In the early 1950s, Volkswagen was producing its economy car, the Type 1 or Beetle as it is better known. With an increase in post-war standards of living, executives at Volkswagen proposed adding a halo car to its model range, contracting with German coachbuilder Karmann for its manufacture. Karmann in turn contracted the Italian firm Ghia, who adapted styling themes previously explored for Chrysler and Studebaker to a Beetle floorplan widened by 12 inches.
In contrast to the Beetle’s machine-welded body with bolt-on fenders, the Karmann Ghia’s body panels were butt-welded, hand-shaped, and smoothed with English pewter in a time-consuming process commensurate with higher-end manufacturers, resulting in the Karmann Ghia’s higher price. The design and prototype were well received by Volkswagen executives, and in August 1955 the first Karmann Ghia was manufactured in Osnabrück, Germany. Public reaction exceeded expectations, and more than 10,000 were sold in the first year with production continuing until 1974.
The Karmann Ghia offered for sale here was imported from Colorado, USA. It is a fantastic looking car that has been subject to a bare metal re-spray and new chrome work, the combination of Blue body with Cream roof is very well suited to a Volkswagen of this vintage. The interior has been totally refreshed; the seats have been re-upholstered, custom carpets made, new door cards to match the seats and new headlining. Suspension has been lowered and the low stance allows this car to have a real head-turning presence. Also benefitting from Spax gas shock absorbers front and rear, a new 1835cc Karmann Ghia engine with SLR lifters, new IDF 42 dual carburettors and a full CSP python exhaust.
This really is a stunning car that has had some well thought-out modifications and is sure to stand out from the crowd.