1956 VW Karmann Ghia Test Drive Classic Flashback R&T Test Drive Road & Track - Volkswagen Ghia | Volkswagen all cars catalog

1956 VW Karmann Ghia Test Drive Classic Flashback R&T Test Drive Road & Track — Volkswagen Ghia

18 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1956 VW Karmann Ghia Test Drive Classic Flashback R&T Test Drive Road & Track — Volkswagen Ghia отключены
Volkswagen Ghia

27.7 seconds to 60 was actually Sort of. Well, not really.

/ by Road Track Archives

article originally appeared in the 1956 issue of Road magazine.

As everybody knows by the most popular imported car in the by a wide margin is the Volkswagen. In the of California, it now ranks 7th in sales, and is still well ahead of But, like Detroit even Volkswagen has to look in fact, there are already a few who quibble about the looks of the Wolfsburg product. Accordingly, a feeler has been put forth to public opinion on future changes for the VW sedan; it is a coupe by Ghia and built by Karmann German custom body that turns out the VW convertible), and for brevity#146;s sake we shall to as the VW-GK. Unlike most #147;dream cars,#148; however, coupe is actually available for providing the customer is well with patience.


If looks are paramount, there is doubt that the feeler find fertile soil. The introduced at the European shows fall and only recently on here, has an almost universal to the eye. It is, as the French would une poupée vivante. As can be seen the accompanying photos, the car#146;s lines are low, beautifully and ornament-free. Whether intentional or there is very little that the engine is in the rear; the slots on the rear decklid are the reminder. Our test car, by Allred Bros. of Glendale, with an unusual two-tone job (metallic greenish-gold body and green top), but a wide of colors are available, most of are quite a bit cheerier than used on the standard sedan.

The of the car shows at once the touch of a craftsmanship. Finish and attention to are excellent throughout. Two large, #147;contour#148; seats are provided for and passenger, and the seating position is far than in the sedan#151;almost, in fact, a sports car. Fortunately the have a tremendous amount of travel and can be adjusted to give stretch even to the longest If only the steering column also adjustable! In spite of low the top is proportionally even lower, and persons pay the usual penalty for lines. Behind the front is a small flat bench a vertical back, thinly and without springing. The back forward revealing a broad but luggage compartment. For an occupant anywhere in the car, all-around is unexcelled; the constant radius in the windshield and rear window an absolute minimum of distortion, and the corner-posts are no more than an wide. The usual VW heating is provided, but separate manual are added for each defrosting The dash contains a 90-mph similar to but larger than of the sedan, and

there is a matching electric juxtaposed; indicator needle and are tapered for accurate reading.

Aside from the bodywork, all of the VW-GK are from the standard VW As might be expected, therefore, the GK feels, and sounds pretty like the sedan. A trip to the however, indicated that it about 120 lbs. more; so, the weight distribution is identical#151;56.5% on the wheels. Underway to the testing we found the noise level to be the same as in the sedan. But the good lines of the GK make it far less to wind buffeting at highway than its higher, more cousin, and its somewhat lower of gravity gives a more stable feeling in tight Unfortunately there is seldom a without a loss, and ventilation is of a problem. There are no vent-panes in the windows, and the rear quarter-panes are Result; lower the windows a little and your head is close them tight and you The heater is no help since, more complicated systems, it only hot air. The point minor but makes for chronic

We have never been to induce a stock VW sedan to 70 mph for a timed 4-way average or 30 seconds from 0#150;60, and we tested a good many. The GK, to streamlining, will finally do the Its best run was almost 78 mph (indicating 83) and its 0-60, 27.7 secs. of the low specific output of the stock VW finding an optimum rev limit for is a problem. We used 4300 rpm on the GK for the part, but found that in the trials, winding up to an actual 60 in 3rd no appreciably better times shifting to 4th just short of 60. the test the car had a good handling about it#151;better so than the this may well have illusory in part, due to the lowered position and greatly improved of the seats. Steering is unchanged at 2 turns lock-to-lock.

With only a few of the cars to be yet in the U.S. already the inevitable are beginning to arrive on our desk: have a VW-GK on order; can I do to improve its performance?#148; The general are, of course, the same as for the sedan. There are several of superchargers currently available for the VW, but in the GK is a space problem: due to the fact the rear deck lid fits closely over the engine is no vertical room to install a Only the Swiss MAG unit, fits to one side, is readily Undoubtedly the other makes however, soon have a of their blower suitable for on the GK. With a little extra the car#146;s performance should be as lively as a Porsche 1500, the latter would still a considerable advantage in smoothness and

When all is said and done, does the VW-GK amount to? The performance improvement, we feel, is For nearly $1000 more the sedan, then, the customer is a very pretty body. to dealers#146; reports, that to be enough for a lot of people. Karmann is at turning out between 300 to 400 cars per by fall the figure is expect to be per month. About half of production is scheduled for the U.S. but the of orders is already such most dealers are quoting 2 to 4 for delivery. Some body!

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