But he was an avid biker all his life. He was a customs officer in the 30s at the German/Czech border and had a government issue NSU 600 sidecar outfit for patrolling. He privately owned a Zündapp K800, which was commandeered in 1939.
After the war, he bought a US Army surplus Indian on credit and fed the family riding it in a Wall of Death at carnivals and also at speedway races. After things became normal and he was reinstated as a customs officer, he would always have the biggest contemporary BMW with sidecar. After my mom and my two aunts had outgrown it, he no longer used sidecars. He finally stopped riding at age 86, and his last bike was a six cylinder Honda Goldwing. My grandma never rode herself, and never drove a car. I think she didn't have any license at all.
My pat. (Austrian) Grandfather bought an old clapped out beaten up 1926 Tatra 11 when he was still at university in the 30s. My grandma, still alive and kicking at age 96, says he pushed it more than he drove it. He must have pushed it around until 1939 when civilian driving was halted altogether and the car was scrapped.
After the war he set up business in Munich and like every self-respected Wirtschaftswunder entrepreneur bought a new VW Beetle as soon as he could afford one. I'm not sure when exactly that was, but it was a split window. He had it until the mid 50s when he bought a Simca Aronde, which he traded in for a Simca Chambord V8 in the late 50s. My father learned to drive in it and he sometimes borrowed it when he dated my mother. I still remember it from when I was a toddler, with its towering tailfins, at least from the perspective I saw them.
In the late 60s he replaced it with a Simca 1501 Speciale and that gave way to an Audi 100 (C1) in the early 70s. In the late 70s he bought yet another Audi 100 (C2), a 5E, and this was the last car he drove. For a brief time in the 60s, again, I remember it as a toddler, he also had an Amphicar as a second car. My grandma from this side of the family only ever had one car, a Renault Caravelle ragtop. She got it around 1965 and drove it until she stopped driving altogether around the year 2000.
Edited by Junkman, 17 November 2012 - 07:44 PM.