Vintage & Classics

A man from Charleston, South Carolina has owned 42 Volkswagens in the last 40 years

One South Carolina man has collected 40 Volkswagen models in the last 42 years, selling off many along the way.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

When you hear that someone has owned 42 vehicles in the last 40 years, your first question will probably be, "Why?" Add in the fact that they've all been Volkswagens and the answer gets even more interesting.

Taylor Bryant, a Charleston, South Carolina native, has always had a soft spot for Volkswagens. Growing up in the Palmetto State, Bryant would ride his bicycle to the local VW dealership and chat up the technicians.

Forty years ago, Bryant spotted a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle waiting at a red light. He approached the driver and asked if he would be willing to sell it. A few weeks and $500 later, the light blue Beetle was his.

Volkswagen Taylor Bryant Bryant has restored, fixed up, and turned around a number of Volkswagens to help fund his habit.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"I drove it all the way through high school and the beginning of college. It really got me into cars because I had to work on it constantly," Bryant said. "You can't pay a whole lot of people to work on your car on a Taco Bell salary at 16."

Bryant went on to earn a degree in automotive technology from Aiken Technical College in South Carolina in 2001 and worked as a Volkswagen master auto technician for 12 years. During that time, Bryant built his own car collection adding a wide variety of models to his collection including a Corrado, original Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Tiguan.

Starting and maintaining a car collection isn't cheap. Bryant would often buy trade-in vehicles and took them on as project cars. Once a car was complete, he would sell it for whatever money he put into it and use the earnings to fund the next build.

"I pretty much love them all [and] have touched or owned all of them at some point," said Bryant.

Those Volkswagens have played key roles in Bryant's life. He ran for school board in 2010 and used a 2005 Jetta GLI as his campaign car. Bryant bought his wife a Cabriolet for their fifth wedding anniversary, and his son's first car was a Jetta.

His current collection includes a 1999 Jetta, a 2004 Passat Wagon, and a 2017 Jetta. He recently spotted one of his favorite project cars – a beautifully restored red 1967 Karmann Ghia – for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

"It was pretty neat to see a car I restored 20 years ago still running around and looking beautiful," Bryant said.

In 2013, after 12 years of working as a Volkswagen mechanic, he left the shop to become an instructor at Augusta Technical College in Georgia. "It feels really good to give back to the career that has given me everything I've ever had," Bryant said.

Trending News

 
 

Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

Trending News

 
 

Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

Trending News