Page 1 of 3 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 81

Thread: The Karmann Ghia thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    7,677

    Default The Karmann Ghia thread

    I sold the Triton years ago because it was no longer the right tool for the job.
    I picked up the Mako because it would be a more convenient (driveway instead of boatyard) project, which it was, but over the summer I got it to the point of not being such a project anymore, it was an actual Boat with nothing much wrong about it..... and I just didn't love it. I sold that 15-20GPH beast while gas was still cheap, becoming a boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

    I've done a project-house, a project-sailboat, a project-powerboat... I needed a new groove. And I missed my jeep. And I've long had a hankering for a late 60s Jeepster Commando. That hunt quickly proved fruitless. I blame Ford's reintroduction of the Bronco, which has sent the values of 1st-generation Broncos skyrocketing, which has dragged the values of all small 4x4s from that era along for the ride.

    So one thing lead to another and I picked up this Karmann Ghia instead.


    No, I'm not in love with the color. It's "Texas yellow", and I'm more of a "Fighting Lady Yellow" guy.
    Last edited by Figment; 05-01-2017 at 10:33 AM.
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,205

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    ^ Yes it is a tad nappy (diaper) brown
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Northwest Oregon coast
    Posts
    23,405

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    We'd had one just like that for awhile.

    Wife drove it for one year.

    Now she tells me she cannot drive a stick shift car.

    I told her she drove the KG.

    ??????.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    10,590

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Oh, I'm all ears. And these are the ONE type of car I know about. Well, I know about all three types

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    17,239

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I was always of the opinion that the Karmann Ghia was proof that it was possible to wrap what is basically a cheap car, in a really beautiful shape. I think modern inexpensive cars NEVER do that.
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    7,677

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ Yes it is a tad nappy (diaper) brown
    no that's just the late afternoon overcast 43-north daylight. It's actually a rather obnoxiously loud yellow.

    This is the same paint on a Beetle in better light...
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Northwest Oregon coast
    Posts
    23,405

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I remember jumping in it and thinking this is a real sports car it's like I have a corvette , then you drive it and go ,hey it's a fancy VW and just as slow.

    However it has a real cool factor that makes up for that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    magnolia springs, alabama u.s.a.
    Posts
    12,690

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    The prettiest girl I went to high school with drove a Karmann Ghia, so I guess I just have a generally positive impression of those things.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    10,590

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Shoot. Drop 150 horse into a ghia and go embarrass fools.

    Peace,
    Robert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    12,040

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I like the Karmann, and the bug

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    w sac
    Posts
    4,778

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    no that's just the late afternoon overcast 43-north daylight. It's actually a rather obnoxiously loud yellow.

    This is the same paint on a Beetle in better light...
    Just about the same color as the seventy-seven Fiat 124 spider, the only car I ever bought new. Took me eight years to kill it, even though I started right away.

    Have fun with the restoring or rebuilding or whatever.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    GSBLINY
    Posts
    9,598

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    A friend had a Cabriolet like this one. He souped it up a good deal and kept it sharply detailed. It was a fantastic ride.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13,140

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Dunno if I've mentioned this before, but my father brought one of the first dozen or so in the U.S., and it was the family car when I learned to drive. One quirk was the lack of a gas guage. Another problem was it sharing the garage with a Hillman that also was a stick shift, but with the shift pattern reversed, in a mirror image.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Between Here and There
    Posts
    25,798

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Worthy project. I think it's a better toy than a Bronco anyway, not second fiddle. Congratulations.

    Looks good from here. What's on the menu for this car?
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    41,960

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Great project. I have an ex-neighbor I still see sometimes. He restored a K. Ghia convertible, painted it the factory 'B.RacingGreen' color, and owns it and loves it and babies it to this day. Dated a girl in college who drove one, and it was surprisingly nimble.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    13,140

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Great project. I have an ex-neighbor I still see sometimes. He restored a K. Ghia convertible, painted it the factory 'B.RacingGreen' color, and owns it and loves it and babies it to this day. Dated a girl in college who drove one, and it was surprisingly nimble.
    Can you paint a German car British Racing Green? Did the Germans?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    41,960

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Can you paint a German car British Racing Green? Did the Germans?
    Dunno what the official VW name for the color was... but it was BRG to most eyes. And I'm sure that was the effect they were aiming for.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Between Here and There
    Posts
    25,798

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I like yellow on sporty cars. The temptation to add a few ponies would be hard to pass up if I was building it for myself.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    7,677

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    The car isn't really a car, it's an incomplete project. That is to say; the PO bought it off ebay ten years ago in need of much work, spent about five years restoring it and got it most of the way back together again when a back injury stalled his progress. Four years and three surgeries later he surrendered to the reality that he was done working on cars.

    Evidently I did a fair job of convincing the guy that I intended to finish what he'd started (instead of stripping it and selling the pieces) because he threw EVERYTHING into the deal. He combed his garage and attic for two days finding every little bit and piece that could possibly be used on this car. In the OP photo above the Ghia and the FJ are stuffed with boxes of parts. The trunk lid is held down with a bungee because it couldn't latch with all the stuff inside.

    I spent the next two days just sorting through everything. This is what the interior looked like halfway through the emptying process...

    Amid the extra plug wires and fan belts and window gaskets and such are a complete new carpet kit and door cards, aftermarket wheels, ridiculous yellow steering wheel, etc.

    The whole thing is mostly-done.
    The body job is mostly done. The doors and deck lid and trunk lid don't quite latch properly.
    The electrical system is mostly done. New wiring harness installed except for engine connections.
    The motor is mostly done. rebuilt and reinstalled except for the tins and electricals.
    The floor pan replacement is mostly done. etc etc etc.

    What's on the menu... I don't really know yet. I'm going to get it back together, drive the piss out of it for a while, and then figure out where I want it to land in the spectrum between "cute toy" and "death trap".
    One thing I'm NOT doing is making any effort whatsoever to "keep it original".
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    10,590

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread


    Something mild, like this, would be nice.

    Peace,
    Robert

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,182

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Can you paint a German car British Racing Green? Did the Germans?


    I just did...some assembly still required
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Between Here and There
    Posts
    25,798

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    The car isn't really a car, it's an incomplete project. That is to say; the PO bought it off ebay ten years ago in need of much work, spent about five years restoring it and got it most of the way back together again when a back injury stalled his progress. Four years and three surgeries later he surrendered to the reality that he was done working on cars.

    Evidently I did a fair job of convincing the guy that I intended to finish what he'd started (instead of stripping it and selling the pieces) because he threw EVERYTHING into the deal. He combed his garage and attic for two days finding every little bit and piece that could possibly be used on this car. In the OP photo above the Ghia and the FJ are stuffed with boxes of parts. The trunk lid is held down with a bungee because it couldn't latch with all the stuff inside.

    I spent the next two days just sorting through everything. This is what the interior looked like halfway through the emptying process...

    Amid the extra plug wires and fan belts and window gaskets and such are a complete new carpet kit and door cards, aftermarket wheels, ridiculous yellow steering wheel, etc.

    The whole thing is mostly-done.
    The body job is mostly done. The doors and deck lid and trunk lid don't quite latch properly.
    The electrical system is mostly done. New wiring harness installed except for engine connections.
    The motor is mostly done. rebuilt and reinstalled except for the tins and electricals.
    The floor pan replacement is mostly done. etc etc etc.

    What's on the menu... I don't really know yet. I'm going to get it back together, drive the piss out of it for a while, and then figure out where I want it to land in the spectrum between "cute toy" and "death trap".
    One thing I'm NOT doing is making any effort whatsoever to "keep it original".
    Sounds good to me.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    8,050

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I vote for "death trap." Turbo it up, and go have some fun embarrassing Mustang 5.0 owners.
    Nosce te ipsum

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hell
    Posts
    81,627

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    rat the hell out of it

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    7,983

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I once looked for a Ghia. Every one that matched my wallet had a dent right in the nose.
    “What, Me Worry?". -. A. E. Newman

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks USA
    Posts
    9,722

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Loved my Ghia!
    It looked like this one in the picture, "Sunshine Orange." The best rag-top ever made. Same engine and running gear as the VW Bug, but heavier because of the body lead that faired out the fenders.

    [img]

    Unfortunately the roads in Upstate NY use a ghastly amount of salt-like chemicals on the roads in the winter, and the Ghia has many nooks and crannies which conduct salt into the interior of the car, and there is no way to clean them out.
    I gave my rusting Ghia away to a young lady forest ranger who, with her father, restored VW's. They were able to utilize the engine, but had to scrap the body.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    8,050

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Just doing a little quick reading, the KG is not a car I know a lot about, but it looks like a WRX engine will drop in with little to no fuss. Then again, you could go Porsche and keep it in the family as it were.

    Or you could go off the deep end with your first step. . .

    Nosce te ipsum

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    20,997

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    A friend has a 914 he dropped a WRX motor into. Thing will fly.

    While not an air sucker fan, I had a Ghia for a while that was pretty fun. I'd think hot rodding one would be fun. To steal an idea from another thread - maybe a Merlin engine?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    10,590

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Subarus, Fords and Mazda rotaries will all go in there. The radiator can be put up front, and coolant run through tubing in the shifter tunnel.


    I've heard...

    Peace,
    Robert

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    2,182

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I'd put the thing together and drive it for the summer, then decide if it really warrants "hotrodding".
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    new zealand
    Posts
    2,745

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    I had the chance to buy a KG years ago, for the princely sum of $2500. A bit rough around the edges, but all there..........DOH!

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Livin' in Oz
    Posts
    53,019

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post


    I just did...some assembly still required
    Is that an Airhead behind the Kombi?
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wi, USA
    Posts
    2,300

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Nice find! How was the Fj pulling that load?

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    I sold the Triton years ago because it was no longer the right tool for the job.
    I picked up the Mako because it would be a more convenient (driveway instead of boatyard) project, which it was, but over the summer I got it to the point of not being such a project anymore, it was an actual Boat with nothing much wrong about it..... and I just didn't love it. I sold that 15-20GPH beast while gas was still cheap, becoming a boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

    I've done a project-house, a project-sailboat, a project-powerboat... I needed a new groove. And I missed my jeep. And I've long had a hankering for a late 60s Jeepster Commando. That hunt quickly proved fruitless. I blame Ford's reintroduction of the Bronco, which has sent the values of 1st-generation Broncos skyrocketing, which has dragged the values of all small 4x4s from that era along for the ride.

    So one thing lead to another and I picked up this Karmann Ghia instead.


    No, I'm not in love with the color. It's "Texas yellow", and I'm more of a "Fighting Lady Yellow" guy.
    The best helping hand you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    7,677

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Just dandy, it's set up for towing the Mako, this tow was at least 2000lb less.
    Air bags in the rear springs, aftermarket transmission cooler, and a scangauge to keep an eye on it all.

    Shang's comment on the heavier body amused me.
    In that pic on the trailer, the driver's window is mostly-open (so that he could throw more parts in after the doors were closed) but when I got home that night it was about to rain so I needed to hustle it off the trailer and into the garage. Not running, so it's a push-job.
    I removed the straps and chains and gave it a shove... moved a couple inches. Another shove, another couple inches. I thought I was just having trouble getting the wheels up and over the little chocks on the trailer so I gave it a BIG SHOVE/LIFT and it moved about a foot. WTF!!!
    Some of that internal cargo had moved in transit and had moved the gearstick into 1st.
    This thing weighs so little that I was able to move it a foot with both rear wheels locked.
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    w sac
    Posts
    4,778

    Default Re: The Karmann Ghia thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    I once looked for a Ghia. Every one that matched my wallet had a dent right in the nose.
    In San Angelo, Texas, in the USAF in '77, I traded in my '70 Bonneville for the only new car I ever bought, a '77 Fiat 124 Spider. I had it one week, when a civilian worker in my CE squadron, in a pickup with a diamond plate rear bumper, in a parking lot the size of a football field, which had only my new car and his pickup, managed to back into it and put a six inch deep pucker right smack in the middle of the nose.

    If you buy a new car, go out and put a scratch in it somewhere just to satisfy fate and entropy, 'cause if you don't it is just about guaranteed someone else will.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •