With his first kid, and one of his favorite cars

Posted September 23rd, 2010 in Photos of Horst and tagged , , by neil

Horst with his first child, daughter Stephanie. c. 1966 Germany

Here’s a nice photo of Horst with his first-born of four children, daughter Stephanie. One thing that my father and I had in common was that we were both 25 years old when we had our first child, and we both had a daughter first. Well, he had just turned 26 one month before she was born, but close enough. I always thought that was pretty cool; I would love to compare my current age to how old he was at that particular time in his life, and where our family was living at the time. In this photo, she’s probably not quite a year old, which makes him about 26 or 27, depending on the month it was.

In the background is one of his many Volkswagen Beetles (edit: my mom says this photo was from a trip to Germany, and this is a rental car). He loved Beetles, and seemed to always have one. I’m not sure of the count of how many different Beetles he had over the years, but I consulted my mother and she estimated about 8 of them. Add to this two VW wagons and a VW camper van… he definitely loved his Volkswagen cars.

Picture a family of six driving in a VW Beetle. Well, I remember (quite a few times) all of us packed into one of them. 4 kids piled into the back seat eventually got squishy, so what ended up happening was the smallest one (me) was put into the small compartment behind the rear seat. I remember being back there, laying down and staring at the headliner and up into the sky through rear window. We all get a good laugh out of that when it comes up. Beetles were definitely a big part of our childhood.

My mother with the first Beetle they bought brand new, for $1900. c. 1968 New York

The last Beetle he had was actually one he bought off of me. It was a 1973 pale yellow Super Beetle that I had in high school (my second car). I had customized it to my liking… this meant it was lowered to the ground, had shiny chrome parts and a loud exhaust instead of replacing dented fenders and ripped seats. Of course, this was not exactly what he considered ‘nice’, but what can I say? I was only 17 at the time.

He took it off my hands shortly after I graduated high school. After he had it for several months, I was amazed at what I saw. He had fully restored it to stock condition. Raised back up, new fenders, fresh paint job… even new shiny chrome wheels. I don’t remember how long he held onto it, but the transmission went out eventually and he ended up selling it to a coworker at the time.

All of the Bernhart kids (Derek, Axel, Stephanie, Neil) in the back of our VW wagon. c. 1971 Australia

2 Responses so far.

  1. Neil says:

    edit: my mom says the first photo was from a trip to Germany, and this is a rental car.

  2. […] beetles: He loved these cars, over the years owned 8 different ones (plus other VW […]