The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia turns 60 Automotive Features by AutoIndustriya com — Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

13 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia turns 60 Automotive Features by AutoIndustriya com — Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia отключены
Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

KG: 60 years strong

Text: S. Roces / Photos: VW Press

August 22, 2013 14:19

days, many major brands endeavor to produce a class of vehicle to appeal to the sporting man on a budget — the man’s sports car, if you You can find a wide variety of vehicles from out and out sports like the Mazda Miata and 86, out-and-out bruisers like the BMW 1M and Audi TTRS, to stylish like the Peugeot RCZ and Mercedes-Benz There are even sporty with hybrid propulsion like the Honda CR-Z.

fanatics widely credit the Miata for popularizing the niche. it started further back Porsche’s 356. Early of the 356 were heavily based on the Beetle’s platform, with the and minor engine, transmission and tweaks differentiating them.

over in VW, top executives were to notice an increase in post-war of living of consumers. They to look into the ‘halo theory to draw potential into VW showrooms and to add some flair to the conservative image and of the brand.

Spurred on by Porsche’s success the 356, VW contracted a German Karmann, based in Osnabrück, renowned for producing stunning out of sedans (Porsche 356 Cabriolet and VW Cabriolet). The plan was to design a coupe derivative to be mounted on the already proven Type 1 VW certainly couldn’t compete the power and performance of competing from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. they opted to spare no on design on top of VW’s unquestionable Karmann, in turn, contracted the firm Ghia, who adapted themes previously explored for and Studebaker to a Beetle floorpan by 12 inches (300 mm).

The was the Type 14, combining the chassis and of the Type 1 (Beetle) with by Luigi Segre of the Italian Ghia (famous for the alfa 6C 15000 and Volvo P1800) and bodywork by the German coach-builder The Type 14 debuted at the October Paris Auto Show as a concept created for Ghia by Segre.

The design and prototype well received by Volkswagen and in August 1955, the first 14 was manufactured in Osnabrück, Germany. It was the Karmann Ghia to brag of the pedigree coachbuilder and designer, Public reaction to the car exceeded and more than 10,000 sold in the first year.

The Karmann Ghia employed a high standard of body at the time, as opposed to the Beetle’s welded-body with bolt-on The Type 14 was built with that were butt-welded to a monocoque shell, hand-shaped and with English pewter. It was a process, typically employed by manufacturers. It may have raised the Ghia’s sticker price, but kept it well under of its competition.With Karmann as its coachbuilder, it long until a convertible of the Karmann Ghia was unveiled in

Its Italian designer Sergio oversaw the various restylings of 14, ranging from larger around signal lamps and lamps to conform to US safety and the thicker bumper for better protection.

Karmann Ghias up to 1959 are the most prized of They’re typically called or ‘Lowlighters’ owing to the lower placement compared to later Ghias. The lowlighters also had a two slat grille as opposed to the 3-slat grilles. The original was a simple 34 hp, 1.1 liter flat derived from the Beetle. Its top was a paltry 116 km/h.

Owing to the Ghia’s heavy body and performance (very much the much maligned Chevrolet it never saw action in motorsports, for amateur car club races. For some time, several car clubs around the world refused membership to owners of Ghia, citing it as a 2+2 or sporty rather than a bona-fide car. These days, rules have been regarding its categorization. And while its parts were no different a Beetle, numerous aftermarket parts can make a Karmann very competitive on the track. tuners, Bader-Racing, even to modify your Karmann with a 996 Porsche 911 GT3 powertrain and to make it the king of sleepers, all for the ridiculous price of US$275,000 and a time of 2 years.

Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

Nevertheless, much like the ad campaigns of the Beetle that fun at itself, VW capitalized on the Karmann’s and high end style. Car ads for the Karmann called it the ‘pussycat’ as opposed to big cats like its contemporaries. It remarked that the Karmann would blend seamlessly a parking lot of exotic sports driven by Italian playboys, though its driver was simply a from Toledo.’

The clever certainly helped the car gain the of TV executives, making the 1967 14 Karmann Ghia convertible the car for CONTROL Agent 86 Maxwell in the opening credits of the third and seasons of ‘Get Smart’. the Sunbeam Tiger before it, remained the car driven by Smart in the themselves), the character would be in the opening credits screeching to a outside of his headquarters.

The Karmann Ghia can also be in more recent films as the cars of protagonists in, ‘Pretty in ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer,’ and ‘Kill Bill Vol.

By September of 1961, Volkswagen the VW 1500 Karmann Ghia or 34, based on its new Type 3 platform Notchback, Squareback), featuring new flat 1500cc engine and still styled by Sergio At the time, the Type 14 was also with a 1500cc (1.5 engine). To avoid confusion, the 34 was frequently called Der Große (‘the big Karmann’) in Germany, Edge Ghia’ in the United or ‘European Ghia’ (or ‘Type 3 among enthusiasts) in the United The Type 34 was the second automobile in the world to have an electrically sliding steel sunroof as an in 1962 and an electric clock. The offered more interior and room than the original Ghia, with three spaces, built-in fog lights, tail lights, upper and dash pads, door and long padded armrests. It was the most expensive and most passenger car VW manufactured, until it was by the VW-Porsche 914.

Brazil had other plans for the Ghia, looking to Ghia in for a reworked version of the Type 14 at the end of the Under Ghia, Giorgetto (known for the Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Maserati Ghibli and BMW M1) worked on the new Karmann Ghia. This 2+2 coupe featured a modern and interior, built upon the of the Volkswagen Variant and used the 65 hp 1.6 flat-four air-cooled boxer from the Type 3. Internally, it was the Type 145, and named the Ghia TC (Touring Coupé). The TC was offered in South America, only 18,119 units

Over its 19 year lifespan, 1955-1974, more than Karmann Ghias were not including the Type 34s and Type The car’s role as VW’s car was inevitably passed on to the Porsche 914 and the based Scirocco in 1974.


When the concept for the New penned by Peter Schreyer Hyundai and Kia’s presidentand came out, interest was in recreating the Karmann Ghia. In Karmann introduced a Karmann concept car — The Karmann — at the Frankfurt Motor and in April 2013, Karmann do Brasil launched a competition for students to design a modern of the classic Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia possibly leading to the development of a While numerous designs the project never got the green There’s also the issue of the itself. Volkswagen had acquired time partner Karmann in Carozzeria Ghia, however, was to the Ford Motor Company in There’s still optimism we might see a Karmann Ghia in the though it’s unlikely it retain the same old name.

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