1967 Volkswagen Karman Ghia
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This was our 1967 Karman Ghia coupe. The car was complete and original, but needed a complete restoration. It was running and driven regularly until 1997, and was parked until being sold in May 2005. It is red with a black (seats/door panels) and white (headliner and sun visors) interior. We had all the original parts - including bumpers, trim, and radio. With all the other cars in process of restoration or being worked on we had too many projects going, so we had this one up for sale for some time. We aren't advertising it anywhere, on the "we might get around to it theory", but finally the right buyer came around and it was sold. It was the first vehicle we bought after we got married. It was only the second car I have ever sold.

It had the usual rusted floor pans and battery tray area, and there was some rust on the drivers side wheel well arches. To run it needed a battery - to drive, it needed the drivers side floor pan replaced. We also had a brand-new VW-specific engine stand and assorted repair manuals (Chilton's, etc.) for it.

Before being parked, the car received a recent tune-up, a new regulator, a new (not rebuilt!) wiper motor, and a new 009 distributor (the original works fine and was in storage). It is a strong runner with about 300,000 miles on it. The trans was in good shape and shifts well.


From about 2002 until the car was sold, I seemed to get about one email a week about the car asking "If it's for sale, what do you want for the car?", so my standard reply was posted here. I bought the car for $1600 and have about $200 into it (tune-up stuff, new 009 distributor, new regulator, new wiper motor, and some misc body seals). It also comes with a top of the line car cover ($300). I am fully aware that $2000 for a car with the floorboards falling out is a little nuts, so I'm going to sell it at a loss if I do sell it as-is. So make me an offer, but don't low-ball me - it's worth more than $500 even as is and it would easily be worth $2000 with the floorpans repaired.


The Basics

Passenger side from rear Driver side from rear Passenger side from front Driver side from the front

All photos were taken while the car was running - it idles pretty smooth for not being run in so long. Note the lack of blue/black smoke from the exhaust area. Again, a good runner.


Front and Back Inside Views

Trunk Engine

Pretty typical stuff here. Nothing especially worthy of note...


The Enemy - Rust

Engine compartment near battery Under the driver's seat Another shot under the driver's seat

The last photo is of the area under the rear seat on the drivers side. The photo was taken while leaning in the driver's side door, and the black area on the left is the center "tunnel" on the car. I do have the driver's side seat - I just had to remove it to photograph the rust.


Various Other Photos

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These are some close-up shots of the bumpers. Why? 1967 Ghia bumpers are rare in any condition, and my plans for the car include not using them - I want to go with a more custom look. I know someone will want to buy them for their restoration project, so they're shown here. Items of interest here are that they are complete and reasonably straight - the only exception I can see is the underside middle section of the front bumper where there is a small tweak to it - you can see this in the final shot. The over-riders are complete and included - the back left override has three holes drilled into it for something - I have no idea what for, but no rust has formed at these points. You can see this in the first shot. Also, notice that the front license plate was not mounted with anything drilled into the front over-rider. It is mounted with non-damaging rubberized fuel line clamps and will be removed if the bumpers are sold. Overall, the back bumper is in good condition and the front is a good core for a re-chrome job.


More Photos

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Several folks have asked for more recent photos of the car, so I put a battery in it, pumped up the tires, and moved it out of it's parking spot so I could take some updated photos with my new higher resolution digital camera. I even took a movie of it starting up and revving the engine a bit so you can see how it's running after sitting so long. It's running pretty good, especially considering the car was not warmed up and running on 6+ year old gas that's been in the tank since I parked it. I did have to give it a shot of starting fluid down the carb throat to get it to fire off the first time and then replace two rotted pieces of fuel hose between the pump and the carb, but after that it ran just fine, even doing well enough to "key start" it without touching the gas pedal. I can't get my truck to run that good, but it has solid floorpans. Such is life.


Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Here's the last photo we took of the car before it left for points elsewhere. The person who bought it is a big Ghia enthusiast (he owns a major aftermarket and restoration parts supplier, but I won't mention which one) and the parts from this car will go to good use on other Ghia's to keep them on the road and looking good. I was hoping the buyer would restore it, but it really was a bit too far gone for that except for someone like we who was way too attached to the car to begin with. We'll miss this car.

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Purchasing Order

This was car #8. It was the first vehicle Debbie and I bought with the intention of restoring it. My first Volkswagen, my first air-cooled and first rear-engine vehicle. My first experience with total rust-induced floorboard failure. My first experience with a generator. This was only the second car I ever sold - the 2002 Saturn being the first. Believe it or not, every other car was either stripped for parts and junked, or I still have it. I'm such a packrat...

Comments? Kudos? Got some parts you'd like to buy/sell/barter/swap? Nasty comments about my web page so far? You can email Mike or Debbie.

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Page last updated 01/02/2009 01:51:39 PM