This is the third entry in Cars Of Leonard Cohen, a series of posts about Leonard Cohen’s actual automobiles, those metaphorical cars he employed in his songs, and his thoughts about cars.
Driving Miss Marianne: Karmann Ghia
Note: The photo atop this post is a 1958 Karmann Ghia, but not the Karmann Ghia owned by Marianne that is featured in this post.
Leonard Drives Marianne From Greece To Oslo
You even drove [Marianne] from Greece back home to Norway?
Yes in her little Karmann Ghia, and she liked to drive fast, and I didn’t like to drive that fast, but anyway, we got there, and, yes we drove from Athens to Oslo. That was a wonderful drive. Although I remember us quarreling a lot. I don’t know whether it was about the driving or not, but I do remember that it was quarrels that arose. But they were healed because we’d stop at some little Italian cafe and have pasta and a bottle of wine or some cheese and bread, and we’ d get over it.
From Leonard Looks Back On The Past, an interview with Leonard Cohen by Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005 (Unedited interview for the Norwegian Radio). Found at LeonardCohenFiles [bolding mine].
More About Marianne’s Volkswagens
Marianne’s automotive history, with and without Leonard Cohen, is intriguing. According to So Long, Marianne: A Love Story by Kari Hesthamar (ECW Press; June 10, 2014), in 1957, Marianne and Axel Jensen purchased a “secondhand blue Volkswagen Beetle” in Hamburg en route to Greece. Shortly thereafter, they spun out on ice in Yugoslavia, extensively damaging the vehicle and necessitating repairs before they could continue their journey. Then, in 1959, they traveled to Stockholm where they used the revenue from the publication of Axel’s novel, Line, they purchased a “beige Karmann Ghia with light brown leather upholstery.” Some time later, Axel’s lover, Patricia, was driving this car in Athens when, dodging a cart in the road, she wrecked it, injuring herself severely. This was the Karmann Ghia that transported Leonard and Marianne to Oslo. Before Leonard and Marianne left Greece, they had the car checked out, at which time, they discovered – by accidentally meeting the original owner – that the Karmann Ghia was fitted with a Porsche motor.
All posts in this series will be collected at Cars Of Leonard Cohen when they go online.
Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Sicnag – 1958 Volkswagen Type 14 Karmann Ghia front view, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.