Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Karmann Ghia is packing Porsche power, just not the kind you're expecting. The question is, will you find its price equally surprising?
Owning a show car can mean a hassle as they are generally built to be viewed not driven and it's expensive keeping that dais in the driveway rotating all the time. That first issue wasn't the case with yesterday's Saab 900 Sensonic, as it was claimed to be a well-maintained driver. Of course owing to the tenuous reliability of its unique drivetrain, that may not be for long. And long is how much time 78% of you expected it to be for sale owing to its Crack Pipe-voted price.
Have you heard all the kerfuffle about turning gay people into straight ones? Apparently this so called gay conversion therapy is big business and is considered by some to be a scam, hence its practice is being banned in many U.S. states. Who knew?!
No such ban has yet been enacted against converting rear-engined cars, but as we've seen this week there are people who don't like their cars being ass-engined and - gosh-darnnit - they're doing something about it. On Tuesday we had a wild Chevy Corvair that had experienced a motivational one-eighty, and today we have an even wilder 1969 Karmann Ghia that has been similarly switcheroo'd.
You probably remember the Karmann Ghia as one of the cars Maxwell Smart drove in Get Smart. You might also know it as the sporty derivation of the Type 1 Beetle, a lineage that pretty much limited the amount of 'sporty' to just its fancy pants bodywork. Speed, handling and braking of the car remained as mediocre as that of its Bug base.
That's not the case here however. This home brew custom tosses its air cooled flat four with all the power of an asthmatic squirrel for the potent potential of Porsche power. The gearbox, also Porsche in origin, remains between the back axles.
The builder of this Custom Ghia has taken the drivetrain and floorpan from an '86 944, one with 107,000 miles on the clock, and has slid it under the Karmann Ghia body. That means a bump in its ponies, all the way up to 147, and a conversion to aguas frescas for cooling.
Additional mods to make it a runner include front suspension from a Toyota truck and the steering mechanism from a Ford Maverick!
Inside you'll find a lot more evidence of the 944 including the seats and instrument panel, now serving duty in the center of the custom dash. In fact, the whole interior is sort of like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house only with 944 parts instead of those from people.
The bodywork isn't as dramatic a departure from stock as is the interior, but it does have flared fenders and some aero extensions to modern things up a bit. The chrome phone dials come from the donor Porsche. Oh and those back windows are removable and store behind the seats.
The ad - which is on a consignment seller's site - claims that the car was completed in 2009 and explains that the car drives fine with the single exception of the gearing which the seller claims is good for the Autobahn but not around town. Um, yeah.
The price for this front-engined mashup of Ghia and 944 is a cool $18,900, and it's safe to say that it would be impossible to replicate this car for that kind of cash unless you plugged the hours to do so yourself.
What do you think about that price? Is that a deal for what's basically two cars in one? Or, is this another example of a conversion therapy gone wrong?
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