If you’ve been pondering membership in the European classic car scene but are stymied by prices for a decent road worthy specimen, you can’t go wrong with a Karmann Ghia. The Italian penned German engineered 2+2 will whisk you around in style demanding only minor maintenance and attention. As an added bonus, the diverse bloodline earns embracement at virtually any cars & coffee event on the planet. Find this 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia for sale in San Fernando Valley, CA for $9,500 via craigslist.
In the early 1950’s VW went to German coach manufacturer Karmann in search of a higher-end offering. Beetle production was well underway but as the post-war standard of living was slowly increasing, so were the tastes of consumers. Karmann turned around and contracted Italian coach builder Ghia to come up with a design. When production began in 1955, demand outstripped supply by 2-1. Even though hand formed bodies added substantial cost to the sticker price, consumers were lining up with orders. Production continued through until 1973.
In an effort to keep costs down, VW stuck with the same powertrain that was used in the Beetle. As the Beetle engine evolved, so did the Ghia. By 1970, engine power was up to 50 HP from the 1.6L flat 4. Simple to service & maintain, these engines kept Ghia’s running for many years. Typically the powertrains outlast the bodies which were prone to serious rust.
While VW was shooting for the moon with exterior styling, interiors were simple and functional. Red over black is a common combination but works well with the Italian lines. The interior looks to have been refreshed recently.
Early ’70’s models still benefit from the stylish rounded bumpers before mandated 5 MPH absorption crash standards came into effect. These pre-rubber bumper models are the more desirable of the bunch to have. While VW produced in excess of 400,000 units before halting production, many have succumbed to the common tin worm. If this example is as clean as it looks in the pictures then the asking price seems more than fair as you would be hard pressed to restore one for anywhere near that amount. Welcome enthusiasts!
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