sunshine superchik | part iv

Watching tiny actress Ellen Page skate between meaty, fishnet-clad legs in "Whip It!" last night was awesome. As cool as the kickass roller derby chicks were, however, it was the little Karmann Ghia coupe being driven by one of Page's supporting cast (Maggie Mayhem!) that stole the show for me.

The little car left me with a few unanswered questions: what is it about the Karmann Ghia that makes it such a great chick car, and why don't I have one?

That first question is easy: the little Ghia is a great chick car because it's cute. The Ghia is small, and small things are cute. It's curvy, in an unintimidating sort of way that gives the whole car a lovely, "toy" quality.


In short: it's just darling!

That second question - about why I don't own one - is a bit more complicated.

I can trace my Ghia-lust to the late 80's, when my father started pointing the little gems out to me, proclaiming it as "the" car for me. It was Italian, sorta. Also German, sorta. For whatever reason, though, it stuck - and to this day, many of of my girlfriends confess to some degree of Ghia-lust.

SO, why don't we own one? Or why don't they own them? Or whatever - however the grammar works itself out - yay, English degree!

The answer to that question: I don't know.

In "Whip It!", the Ghia belongs to Maggie Mayhem (Maggie Mayhem!), a semi-typical single mother with alt-girl sensibilities who works some inane day-job and kicks righteous roller-grrl ass by night ... and if that fictional chick can afford one, why don't the rest of us gals find a way to afford one?

I mean, how hard can it be to own and maintain a classic Italian car?

Come to think of it, ignore that last part. Pretend it's German.


I think "we" don't own classic cars because we're a little bit afraid of them. Something about them makes them seem expensive and unreliable. They probably don't even make the parts anymore. We'd have to buy a nice one cash, anyway, and we don't have cash. This is 'murica, and we finance things, dammit!

A quick read on the Karmann Ghia from the best-named car site on the web (Ate Up With Motor) seems to indicate that owning one is no big deal, assuming you live somewhere dry and have the means to secure a good mechanic.
The original Karmann Ghia, however, remains immortal. They're prone to rust - a perennial Karmann problem, exacerbated by the complex welding for the body's compound curves.

With close to 500,000 built, though, they are common enough to be affordable, but not so ubiquitous as to be dull. As long as they don't rot or suffer a severe shunt, they're as cheap and easy to run as a Beetle. There are many faster cars, but few as pretty.

I can handle "immortal", for sure - women love commitment! - and (if you have the means/got the goods) I wholeheartedly recommend locking down a guy that's handy with the cars.

That, or find yourself a kick-ass Chicago chick who knows how to turn a wrench ... how's that for 21st century feminism!?

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