1955-1974 KARMANNGHIA COUPÉ
WHY WE LOVE IT Pretty – but it’s still a Beetle underneath
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