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58 Ghia Restoration Begins
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VeloMikey
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2022 5:50 pm    Post subject: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Back in the old days (80s) pre 1959 Karmann Ghias were just called early Ghias. They were not Lowlights. I always wanted an early Ghia but they always seemed to get away. In 1983 it was a 59 convertible with out a top mech and in 1987 it was a one owner 56 coupe that had sat at a repair shop for over 10 years.

Flash forward to May of 2014 and I purchased this beauty for $8000 out of the Samba classifieds.


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I have gone thru this thing from top to bottom and front to back. All the threads have been tapped or chased. Everything works... even the horns and flash to pass. I started at the front and replaced the nose badge with the correct one. Installed a front bumper. Rewired everything under the the hood. I had to make a harness for the headlights, turn signals and horns. All the wires were burned up. It had been converted to 12v some point in its hard life and the fuel gauge, wipers and horns were overlooked. All three were toast. I sent the wiper motor to DL West from the classifieds and he converted it to 12v, polished the cover, rebushed the pivots and gave me bushings for the linkage. While it was out, I powder coated the linkage. In addition, I purchased wiper arms with the correct silver paint and NOS blades. I purchased a 12v set of horns out of the classifieds along with a modern 12v relay from Airhead parts. Believe it or not, the original 6v relay still works. I am going to try and convert it to 12v so it looks stock hanging in the spare tire well. North Hollywood Speedo rebuilt the speedo, calibrated it for 135SR15 tires and set the odometer to zero. The fuel gauge and clock were converted to 12v. The clock has a quartz Porsche movement in it. If I don't plug it in to the tender the clock will drain the battery in a week to ten days. I bought a 58 wheel for $50 bucks from a guy I sold a door panel set to. That was a score! I had Ruben Velasco restore the wheel and paint the steering tube, turn signal housing and ebrake lever to match. Some how I scored a recromed horn ring and cover with badge from the classifieds too. The same guy had the correct square stock turn signal switch too! I bought door check rods and a couple of horn button rebuild kits from Loren. I found a decent set of seats that are correct for an early Ghia and had them recovered by a guy in the OC. He screwed up on the front seat covers. They look off because the inserts are straight up. The Aussie Trimer says the inserts need to be an inch narrower at the top. It's an easy fix for him! I looked thru the gallery and some seats are like mine and some are correct looking. It's almost fifty fifty. It bugs me so they will be fixed. I bought a 58 parts car off of Craig's List of $3000. Yes, I said $3000. It had perfect visors and a near prefect OG glove box! Another trip to Ruben to restore the mirror and a little soap and water and the waffler visors cleaned up great. OG darts and hardware too! I took a bunch of parts and Kamax bolts off the car and sold it for $3000. Yep, all these unobtainable priceless parts for free. I bought a new windshield because the original looks like Tony Montana did a kilo of coke on it in the 80s. Tons of razor blade scratches. I am going to try and have all the glass polished berfore it goes back together. It's all original Sekurit glass. I bought a set of green Lowlight Works mats and sound deadener for it. I moved the battery to under the back seat. It's a low profile Odyssey type. It has to be replaced every year and a half of so. I bought a repop big script and tail lights at a Drag Day swap meet. A near perfect rear bumper came out of the classifieds too.

Now for what you are going to hate. It has a 4' narrowed beam with all German kings and links, stainless brake lines, a dual circuit master cylinder with the reservoir on top, Wildwood calipers, drilled and slotted rotors and a like new German steering box from a swap meet. The rear is has Wildwood calipers too with cross drilled and slotted rotors. The transaxle is a Gene Berg 5 Speed with close ratio gears, Quaife diff, Folts side covers, Folts 300m axles and all Weddle gears and main shaft. The motor is 2275cc with Weber IDA carbs built by Clyde Berg.

Here it is before I decided on Easter Sunday to blow it apart since I had guest coming over that could help me lift the body off the pan.

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Here it is being taken apart.
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Here is the bare pan ready to go to Washburn's for floors, fuel lines and repairs.

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Here is the pan after Brian fitted Gerson's pans. Yes, those are the super rare and unobtainable unicorns. They are identical to the stock German pans.

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Here is another shot of the pans.


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The pan should be back and powder coated in another week so I can start the reassembly. In the down time waiting, I have been collecting parts and cleaning up stuff. When I disassembled the rolling pan, I put all the hardware in a bucket as it came off. Turns out, everything is original Kmax bolts! I found a local plater and had everything gold cad plated.

Here is all the hardware after plating. I took a second batch in of more Kmax bolts that should be ready next week.


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Don't ask what color I am going to paint it because I still don't know! I wanted to do it Aerosilver with a white top but I can't find the paint code and I don't like how all of the "modern" versions look. I think it will look too vintage too. I don't like the "restomod" look.

Next update will be when I get the pan back.

Stay tuned!
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'58 Ghia 2387cc with a Berg / Folts 5 Speed

Ghia Build Thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=768748
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chris fryer
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2022 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

You clearly know what you are doing, great to document it on here, kudos.
My 59 also came out of the Samba classifieds.
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Braukuche
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 1:38 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Curious why you replaced the pans? I didnít see the usual roach holes. Guess they were thin in the rear?
You lucked out on the Gerson ones!
Damn, typical Ghia body repairs, looks like Machine Gun Kelly went at it on the drivers side. Thatís going to be a lot of fun for someone to repair.
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1956 Ghia
1959 SO-23 Westfalia
1960 double cab
1963 stretched double cab
1962 Golde sunroof Ghia
1963 356 B coupe
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Ian Godfrey
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 2:39 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

I love the mix of performance and hanging on to the old bones of the car Very Happy

An approach to paint for our old cars is single stage acrylic lacquer and tinted clear that give a deep lustre but avoids the over the top 'shine' of modern paint and avoids the 'orange peel' effect of 2 pac paints. The down side of the acrylic lacquer is that to bring out the deep lustre you need to wet sand and buff the car.

looking forward to your next steps
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Olli from NJ
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 3:40 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Very cool project. I am looking forward to updates.

Olli
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VeloMikey
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Braukuche wrote:
Curious why you replaced the pans? I didnít see the usual roach holes. Guess they were thin in the rear?
You lucked out on the Gerson ones!
Damn, typical Ghia body repairs, looks like Machine Gun Kelly went at it on the drivers side. Thatís going to be a lot of fun for someone to repair.


Yeah, the floors were thin in spots. Brian said he had to repair the seat tracks in a couple of spots too. Somebody went crazy with a dent puller all over the thing! It looks like it's had five mirrors put on it over it's life time.
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Karmann Gheezer
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

VeloMikey wrote:
Back in the old days (80s) pre 1959 Karmann Ghias were just called early Ghias. They were not Lowlights.


I'm old school too and couldn't agree more. Nice story and looking forward to seeing how your early Ghia turns out.
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c21darrel
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Sweet Build!!
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TRS63
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2022 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

What a great project, I am in to follow!

Antoine
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rich caramadre
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Good luck with your restoration. From the photos it looks pretty solid. Lots of damaged panels rather than rusted away sections. I'm hoping the inner structures do not need rebuilt. A-pillers, heat channels , etc... I've been working on my 58' for the last 9 months. Had to pretty much rebuild the whole lower 8 inches or so. I just started on the driver rear fender. (rear quarter, wheelwell & arch lower rear fender). Sad Please keep us updated with your progress.
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VeloMikey
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Picked up the pan today from Washburn's Metal. He did the floors, added two 3/8" stainless fuel lines, fixed a bunch of holes, added his custom inspection window and sent it off to powder coat.


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'58 Ghia 2387cc with a Berg / Folts 5 Speed

Ghia Build Thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=768748
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Braukuche
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Looks tasty.
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Go Reds! Smash state!

Retirement is here!
1956 Ghia
1959 SO-23 Westfalia
1960 double cab
1963 stretched double cab
1962 Golde sunroof Ghia
1963 356 B coupe
1963 Ghia coupe
1965 Squareback
1967 Ghia convertible
1967 21 window rust bucket
1970 Ghia convertible
1972 Ghia coupe
1973 Ghia convertible
1974 Ghia convertible x 2
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obus Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2022 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

I have severe pan envy going on
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VeloMikey
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

Here is an Update on my progress...

The 2275cc motor went in for a refresh. New CB Super Pro heads, Wiseco pistons and a cam swap to a Web 86c. During disassembly, found out there was .015" end play! Made the decision to build a new 2387cc long block with a flanged 86mm crank. The tins got powder coated and all the fuel and oil lines are black braided teflon.

Here is a link to the cam break in https://www.instagram.com/reel/CkbrLw1LabU/?igshid=MDM4ZDc5MmU=

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Now on to the pan. It got all new hard brake lines and teflon soft lines. I replaced the master cylinder with a Wilwood tandem with a 1" bore. This is supposed to give you "Camero" brakes. In addition to the new master cylinder, I added a Hurst line lock roll control so I can do smokey burnouts! I am waiting for the Ron Lummus Racing / Strange adjustable shocks to arrive. It's got a new clutch cable, accelerator cable and Bowden tube.

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The only things left to do on the pan are tighten the axle boots, fill the trans with gear oil, torque the rear axles / rotors and repack the steering box. Once all this is done I am going to fab up a steering tube that will bolt to the front body holes and test drive it around the the neighborhood. Oh yeah, one more thing. UPS broke the distributor cap for the magnito when I shipped it to Joe Hunt for repairs. Hopefully the caps will be back in stock in February!

Now on to the body. I finally found a painter willing to paint it and he is local. The first painter in Colorado said he would paint it but it's been 8 months since I have heard from him. Second painter in the High Desert straight out said no, he's too busy. Third painter put me on the books for the end of January and ghosted me when I checked in to see if we were still on schedule for drop off. I stripped the body down and loaded it up to take it to him. It is safe to say it is in good hands as he has several HebmŁllers, Barn Door Buses and early Ghias in his shop.
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Does my radio hole look molested?

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Check out the original wiring harness. I cut off the brittle hard plastic sheath and found nice supple 65 year old wires inside!

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That's it for now. More to come later.
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'58 Ghia 2387cc with a Berg / Folts 5 Speed

Ghia Build Thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=768748
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Ian Godfrey
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2022 7:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 58 Ghia Restoration Begins Reply with quote

A lot of great details in your pics, many thanks. A good score on the NOS Berg rockers Smile
I do like the look of the new CB flanged cranks, a great price compared to what else is out there... i assume they make the money on the bearings ($200) Shocked
Your hoses etc look really sharp and great work on the details like the throttle cable. Well done
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