Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

Today's Down On The Alameda Street car is a clean VW Karmann Ghia convertible. I'm not enough of a KG expert to nail down the exact year on this one, but the taillight size seems to indicate early 1970s.

Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

It's difficult to think of the Karmann Ghia as a true sports car, what with the wait-for-it throttle response of the Type I engine and the seriously funky handling peculiarities of the breed.

Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

Nonetheless, this car has style, perhaps even soul.

Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

If it can be kept from rusting into a heap of reddish powder (air-cooled VWs are the only cars I can think of that develop structurally harmful rust levels in the dry coastal areas of California), your Karmann Ghia will still be running decades after the last street-driven Italian or British sports car of its era has sputtered to a halt.

Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

Having ridden in a few stock KGs, I would say that a dual-Weber 1835cc engine is pretty much a necessity, preferably with straight pipes. Sure, you'll die in a backwards fireball the first time you give it too much throttle in a turn, but at least you won't have to merge onto freeways doing 30 MPH.

Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

If you squint real hard you can almost fool yourself into believing it's a Porsche. No, wait, you can't.

Related:
Porsche-Powered Karmann Ghia: Yes, You Can Have One [internal]