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1971 VW Karmann Ghia Convertible: Caged In

1971 VW Karmann Ghia Convertible

There was an episode of Wheeler Dealers not too long ago that featured co-host Mike Brewer coming to the USA to buy a Karmann Ghia much like this 1971 example listed here on eBay. He picked up a convertible after a fruitless search in his native UK, and I always found it odd he went to such lengths for a car that hasn’t appreciated all that much. There are variations of the air-cooled Beetle, specifically early models, which have enjoyed a premium price for years, much like Karmann Ghia Type 34 – a rare edition that tends to get collectors’ attention in any condition. That’s why I’m a bit surprised at this seller’s reluctance to tell us much about his car and not even photograph the rusty areas, along with his demand for only responding to “reasonable” questions. But with no reserve, this ’71 Ghia may stay cheap enough to overlook the lack of info in the listing – would you break it out of its enclosure for a better look?


  1. type877

    Not super collectible combined with unknown condition. I assume asking if a rod went through the case is not a reasonable question. Pass.

  2. Artinoz

    This is also a convertible and looks to be in decent condition from the very limited photos.
    Sounds cheap to me.

  3. A.J.

    So he can’t push it out, but he can’t open the trunk (hood) and take a picture, or stick the camera inside for a single interior shot? Or a single shot underneath?? Makes me wonder…

  4. RayT Member

    I see rust bubbles; they are a definite turn-off, as in my experience rust on outer panels has been a good indicator of more rot where it’s not easily seen.

    K-Gs look wonderful — except perhaps for the last ones with the huge marker lights and bigger bumpers — and of course are no real problem mechanically. I’ve cruised in a few, and liked them.

    For a price higher than $18.00, this demands a careful inspection.

  5. DT

    Cars from Germany; either rusty or expensive or both,Cars from England; either rusty or expensive or British or all the above

  6. DanaPointJohn

    Two years ago I bought this 1972 Karman Ghia for $500. With rust everywhere it had been garaged for ten years after the engine seized. I pushed it home, cleaned it up a bit and put it on Craigslist for $3,000, firm. I was stunned by how many calls I got and sold it for my asking price to a restorer in Newport Beach, CA. As he was leaving, with the car on the flatbed, he thanked me saying he got a great deal. Who knew that a complete rust bucket that did not run was worth so much?

  7. jim s

    is it manual or auto? does it have a dual port motor? from the limited photos i can not tell if it has the current bid in good parts. interesting find.

  8. Capt Doug

    Bring a bigger trailer and take the VW Bug he has listed too!

    Again just remember to keep the questions reasonable.

  9. viking

    Bugs and ghia”s never came with auto tranies, some came with auto stick shifts, they had a torque converter.and a vacuum operated clutch release, and a vacuum solenoid operated by the gear shifter witch had a switch built in. The tranny also had the first gear removed, it made it a three speed. so no clutch pedal was nesseary. but it needed atf fluid for the torque converter. By the way, renault had the same set up, but instead of a fluid torque converter, it had a electro magnetic converter. it was filled with iron powder witch froze solid when it was engaged.

  10. DT

    The early bugs 1960-1964 had the Saxomat, A 4 speed it had a centrifugal clutch.In 1968-1976 they came out with the Autostick,which was a similar arangement only with a 3 speed and a torque converter.In 1969 they came out with the Full Automatic in the Type lll.

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