Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday - Karmann Ghia

Here's a nice 1960, 1200cc engine, Karmann Ghia we bumped into one day, quite by accident (as usual). The owner was helping two other men who were working on Range Rover.

According to VB's little book, Volkswagens of the World, by Simon Glen:
"In July 1955 Karmann launched its own version of the VW Beetle with a sleek, two-door coupe' version styled by Luigi Segre of the Carrozzeria Ghia vehicle design company of Turin, Italy...However the floorplan for this Type 1 VW Karmann Ghia was wider than that used on the Beetle. This same wider floorplan was later also used for the Wesfalia-produced Fridolin van and for the VW 181 off-road vehicle. The floorplans, with engines, running gear and wheels, were made at the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg and then sent by rail to Osnabruck. Wilhelm Karmann GmbH made the Karmann Ghia bodies and then assembled and finished the product. These steel bodies made by Karmann were unique for their time in that, despite being on a production-line assembled vehicle, many sections were hand welded from many smaller pieces, even on the last of the model in 1974.

...Like the Beetle Cabriolet, production of the Type 1 Karmann Ghia could have gone on for longer. However, its production line was needed to make the new front-whell drive Volkswagen Scirocco sports coupe'."

More from the book: "Wilhelm Karmann GmbH of Osnabruck has a subsidiary company in Brazil called Karmann Ghia do Brasil SA, and has a factory at Sao Bernardo do Campo near Sao Paulo.

From 1962 to early 1972, Karmann Ghia do Brasil manufactured the same Type 14 Karmann Ghia Coupe' that was made in Germany. "

(Below): Photo from the book of a Brazilian model.

(Below): Another book photo:

(Below): Interior upholstery - The Boss Man wants this for his '65 VW Beetle convertible when he restores it. (He's thinkin' red with white piping.)



"Towed by camels and laughed at by pedestrians, the lowly Trabant is a modern-day Marco Polo for a good cause.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Move over, Herbie; here come the new stars of overachieving motorized underdogs. Hear them roar! OK, cough, wheeze, and sputter.

Meet Ziggy, Fez, and Dante – intrepid globetrotters, all three. Well, strictly speaking, only two remain: Dante gave up the ghost in Laos.

The decrepit champs are Trabants – "the worst car of all time" as autophiles label the infamous Soviet-era rattletrap; or "a piece of junk," as disgruntled owners used to put it across the former Soviet bloc, where the vehicle was once ubiquitous.

Yet a half century after its unveiling and two decades after its production ceased, the much-maligned car has finally proved its mettle."

The Thing is . . . it's so fun to drive
"VW buggie has safety issues, but it's a blast on trails."

Classic cars shine in the Havasu sun
"Car lovers will have another chance to see more classic vehicles on display next weekend when the Over the Hill Gang hosts a car and motorcycle show at Havasu 95 Speedway on Saturday."

German Engineering is Sexy
"In this VW spot, Heidi Klum is interviewed by a classic Beetle."

Do you know where your car comes from
"A vehicle's country of origin could affect its quality

But just how German is Volkswagen?
Although the Volkswagen brand itself is German, not all of its cars are made in Germany. The company has 24 factories around the world. Its New Beetle and Jetta models are actually made in factories in Mexico, and the Touareg is made in Slovakia.
The boundaries in nationality aren¡¯t just becoming blurry for Volkswagen."

Storied Vehicles
"Meckler towed the 1959 Volkswagen Canadian Standard home in July of 1996. While he planned to drive it that summer, he realized it needed too much work first. When the snow started falling he and his dad, Vince, went to work.

"It's meaningful," he said. "It was my first car and something my dad and I did together, so it means a lot."

It was also an achievement Meckler will never forget.

"How many 19-year-olds can say they did this?" he said. "It's different from just getting a car to be able to get a car and totally gut it, strip it, and rebuild the thing ground up. It's pretty cool. A lot of work, but it was worth it."

(Check out the photos)
VW giving away a The Who-themed "Magic Bus" for charity
"This year, the Who are holding a concert to kick off a lottery to win a 1965 split-windscreen bus provided by VW Commercial Vehicles and carrying a paint scheme designed by the band's art director, Richard Evans. Of course, the imagery of band members on the bus appears to be from a time when Roger Daltrey could sing "hope I die before I get old" with conviction. The van will be on display outside London's Royal Albert Hall until the 13th of April, and £5 will get you a ticket for a chance to win the bus, as well as a free download of an unreleased live version of "Magic Bus."

Column: California couple slides into town, with police escort
"It took us four days to make it from California. VW buses are really fun. They go about 45 mph up a mountain. This is not fun."

Hot Wheels and Gallery 1988 Present Pop Surrealist Exhibit Showcasing Artwork Inspired by Classic Toy Brands
"More than 40 of the most notable artists, including Greg Simkins, Jon Burgerman and Bwana Spoons, were given white, 1:18 scale die-cast Hot Wheels® Volkswagen buses to customize for the exhibit. Each Volkswagen bus will be individually displayed and priced between $300 and $5,500."

VB was hoping to see some of these funky designs and more information was supposed to be available at the link below, but it doesn't seem to be up and running, yet. ( Two photos are available at Edminds: Pop Surrealist Artists Use Hot Wheels Volkswagen Buses as Canvas.

(It's actually a truck.)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!


  1. I have just seen this Karmann Ghia car last week in Zamalak , it was red and I said to me "wow this is really old unique one:)

  2. Yea, I love Karamnn Ghias - they are very cool, in my book.