Tell us a about the history of Airhead Parts. How did it begin?
I started Karmann Ghia Parts and Restoration in January of 1989. I began making parts for Ghias in 1992. I found that “cross over” parts, those fitting other VWs in addition to Ghias (like wiper grommets or horn buttons), had much higher sales volume than those fitting Ghias only. At that point I knew sales totals for Karmann Ghias were always going to be low, so we made our first part for the Beetle, a 1960-61 turn signal switch. At that time we also started a little wholesale company Ventura Warehouse Group (most people just call it VWG) to wholesale out these non-Ghia parts. That was in 1998.
In 2004 Walt Disney Pictures called up VWG to place an order for a mountain of parts for 20 early 60s Bug rag tops. I knew they were making a new Herbie Love Bug movie. At the time we were in the planning stages for the 50th Karmann Ghia Anniversary Cruise. L.A to Osnabrück Germany. I was already talking to VW of America about being a sponsor. So now Disney was in the mix. When they both said “OK”, it became the “Herbie and Friends Cruise Across America”. I decided then that Airhead Parts would go full retail with a new website and a new print catalog. That was in 2005.