The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic and cult classic automobile. Its timeless design has been built and modified in a multitude of ways, but somehow there are still those that manage to separate from the status quo. One of those people is Mike Unland.
Mike’s 1959 Karmann Kabriolett was built with a philosophy of fusing old school with new, aiming to create a nice blend of styles while maintaining the foundation that made these cars so special.
The Volkswagen Beetle was born from necessity, and has established itself as one of the most influential cars in the world. In its wake, it has brought forth a variety of variants and successors; and while many have earned their own accolades and acclaim, few have captured the particular spirit and endearment of Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia.
“I hate standing still, and I usually only sleep for three to four hours each night, but I don’t mind it at all.” Brent Favreau began his story with quite the claim, followed by a sense of skepticism on my behalf; my inner voice thinking “Yeah, right.” However, as the story continued, it unraveled into perhaps one of the best I’ve heard to date.
I distinctly remember the first time I saw one of Paul’s cars while walking the sweltering aisles of Waterfest in Englishtown, New Jersey. He was toying with a mysterious switch box and it left a lasting impression on me that I still remember to this day. While now-a-days it seems that white Volkswagen MK5s must have rolled off the factory lots with air suspension, back in 2007, air suspension was nearly unheard of at euro shows.
Photography by Bryan Cheney
“What year is that thing?” – If you’ve ever owned a classic car, you know the question well. Chances are it’s the first thing a curious stranger will ask you when you pull up at a gas station. Older cars just seem friendly and inviting. You’ll end up deep in conversation with passers-by as they reminisce about how they had a friend or relative who once had some similar car when they were a kid.