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Sleek personal coupe created by Germany and Italy.

*This is a translation done by a machine.

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was born of a collaboration of three companies that would probably never be possible again. One of them, as you know from the "Volkswagen" is still alive, but the other 2 have disappeared from the front stage. The German coach builder "Karmann" went bankrupt in 2009 and is now part of Volkswagen. And the Italian "Carrozzeria Ghia" who designed it, is now part of Ford.

There are many interesting stories about the birth of this car, but I can't tell you all of them. To put it simply, Volkswagen, which was looking for an advanced personal car different from the Beetle Type 1 and the One-Box Type 2, Karmann which wanted to create a car with their own name, Ghia which had dealings with companies outside Italy, were all in one car, and it was a very happy collaboration. In addition, this kind of personal coupe/cabriolet has been produced for 19 years, which is quite a long time, and it has been a successful product with 440,000 units.

The structure of the car is a combination of a simple, robust RR layout platform for the Beetle, with the rugged, air-cooled flat 4 engine components of Volkswagen, designed by Carrozzeria Ghia and manufactured by Karmann. Coupe was released in 1955, and Cabriolet was released 2 years later.

Since then, production has continued with only small annual improvements without changing the basic structure, but it can be roughly divided into three generations. The first is an early model, from the 1956 model to the 1959 model, with a low profile with almost the same nose as the prototype. It is also called "square tail" because the tail lamp is small and square. Second, the front fender line is straight and the headlamp position is high. It is a mid-term model from 1969 model to 1960 model. This is called the "crescent tail" because of the rounded tail lamp shape. The 3rd one is a later model from 1974 model to 1970 model in which the front blinker is a square and large horizontal type. It is called "Big Tail" because the tail lamp is greatly enlarged with a built-in backup lamp.

Since then, production has continued with only small annual improvements without changing the basic structure, but it can be roughly divided into three generations. The first is an early model from 1956 model to 1959 model, with a low silhouette with the same nose as the prototype. It is also called "Square Tail" because the tail lamp is small and square. Second, the front fender line is straight and the headlamp position is high, it is a mid-term model from 1960 model to 1969 model. This is called the "Crescent Tail" because of the rounded tail lamp shape. The 3rd one is a later model from 1970 to 1974 model in which the front blinker is a square and large horizontal type. It is called "Big Tail" because the tail lamp is greatly enlarged with a built-in backup lamp.

Among them, "Square Tail" is a collector's item, so it is hard to find it on the market, and even if it appears, it is often expensive. "Big Tail" may be slightly less popular due to the modern detailing. On the other hand, "Crescent Tail" is the most popular car because it has been produced for a long time and has a large number of cars, so it is easy to find and has classical details.

By the way, the early version of the engine has the same power as the Beetle with a power of 30 hp of 1.2 liters, and although the vehicle weight was more than 50kg heavier than the Beetle, the maximum speed increased by about 5km/h Probably because the body was aerodynamically better than the Beetle. After that, the engine will increase its displacement from 1966 to 1.3 liters, from 1967 to 1.5 liters, and from 1970 to 1.6 liters, but if you look at it as a sports car, it can not be said that all are fast-paced There was not.

But many people who wanted to get Karmann Ghia didn't really care. The most attractive feature is the flowing and beautiful form with a lovely face. Some people ridiculed it as "Poorman's Porsche" but the handling of the RR, which has a lower center of gravity than the Beetle and a heavier rear like the Beetle, it was more fun than I imagined.

The Volkswagen's flat 4 unit was definitely faster when it was tune-up, and some of it had the acceleration power of a Porsche. Even when it was sold as a new car, there were many enthusiasts who enjoyed customizing like Beetle. Even now, there are plenty of parts for dress-up and tune-up. One characteristic of Karmann Ghia is that there are fewer original cars than other historic cars.


Tomoyuki Shimada's Highlights!

It is a car that landed in Japan later, so I do not know the official model year, but the filler port is provided on the right side of the front hood, which is a feature since the 1968 model, and for opening and closing it The fact that this lever is located under the glove box is a feature of the 1969 model and later, so this car is probably a 1968 model produced in 1969.

First, I checked the negative points. The base of the left headlamp, part of the front hood and part of the front panel were slightly rusted. Also, some of the plating on the front and rear bumpers had some deterioration and cloudiness, and the right front fender had traces of touch paint repair and light dents. And there were light scratches on the right side sill, door and rear fender. There was a slight dent in the back of the right door. The lining of the right door was a little loose. The driver's seat had a tear along the thread and there was a trace of repair. In this way, several damaged spots were found.

Surprisingly, however, this car was owned by a single owner for a long time in Germany, and after being registered in Japan by an air-cooled Volkswagen specialist, it was stored there, and since the winter of 2017 has been owned by the current owner, it is a 2 owner in effect. According to the current owner, the car had not been restoration, so it was more expensive to buy than the market.

In addition, it is said that all the parts that show aging deterioration regardless of the function have existed before the current owner owned them. In addition, stickers of old dealers are affixed to the rear window and the right rear side window. There is a new windwasher tank inside the front hood, but the original tank inside the nose is still there and beside it there is an old jack that has been there since it was new. In other words, the condition of the car when it was first owned by the owner in Germany is still intentionally maintained, so you can see the history of this car. I think cars like this are very valuable.

The paint on the body does not fade and the doors and hoods open and close normally. The rear seat was hardly damaged, and the luggage compartment, which appears when you recline the seat back forward, was surprisingly clean. The ashtray under the dashboard is old but clean. You can see that the storage condition was excellent. When I lay down on the road and checked around the suspension, it was clean as I expected. The engine starts after a short cranking and idling is stable. The engine system must have been well maintained. In other words, it has been maintained with great care for about 50 years. If you've been in the car business for a long time, you'll realize that no matter how prettily the car looks, it's not a good car, and vice versa. I wouldn't deny it if someone asked me, "Is that your personal opinion?" but it's true that this car became more and more likable as I watched it.

I think it's good to keep the atmosphere as it is in a car where the passage of time for 50 years has been engraved since it was a new car, and of course it's also good to repair the parts you are worried about and drive it. In any case, I sincerely hope that the owner who understands the "heart" of the person who has loved this car will own it.

Vehicle Specifications

Model Year1969
Year of PurchaseApr 1991
Engine Capacity1,493cc
Mileage30,884km
Transmission4MT
Steering WheelLeft
ColorGreen
Chassis No.149043535
Engine No.
InspectionDecember 2019
AreaTokyo, Japan
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