Deceased Dad: 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible – Sold?

by | Dec 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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January 11, 2024, Update – While this “ClassiFIND” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 1, 2023 Update – The seller replaced their expired Craigslist ad with a fresh listing. While the pictures carry over, the seller elected to lower their asking price by one thousand dollars to $31,500.

October 28, 2023 Update – The seller of this restored ’71 Karmann Ghia convertible replaced their expired Craigslist ad with a fresh listing.  The pictures, description, and already-changed $32,500 asking price remain the same.

October 11.2023 Update – Most sellers lower their asking price after several weeks without a sale.  In this case, it appears this seller elected to raise their asking price by $2,500. At this risk of speculating, it appears to be a tactic to be able to negotiate down to the $30,000 they are hoping to achieve for their deceased parent’s Karmann Ghia.

As older Silent Generation and Baby Boomer car enthusiasts age out of the hobby, their offspring (and sometimes grandchildren) often find themselves responsible for selling their family’s beloved classic car.

If the children don’t share their parents’ interest in cars, they might not have much knowledge about them. This is particularly true if their parent or grandparent didn’t document any information about the car before passing away.

One example is this red 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible for sale, first spotted in September 2023 on Craigslist in Shawnee, Kansas (Kansas City). The seller doesn’t know the real mileage of their 1971 Karmann Ghia. They also don’t give any information about when or who restored the car. You must interview the deceased seller’s child to confirm whether they know those details. To their credit, the seller can provide more pictures and videos upon request.

Last offered for $31,500 (the original ask was $30,000),, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results summary for similar VW Karmann Ghias sold.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable Volkswagen Karmann Ghia for sale sold for in the past rolling six months:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $24,000.  A third benchmark is the downloadable 2023 Old Cars Price Guide Big Book, which confirms the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $21,600 and its #2 “Fine” appraisal of $33,600 for a completely stock example.

In the world of classic cars, some icons have left an indelible mark on automotive history. The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible is an iconic vehicle that continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Volkswagen made cars from 1955 to 1975. They had a flat frame and mechanical parts from the Type 1 Beetle. Carrozzeria Ghia designed the body and Karmann built it. The cars came in coupe and convertible versions.

The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible results from the collaboration between two car companies from different parts of the world. Volkswagen, a German carmaker known for its reliability and affordability, collaborated with Italian coachbuilder Karmann. Together, they aimed to create a car that combined the best qualities of both companies.

Introduced in 1955, the Karmann Ghia was initially available only as a coupe. The Italian firm Ghia heavily influenced its elegant design, contributing to the car’s silhouette. However, it wasn’t until 1957 that the convertible version debuted, adding an extra layer of charm to an enchanting vehicle.

Like its predecessors, the 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible exudes timeless elegance. The design has smooth lines, a sloping hood, and a curved roofline that smoothly goes into the back. The absence of sharp edges and unnecessary adornments gives it a minimalist yet sophisticated appearance.

The convertible top, made of high-quality canvas, adds versatility to the car’s design. With the top down, it transforms into an open-air cruiser, perfect for sunny days and leisurely drives along winding roads. When raised, the top provides protection from the elements without compromising the car’s aesthetics.

Underneath its stunning exterior, the 1971 Karmann Ghia Convertible boasted impressive engineering for its time. The Volkswagen Beetle, known for its simplicity and reliability, shared its platform and mechanical components with it. This made the Karmann Ghia a relatively easy car to maintain and repair, earning it a reputation for longevity.

Powering the 1971 Karmann Ghia Convertible was a rear-mounted, air-cooled, 1.6-liter, flat-four engine. While it may not have been a powerhouse in horsepower, it provided adequate performance for the car’s intended purpose. The car was easy to drive and maneuver in the city due to its small size and nimble handling.

The 1971 Karmann Ghia Convertible inside the cabin offered a welcoming and cozy environment. The seats were well-cushioned and upholstered in quality materials, providing a comfortable place to sit during long drives. The dashboard featured a simple yet elegant layout, with chrome accents and a classic VDO instrument cluster.

Despite its compact dimensions, the Karmann Ghia Convertible offered ample legroom and headroom for the driver and passenger. The manually-operated convertible top was easy to use, which made switching between open and closed positions simple.

The 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible has become a sought-after collector’s item. Its rarity and classic design have made it a prized possession for automotive enthusiasts and vintage car collectors. Restored models command a premium price, reflecting the enduring appeal of this iconic convertible.

Restoring a Karmann Ghia Convertible to its former glory is a labor of love. Finding original parts and skilled craftsmen to recreate the car’s details can be difficult. However, the result is a shiny piece of automotive history. Many enthusiasts take great pride in preserving these classics, ensuring they continue to turn heads on the road for future generations.

The 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible is more than just a car; it’s a work of art on wheels. Its timeless design, solid engineering, and charm have cemented its status as an icon in the automotive world.

If you love classic cars, the Karmann Ghia Convertible is a must-have. It captures the essence of a time when cars were stylish and functional, appealing to both collectors and car enthusiasts. With its enduring elegance, this classic convertible remains a testament to the artistry of automotive design and craftsmanship.

The Jalopnik YouTube Channel features this video of five things to know about the Karmann Ghia:

While the seller does not specifically call it out, their deceased father’s red 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible for sale appears to have benefitted from a quality restoration at some point.  The red overspray on the belly pan shot provides hints of a respray, while the good-looking two-tone black-and-tan viny interior is definitely not original.

Another subtle touch is that the dashboard does not have fake wood appliques installed, and we prefer the look. The seller wants a lot of money for their dad’s Karmann Ghia. We suggest checking it in person to ensure the body restoration is good, especially the difficult hand-formed front end.

To buy the Karmann Ghia, contact the seller using the information in their Craigslist ad. When you connect, please mention that you saw their vintage Volkswagen featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“My father purchased this 1971 convertible Karmann Ghia in early 2009 from a seller in New Mexico. My father liked to visit car shows and drive in parades with this car but he has since passed away.
The car is finished in red with a tan soft top, tan boot, and a tan and black interior. Equipment includes chrome bumpers, dual side mirrors, and a Pioneer AM/FM/CD receiver amplifier.
The motor is a 1600 cc four-cylinder with a single carburetor, a manual transmission, and a vented engine cover. Braking includes front disc and rear drum brakes.
This car is being offered with a clean Missouri title.
The electrical system working. The deck lid latch and front trunk latch working. Demo videos are available on request.
The odometer shows 8,577 miles. I don’t have any other information on the car’s mileage history.
There are a couple of dings on the bumper. Have noticed a few drops of oil under the transmission after driving.


Listing Details
• 1.6-Liter Flat-Four
• Four-Speed Manual Transmission
• Front disc brakes and rear drum brakes
• Red Paint
• Black and Tan Vinyl & Fabric Upholstery
• 15″ Michelin tires with onboard spare
• Tan Soft Top
• Tan Top Boot
• Chrome Bumpers
• Dual Side Mirrors
• Pioneer AM/FM/CD Stereo Receiver

Show or go: What would you do with this 1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!


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