1955-1974 KARMANNGHIA COUPÉ

WHY WE LOVE IT Pretty – but it’s still a Bee­tle un­der­neath

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Volkswagen At 80 -

The Kar­mann- Ghia is the sporty-look­ing num­ber for those who don’t usu­ally ad­mit to lik­ing VWs. Styled by Ghia and built by Kar­mann, VW wasn’t go­ing to turn its nose up at the thought of man­u­fac­tur­ing more Bee­tle un­der­pin­nings. The orig­i­nal used the 1192cc flat-four Bee­tle en­gine, so while it might look sleek, it was no speed merchant.

There was also a fine con­vert­ible (1958-1974) and a dif­fer­ent-look­ing coupé avail­able from 1962-1969. Later cars had big­ger en­gines and front disc brakes.

Buyers need pa­tience. Look at a lot of cars – and be pre­pared to dis­miss sev­eral. SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS EN­GINE 1192cc/flat-4/OHV POWER 36bhp@3700rpm TORQUE 56lb ft@2000rpm TOP SPEED 75mph 0-60MPH 28sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 25-30mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual EN­GINE EN­GINE OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic XL30 11 pints GEAR­BOX OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic XL30 3½ pints AXLE OIL Cas­trol Clas­sic EP90 1½ pints BUY­ING TIPS

Rust has no re­spect for looks – check every­where, in­clud­ing the floor­pan (es­pe­cially in the con­vert­ibles), front and rear wings, sills, heater mounts and jack­ing points.

Be­ware cars with a tatty in­te­rior – find­ing cor­rect ma­te­rial and trim for early low­light mod­els is now dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive.

While it is the early mod­els that will turn the most heads, the later ones are of­ten the bet­ter runners – so choose wisely.

WHAT TO PAY CON­COURS £15,000, GOOD £8500, US­ABLE £6500, PROJECT £4000

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