‘Insane’ Person Has Owned 42 Volkswagens In His Lifetime
#TBT: One owner, 42 Volkswagen, endless memories
You always remember your first car. For Taylor Bryant, that first car – an old Beetle – modeled a lifetime connection with Volkswagen that has grown to over 40 vehicles over the years.
“I have always loved European cars and had a soft spot for Volkswagens,” said Bryant.
His affection for VW began as a child in Charleston, South Carolina. Bryant rode his bike to the local Volkswagen dealership and admired the latest models while chatting with technicians. Six years later, he bought his first car – a light blue 1961 Beetle – for $ 500 after spotting the car while waiting at the red light. He rolled down his window, asked the driver if he would be willing to sell it, and a few weeks later the car was his.
“I drove him through high school and into college. It really put me in the cars because I had to work on them constantly, ”said Bryant. “You can’t pay a lot of people to work on your car with a salary from Taco Bell at 16.”
Bryant received an automotive technology degree from Aiken Technical College in South Carolina in 2001 and worked as a Volkswagen senior automotive technician for 12 years. His work has introduced him to all kinds of Volkswagen vehicles, from older classics, like the original Corrado and Beetle, to more modern models, like the Jetta and Tiguan. He quickly began to build his own car collection, often buying trade-in vehicles and taking them as project cars. Once a car was finished, he sold it for the money he put into it and used the profits to finance the next build.
Over the years, its collection of 42 Volkswagen cars includes several Golf, Jetta and Passat models.
“I pretty much love them all [and] have touched or possessed all of them at some point, ”said Bryant.
Some of his fondest family memories are linked to his Volkswagen cars. Bryant reported to the school board in 2010 and used a 2005 Jetta GLI as a campaign car. He bought his wife a Convertible 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 the Facebook Marketplace.
“It was pretty neat to see a car that I restored 20 years ago still run and look good,” said Bryant.
In 2013, after 12 years working as a Volkswagen mechanic, he left the workshop to become an instructor at Augusta Technical College in Georgia. “It’s really good to give back to the career that gave me everything I’ve ever had,” said Bryant.
Thanks to COVID, he has moved his classes online and spends some of his free time researching models to use for teaching.
As for her personal collection, she always has room to grow. He is currently considering the Atlas SUV as his next big purchase to transport his four large puppies and two children around town.
“[Volkswagen] was the first car I bought and will probably be the last, ”said Bryant.