If the VW Beetle was Susan Boyle, then the Karmann Ghia was her lovely voice. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe drop top Ghia is said to have had its own makeover, but will its price have you saying aww, come on, Ghia?
Rarity and obscurity are related in context, but being one rather than the other can make all the difference in the perception of desirability. That seemed to be the case yesterday as the rare but almost unknown 1969 Intermeccanica Italia fell in a 73% Crack Pipe loss for its five-figure price tag. It had already seen substantial discounting in the months prior, and the consensus was that the seller should keep on dropping.
At around 400 produced, that Italia was one of history's lowest production cars. In contrast today we are moving on to one of the world's most ubiquitous. The VW Karmann Ghia Type 14 (not to be confused with the larger and homelier Type 34) shared its platform and major mechanicals with the company's Type 1 Beetle, a car that as everyone knows once was a common as cats on Reddit.
You know, it's not all that often that a manufacturer names a model after not one but two other companies, however that's just what VW did, anointing their sport coupe after both Karmann - the builder, and Ghia - the design house where Luigi Segre penned its shape.
Today's 1965 Karmann Ghia appends to that rounded and pointy-nosed shape a convertible roof that affords excellent visibility when dropped, and somewhat claustrophobic environs when up.
This is said to have been restored several years back and to have been given little or no exercise since. Under the engine lid, and surrounded by more stainless steel than Paula Deen is what's said to be a new dual port 1600. That's fronted by an equally refreshed 4-speed, and as such equipped one could expect performance of the car to rival that of a Rascal Scooter or an active septuagenarian in a pair of Easy Strider sneakers.
This being a '65 means that the suspension is torsion bars and swing axles in the back, equating handling at speed to that of a cow on ice. That shouldn't be surprising as the Karmann Ghia was never meant to be a high-speed tourer, a fact borne out in the meager stopping ability of its all-drum braking setup.
Here those brakes are wrapped in American Rivieras and are painted the same shade of metallic blue as damn-near every other part of the car including the bumpers, headlamp rings and door handles. Why did the restorer hate chrome so very much? Possibly low self esteem drove him to mask any and all reflective surfaces lest he caught a glimpse of his countenance and had a sad.
Aside from all that, the paint looks okay, at least better than the catalog interior which is more over the top blue on blue on blue. In its favor, the convertible seems intact with a plastic window in the back you can actually see through. On the other side of the coin however, there's something disconcerting about the photos of the car on a flatbed transporter, as well as the engine bay shot where it is missing a battery. One has to wonder exactly what kind of shape the mechanicals are in after the car has been sitting idle for two years.
Regardless, you don't have to wonder about its price, which comes in at $5,900. That seems to be cheap for a Karmann Ghia that isn't made mostly of holes and past glory, but one has to take into consideration this particular car's condition and the choices made in its restoration - and that's what you need to do right now. What doe you think, is this Karmann Ghia worth $5,900? Or, does that price make it a Vee-Flubb-A-You?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.