The Karmann Ghia Online Resource Technical — Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

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Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Technical Development of the VW air-cooled

the Karmann Ghia

Everybody the famous story of the alliance Adolph Hitler and Ferdinand to realize both of their to put every working man into a Lesser known are the men who actually the engine and the car itself.

Immediately learning of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at kitty in 1908, Porsche began to free reign to his imagination for an design to power this new of transport. Undoubtedly more of a project than anything Porsche’s concept developed the next four years, and by he had assembled a viable 4-cylinder, opposed, air-cooled engine pushrod operated overhead that produced around 90 This design was eventually to a British company for aircraft but Porsche never dropped the as a potential motive unit for automobiles.

The design remained relatively until the mid 1930s when was given a mandate by the new government of the to develop a mass produced for the German citizenry. Porsche from a meeting with and wrote down his Ideas on the of a German People’s Car which the following points:

1) the best suspension and handling;

2) a maximum of about 100km/h;

3) a climbing of about 30%;

4) closed four-seater body for of passengers;

5) the lowest possible price and running costs.

had always surrounded himself engineering geniuses, and foremost these was his Chief Engine Franz Reimspeiss, who had perfected earlier horizontally-opposed concept into the robust automobile that, in various guises, has all air-cooled Volkswagen models the earliest prototypes in 1935 to the still enjoying production in today. Production was headed up by Rabe, who supervised Erwin in the design of the classic Beetle

The Volkswagen prototypes went three years of testing at the of Porsche, his family, his staff and the military. On 26 May 1938 Porsche was when the foundation stone was for the Volkswagenwerke at Wolfsburg. Production was to begun on 15 October 1939.

Karosserie began operations in producing custom-made coaches, and their first automobile in 1902 for the Bielefeld company of In 1946 Wilhelm Karmann acquired a Beetle in a coupon and, in an effort to drum up converted it to a cabriolet and delivered it to After testing, Karmann was a contract for 4-seater variations, the two-seater business went to In a similar move in the early Karmann had approached VW with design studies for a sports of the Beetle Cabriolet. Apparently of his drawings and models impressed head Heinrich Nordhoff. in desperation, Karmann had a Beetle from a dealership in France to the Ghia studios in Turin, Ghia was already famous for of the most evocative designs of the led by chief stylist Luigi and no doubt the success of Porsche’s new 356 had a bearing on their ambitions. had a operating prototype ready in five months, the theory that much of the preliminary work had already been for

a Chrysler study, crafted by one Boano and especially his apprentice, Coggiola. It was Boano’s son Gian who had driven the Beetle from to Italy. In a back room at the Auto Salon in Paris, and French VW distributor Charles presented the prototype to VW’s Nordhoff was delighted, but wanted the car from public view Volkswagen engineers had a chance to the design, which happened at the facilities on 16 November. A three-way was reached that same The Karmann Ghia made its debut on 14 July 1955, and of the 1956 model began in The line ended in favor of the in 1974, with a production of 362,585
Coupes, and 80,881 Cabriolets.

Production Figures


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