1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaSWelcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. When we had the quasi-abandoned '70 Karmann Ghia last month, I got a flood of emails from rusty-state readers who were aghast that such a rare car would be allowed to go to The Crusher. Thing is, Karmann Ghias aren't at all rare around here; I've been passing today's car- which is located just a few blocks from my house- for months and months, figuring I'd get around to shooting it one of these days. And here it is!

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS
This one might not be a '74, but the bumpers place it somewhere in the Malaise Era. It's a Beetle under the skin, but for some crazy reason the sporty Karmann Ghia actually weighs more than the utilitarian Beetle: 1,919 versus 1,831 pounds. Both cars got the 46-horsepower 1600 engine. Yes, US emission-control regulations were tough on the air-cooled VW.
1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS
The price tag on the Karmann Ghia was pretty nice for a convertible: $3,935. Still, that was 10 bucks more than the 78.5-horse '74 MGB, and $970 more than a Triumph Spitfire. Wait, was the Spitfire really that cheap, or is the Standard Catalog mistaken?

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

1974 Volkswagen Karmann GhiaS

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