Water-Resistant: 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia – Sold!

Mar 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

Karmann Ghias remains one of our favorite cars of all time, especially convertible versions such as this latest red-over-black example just posted on Craigslist in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where the current careatker is asking $18,000.  A check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his Ghia priced $1,100 above the current #3 “Good” estimate of $16,900.

During its eighteen production-run from 1956 through 1974, Volkswagen’s Type 14 or Karmann Ghia remained largely unchanged, save for minor updates needed to meet changing safety requirements over that time.  For 1970, larger taillights integrated the reversing lights and larger wrap-around turn signals to help improve side visibility of the car to other drivers.  The stylish design by Ghia in Italy never really needed to change as it was and remains a timeless design to this day. The beautiful body was actually very complex to build, however, the costs of that were offset by relying on Beetle running gear to keep the car affordable.

Our first impression of this Karmann Ghia is its a very nicely and lovingly restored example. It’s clear from the frunk pictures provided this Karmann Ghia likely benefitted from a complete disassembly prior to receiving what appears to be an excellent repaint.  Even more, pictures provided illustrate the restorer’s liberal use of POR-15 on both sides of the pan to encapsulate any existing surface rust as well as prevent future problems.  The custom black seats with red piping to match the exterior is a nice touch combined with the Fuchs-style wheels.  Between the pictures provided and the seller’s description, this appears to be a well-sorted example that’s ready for top-down cruising weather.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Clean car very well maintained without problems, fully waterproofed inside and out with Pro15.
All works are documented with their respective invoices,The following have been the work that has been done in the last two years.
-New paint
-New carpets
-New convertible top
-New brakes
-New gas tank sending unit
-New rubber seals on trunk, hood and doors
-New stainless steel body trim
-New distributor
-New wires
-New plugs
-New starter
-New fuel pump
-Rebuilt carburetor
-Five lug porsche wheels
-New original Bosch blue coil
-New air heater hose
-New complete seat upholstery
-New rear torsion bar covers
-New doors panels
-New checkered doors
-New horn boot
-New convertible top boot
-New Pertronix ignition kit
-New ignition switch
-New muffler
-New intake manifold
-New fresh air houses
-New fuel tank filler hose
-New German cloth braided breather hose
-New KYB front and rear gas shock absorbers
-New tie rod end inner right and left
-New steering damper
-New rod end left and right hand thread
-New steering coupler disc
-New sun visors
-New seal for nose emblem base
-New nose vent grill seals
-New rear door wedges right and left
-New flower bud-vase
-New hirschmann retractable antenna
-New Bosch Generator 12 Volt.
-New Bosch 12 Volt. voltage regulator

Do you have a Karmann Ghia story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Analog Man

    These are absolutely gorgeous cars that were underrated and overlooked for many years, and have recently been deservedly climbing in price. Hand-built body, beautiful styling, and performance not far off a Porsche 356 make for a desirable package.

    The ‘courtship’ car for my wife and I was a 1971 Karmann-Ghia I had back in the early 1980’s. I had to sell it to help pay for grad school, and have been hunting for another one for a long time. This one looks like it had had a sympathetic amateur restoration, with nice attention paid to some details (I love the POR-15 treatment of the pans), but also some either questionable personal details or cost-cutting (choice of steering wheel, and especially the black painted bumper over-riders. Really???) Overspray on the door latches also suggests an amateur re-spray, and of course the nose should be examined to see how much damage it might have had and how well it was repaired (very few of these survived long in the wild without their protruding noses being crunched).

    The Achilles heel of all K-G’s is rust. By the time they were just a few years old back then, most had already started decomposing back into the elements. I would suggest putting any 50 year old example under a microscopic examination. I would run a magnet over every inch of the body, especially the rocker panels and around the headlights, two areas notorious for rust. Every square inch of the pan should also be examined to gauge what’s under the paint. It’s unlikely to be the original floor pan after 50 years, so a close look at whatever might have been replaced would be a good idea.

    A quick-and-dirty test of the condition of the heater channels in the frame (and heater boxes on the engine) would be to turn on the heat and defrost. They should blow warm air without any exhaust smell. Air-cooled VWs have a reputation for having terrible heat, and even when brand new it wasn’t the best. But I know from personal experience that a sound car and intact system still puts out enough heat to survive frigid upstate New York winters (if not exactly keeping you toasty).


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