1968 Karmann Ghia - One of the Best in USA Price: $27500
This 1968 Karmann Ghia is for someone who wants to own one of the best examples in the country. My wife and I love VW’s in general (mid 50’s to later 60’s) and we own a couple of really nice bugs. My wife purchased her first bug in 1967 from Moore Bros. Motors in Philadelphia. Karmann Ghia coupes have been my passion and we have owned three in recent years. When you are in your mid 70’s you begin to accept the notion that you best find good homes for most of your cars.
Offering up this 1968 will be easier if I can pass it on to an appreciative next owner who will be the next custodian. When I stumbled upon this car, it did not take very long to realize I needed to step up and write the check very close to the asking price, or I might regret letting it pass through my fingers.
A very special effort went into the restoration of this car, but only to the credit of a previous owner. The completed car was properly recognized being the featured vehicle in a multiple page color display in “Hot VWs” magazine. It is not stock, but retains much of the original look. Improvements were all about performance, with just a hint of the “outlaw” look. Just as some Porsche 356 that have evolved into “outlaws”, the most successful ones in my opinion are those that do not look very dramatic or glaringly different from stock.
Here is a brief bullet list of the features that make this Ghia one of the best out there.
- Exhaust: S&S merged header which has been HPC coated
- Gene Berg high performance shifter
- Crank: Scat 78mm Pro Street
- Pistons and Cylinders: Cima 90.5mm
- Cam: Engle 110
- Valve Train: VW e.1:1rockers, solid shafts, stock push rods
- Valves: 40mm x 36mm stainless steel
- Heads: German VW duel port, polished and ported
- Compression Ratio: 9.5 to 1
- Ignition: Bosche 009
- Induction: Dual Weber 44IDF
- Intake Manifold: Aluminum, match-ported and polished
- Flywheel: 200mm lightened, 8 dowel pins
- Special Mods: Gene Berg pulley, full-flow oil system, remote filter, windage tray, Melling oil pump
- Transmission Builder: Transform, Long Beach, CA
- Gear Rations 3.8 first, 2.06 second, 1.26 third, .089 fourth
- Shortened Axles
- Dog house oil cooler
There are some lovely everyday Karmann Ghia drivers out there, and they are being enjoyed by passionate owners who are happy driving those vehicles. This Ghia is for someone who wants to step up and enjoy an incredible example and, like me, is willing to go over budget to make it theirs.
I never thought about this car, or any car we own in our little collection, as an investment….just a car that thoroughly captured my heart. I have proudly owned it for a number of years and every time I show the car to a friend or visitor to our garage, I always do so with pride and excitement. This car has no weaknesses……. and driving it is exciting. Looking at it after you park it is equally pleasing.
Check photos 16 and 17 and see a giant notebook cotaining what appears to be every purchase and receipt and documentation going into the creation of this vehicle. It is amazing..... over $17,000
Option Reading: Below is a brief overview of how the Karmann Ghia came to be. The story intrigued me and accelerated my growing interest in Ghia coupes.
Heinz Nordhoff was a German engineer who led Volkswagen as it was rebuilding after World War II. He stubbornly clung to the Beetle, rejecting literally dozens of redesign or replacements for the familiar Bug. As early as 1951, Nordhoff and Wilhelm Karmann has discussed the possibility of a stylish coupe based on the Type I chassis, but nothing came of it.
Around the same time, Mario Boano, styling director of the Turin-based Carrozzeria Ghia, was looking for new customers. Italy’s coachbuilders had an abundance of talent, but a shortage of business. There is controversy as to the origins of the design of the Karmann Ghia coupe. Virgil Exner, Jr. claims the design to be a derivative of a product of the Exner studio that penned a prototype vehicle, known as the D’Elegance. Others say it was Mario Boano’s vision. Whatever its origins, the new design was favorably received by Wilhelm Karmann and then presented to Nordhoff and VW vice president Karl Feureneisen in November of 1953. Feureneisen was enthusiastic and Nordoff reluctantly agreed to place the design into production. The Karmann Ghia coupe went on sale in September of 1955 with a base price of 7,500 DM compared to the VW Bug export price of 4,700 DM, about 60% higher.
The significantly higher production costs were attributed to the sleek curves that were too complex for simple stamping. Many of its panel had to be painstakingly hand-formed. The payoff for all this effort was a beautifully clean and elegant shape, one of the most attractive and tasteful of its era.