He's also a master VW technician.
It all started when Taylor Bryant was a kid growing up in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead of loving the more typically popular pickup trucks and muscle cars, he had a thing for Volkswagens. Just dug them. Before he could even drive he hopped on his bike and rode to the local VW dealership to check out the newest models and just to hang out and chat with technicians. He may not have realized it at the time, but he was gaining valuable knowledge for a future career and hobby. In 1961, he bought his first car which was, of course, a VW Beetle. The price: $500.
"I drove it all the way through high school and the beginning of college. It really got me into cars because I had to work on it constantly," Bryant said. "You can't pay a whole lot of people to work on your car on a Taco Bell salary at 16."
Later, Bryant earned a degree in automotive technology and then began his career working as a Volkswagen master technician. Not only did he work on modern models like the VW Tiguan, but also classics including the Corrado and Beetle.
And during this time, Bryant began building his own VW car collection. His method was simple: buy trade-in vehicles as project cars and once the work was completed, he'd sell them for whatever amount he put into it. The process would then repeat itself with another trade-in. This working model has since resulted in a 42 Volkswagen car collection over the years.
"I pretty much love them all [and] have touched or owned all of them at some point," he said. Back in 2010, Bryant ran for a seat on the local school board and, naturally, used a 2005 Jetta GLI as his campaign car.
To celebrate his fifth anniversary, he bought his wife a Cabriolet. His son's first car? A Jetta. Bryant's garage currently houses a 1999 Jetta, 2004 Passat Wagon, and a 2017 Jetta. Amazingly, he recently spotted a Karmann Ghia he restored 20 years ago up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
After working as a VW mechanic for a dozen years, he took up a teaching position at his alma mater. "It feels really good to give back to the career that has given me everything I've ever had," he says.
Today, an old school Beetle doesn't meet his family needs, so Bryant is eyeing a new VW Atlas. But no matter what, he'll always drive a VW. "[Volkswagen] was the first car I bought and will likely be the last," Bryant concluded.