Name: Sian and Rikki Nath
The classic: VW Karmann Ghia
‘It’s my happy place. You get in the seat and it doesn’t matter how rough a day you’ve had; it just makes everything better again. You wouldn’t believe how many people have pulled up next to us saying ‘I love your car!’.
Our children love it too, and they have very modern tastes so it’s lovely that they like it so much. It feels incredibly special to have a classic like this one. We both enjoy having classic cars and have always had interesting vehicles, so this one is definitely a keeper!’
When we speak to Sian and Rikki Nath, they’re both at home at the kitchen table with their own small fleet of classics parked on the driveway. ‘The Karmann was a lucky find,’ Rikki says. ‘Owning one was always Sian’s bucket list, and mine!
‘I remember these cars from the early ‘70s because my uncle and aunt had one in the States. This one came up on the internet on Car and Classic and it ticked loads of boxes for us: it was an original UK right-hand drive and had only two families from new. It was also the magic year for us, because it was Sian’s birth year! I was looking for a 50th birthday present for her, as I’d had my 20th anniversary present a couple of years before, so now it was Sian’s turn.’
However, for Sian and Rikki, there was the small catch of the car being in Cyprus. ‘That was interesting,’ Rikki laughs. ‘It was slightly tricky at first because the dealer wasn’t too sure about us, but we have a few friends in Cyprus who were able to vouch for these UK buyers. Our friend brokered the introductions and a couple of months later, we got the Karmann shipped out to the UK.’
From that point on, Rikki and Sian focused on two main things. The first was getting the original number plate put back onto the car, which was a straightforward process. ‘The second thing we focused on,’ Rikki tells us, ‘was reuniting it with its first owners. We tracked them down and they were absolutely thrilled to bits!
‘It’s very first owner was a Scottish lady named Ailsa. She’d bought the car originally, and had then given it to her great nephew Stuart and his girlfriend Margaret, who had sold it to the enthusiast in Cyprus. Although the car outlasted the relationship between Stuart and Margaret, they’re still good friends to this day – Stuart even told us that he’d like the car back in the family if we ever sell it.
‘It turned out that Margaret had also prepared a little history of the car when she sold it to the Cypriot family, and those documents came back with the car when we bought it! We’ve also got the original sale of record, which is amazing. It’s an absolutely lovely story with a certain romance to it; we’ve even named the car Ailsa after the original owner.’