My dad told me the story of his first experience with a Porsche Speedster a few times; Standing alongside the Autobahn he heard it coming before he saw it. Hearing and seeing it drive by was all it took for him to want one. In fact he went so far as to locate one, but as I remember it, his remaining days in Germany (compliments of Uncle Sam) were limited and there wasn't enough time to get the paperwork taken care of. Returning stateside, he never bought a Porsche, but did buy many VWs in the following years. Around 1980 when he was looking for a project car, I think the Ghia was a compromise between these two interests. By the early 80's the price of a Speedster had gone beyond what he thought he could spend on what was essentially a toy. (I drove a Porsche Boxster not long after they were introduced. One of my first thoughts while driving it was how I wished my dad could have driven one. I'm sure he would have LOVED that car!)

The Ghia was a basket case when he got it. "Restoration" was never the goal, he just worked to get it back on the road and looking decent. After that, he took it to numerous VW events around the Minnesota/Wisconsin area. By the early '90s, the car started to see less use. The less it was driven, the more unreliable it became, and the downward spiral began. It reached the point where he decided to sell the car. Well, sort of. With little advertising, a buyer was never found.

I inherited the car in the late '90s. At first I considered selling it and putting the money towards a Miata, but the more I looked at what I wanted in a car, the more the Ghia began to appeal to me. I started to put together the parts I needed to make it into the car I envisioned, but roadblocks appeared, and other projects crept into the queue.

In 2011 I faced the reality I was never going to finish this car, so I sold it to someone who has already got more use out of it than I did for the past 20 years.

The Ghia "Before"

Top: Some shots of the car before my dad owned it.I think these are the pictures that got him to drive to Iowa to check the car out.

Below: Towed from Davenport, Iowa to Minnetonka, Minnesota behind the trusty diesel Rabbit. That's my brother Mike giving it the once over.

Righ; Various stages of repair. My dad was an industrial arts teacher and fabricated the repair panels for the pan.