl to me. My friend Sarah and I have wanted one of those always- we sometimes dream of taking off in one. keep it!!!!

  6. Mary

    I don’t know you personally, and you don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your website for approximately a hundred years and I still get all whoopy when I read the tale of this car. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT SELL IT. All of us would break our hearts for you.

  7. amy

    Gorgeous car! I say you hold on to it. Find a friend who has room for it and HOLD ON! You may not appreciate it now but maybe when you hit 40 (the year I got MY dream vehicle!) you will be so happy you DID hang on to it!

  8. Kat

    Don’t sell her!

    (But if you are selling her, will you please let us know, because some of us live right across the Bay and would be so interested in having a car again. Especially if it were a lovely little car like Gerta.)

  9. Daffodil Campbell

    If you sell it you will regret it forever and ever and ever.

    And ever.

    I have a long and sordid tale about the sudden and unexpected disappearance of my 73 bug, and quite frankly, every time I think about it I get nauseous and want to cry a little. Plus, two friendships were ended with the people I trusted to take of my precious Bugaboo. So yeah. Don’t lend it out, don’t sell it – not even to someone who *promises* you can visit it on weekends. It doesn’t end well.


  10. wheezer345

    I would have to agree with the first person. I have a ’69 chevelle and sometimes think of selling it. But where ever i go someone always comes up to me and says “man i used to have one of those, and i wish i still had it!”

  11. ElJay

    I also agree you shouldn’t sell it, but if you do I would fly to SF to buy it from you and give it a lovely road trip back to Minneapolis, where it would be stored winters and sport around town summers. I’d even dye my hair red.

  12. heather

    Gerta! My Ghia’s named Bertha and she was also a legendary birthday surprise!

    i can completely understand why you might want to sell her and living in a city myself, i struggle with the whole car ownership thing (though, for us it’s a little different – Bert is our ONLY car). you will find that there are LOADS of serious Ghia enthusiasts just looking to add another one to their garage, so if nothing else, Gerta will end up going to a good home.

    but, you will most likely grieve the loss of the car. so i recommend tequila, chocolate, and Matthew McConaughey movies.

  13. Courtney

    Do not sell that car. The coolest people are the ones that have vintage cars. If you sell it you will feel something missing, something missing so badly that your husband has to buy you ANOTHER one on your 40th birthday. I have a 77 450SL Mercedes Benz and I live in Cambridge, MA where it is ridiculous to even have one car! But I don’t care. I will never ever sell it. Besides, those old cars are tanks, and not moving coffins. You would probably do more harm to the other car, than yourself. My car’s name is BENZO.

  14. Grammar Snob

    Funny, I recently thought about your car (it was right around when I started reading your blog) and wondered if you still had it. It’s lovely, please don’t sell it. I would be sad.

  15. Sarah

    I have owned many a dream car in my 65 years and I always follow the advice of my dear daddy who told me when I begged for a MG sports car at age 16—“Honey, NEVER, fall in love with a hunk of metal.” Sell it.

  16. jessica

    My husband’s first car (and if you ask me, first love) was a kaarmen ghia. I showed his this post. his first reaction “SHE’S INSANE – YOU KEEP THAT CAR!” his second reaction “Well, could you find out if she’d be willing to sell it to someone 3,000 miles away…ok?”

  17. valeri

    Okay, I just read that birthday story and it literally made me cry. YOU CANNOT SELL THAT CAR. EVER.

    Unless you sell it to me. I would love to drive that thing down the coast…

  18. bessie

    Please keep the car, if you are at all able…. I have wanted a karmann ghia since high school and I am in a very similar boat as you(toddler and living in a city that does not necessitate two cars)–but if I had a ghia, I would never let her go!

  19. Maureen

    Sell it (again) and then Bryan can buy it back for you (again) for your 50th. Or Hank can surprise you by buying it for himself for his first car.

  20. kae

    I agree with everyone else: you can not possibly sell this car!! Because that was just the most romantic and thoughtful, best birthday present EVER. Could you possibly store it somewhere for a few years?

    We had on old family friend who drove a Ghia until the day she died at 98: baby-blue with a white rag top. Jesus that was the sweetest car ever. I wanted it sooo badly.

    No…a vintage orange Ghia? You NEVER let go of a car like that.

  21. Sara

    If you sell it, whatever happens to it will be out of your hands and it’ll break your heart. My mom sold her beloved white Mercedes that she bought in college and about a month later it was totaled in a drunk driving accident. :(

  22. Megan

    Perhaps the idea of owning the car is better than actually owning it. Or not. You’ll make the right choice, yeah?

  23. Sarah

    I’m not sure if this post is simply a cry for help (please help me rationalize keeping my orange coffin on wheels).

    If not, stop reading and move along. Nothing to see here.

    (But in case it is, just let me add my vote of “KEEP IT” to the overall chorus here.)

  24. amanda

    My Dad used to have an MGB and he drove around with me in it all the time. Now, granted, this was post-baby seat. I think I was 5 when my parents bought it but it was really my Dad’s car. I went cross-country with him in that car when I was 11. My parents used to also make me and by little brother squish up on the shelf behind the front seats. No seatbelt and no nothing. I think the last time I rode in it that way, I was 16 and my little bro was 8. I refused after that.

    Then in college I got the MG and loved it — I had to sell it a couple years ago when I had no need of a car, no place to store it and no way to repair it. I sold it for pennies. Sad, sad, sad.

  25. Cindy

    I agree with all of the above. I have been reading your blog for some time now. The story of the car is worth everything. DO NOT SELL IT! It should become the “date night” car.

  26. kym b

    oh, man… i was sooooo close to buying one of those when i was 17, but, like you, my mom wouldn’t hear of it. unlike you, she never caved. it is probably one of my life’s biggest regrets that i didn’t spend the $2000(!!!!) to buy that little red ghia. *sniff*

    hey, if you do decide to sell it, shoot me an email because i will be 1st in line to buy it. my mom can’t tell me what to do anymore. i’m almost 40.

  27. Alex

    Coming late to this, but I had an idea: Keep the car but only let Hank sit in the driver’s seat of the Ghia (while it’s parked, of course), never in the car that you usually drive around. That way, maybe you can ward off the howls of “No Mommy, I drive the steering wheel now now now” that we have whenever we try to put Julian (age 2) in his carseat. Then again, no one ever said toddlers were logical.

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