Article by Louise Schweickerdt-Alker

Dreams never die

…for the lucky ones, sometimes a dream comes true.

We used to have a Variant Squareback – in Hermanus.
Hermanus, holiday home, childhood happy days.
When I was 17, we brought the Variant from there. It was supposed to become my and my stepsister’s car. My Dad had her re-sprayed and then he fell in love and the Variant became his pride and joy – his Baby.

She was beautiful – a deep maroon – and when I was lucky, I was allowed to drive her.  I did bump her one evening. Phoning my dad with the news, was probably one of the most difficult phone calls I have ever had to make … I knew that I would come off second best.

Anyway, days came and years went. I do no remember well under what circumstances my father sold the car, I just know that one day she was gone without me having had the chance to remember what the car had meant – or being able to make an offer – or say goodbye.

Now she is standing somewhere left to fend for herself amidst the elements and nature and rust …

At some point our holiday home in Hermanus also went – and I suppose that is when the Squareback became a symbol of what had once been.

When Werner and I were in Wolfsburg in 2003, there was one Type 3 in the museum – a Cabriolet …

And once in a while there were one or two at car shows – tugging at my heart.

Whenever I mentioned a Squareback, I was told how they overheat, how the engines do not last, how impractical the design …

BUT I did not let the dream go – sometimes I probably nearly drove Werner mad with my: “There must be a way …”

And so it happened that the day came – most unexpectedly for me – and by no other means than through Werner and the person he is. For a little while providence smiled down on us.

And now we have a tiny piece of Hermanus at home – more perfect, more original than I could have hoped or prayed for.

I took her for her maiden voyage drive yesterday and, sitting behind her steering wheel, I feel whole. And the fact that she is not an automatic as the previous one was, makes it even more of a bonus. She drives like a dream.

Above all, I am reminded and intensely aware of how with Faith and a ferocious fighting for and never giving up on dreams and with a lot of patience, miracles still have a way of happening in today’s day and age.

Welcome home, Baby.  Now we still need to think of a name …

Louise Schweickerdt-Alker