35 Years In The Barn: 1974 Karmann Ghia

Dusty Barn Find

Do you like bright orange? Do you like VWs? Some would call these the poor man’s 356. Thirty five years in a barn doesn’t seem to have hurt this Karmann Ghia much. There seems to be no rust and just a bit of body damage. It only has 56,000 documented miles on it. It’s for sale for $7500, which is a bit below the average selling price of $10,000 according to Hagerty. It’s listed here on craigslist in Athens, Tennessee. So, if you don’t mind life in the slow lane these are really nice driving cars. There are lots of ways to up the horsepower. It will be a little cold in the winter and hot in the summer. I had an orange one just like this with factory air-conditioning, but it didn’t go well with driving and cooling the car at the same time. I hope the buyer will leave this as-is with perhaps a little bodywork. And yes, of course, I would love to have this. What an amazing find!


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  1. RayT Member

    I think the seller’s asking a bit much — but so would anyone go high on the opening price — but this looks like the Real Deal! I love K-Gs, even the large-bumper, big-marker-lights examples. I’d also put in a little more time cleaning, and renew all brake seals and lines; expecting them to work right after a claimed 15-year slumber is being a little too optimistic.

    This car looks almost too good to be true, and we all know how that usually turns out. But I wish I could give it a try!

  2. RayT Member

    Oh, wait: this appears to be the same car featured in BF some months ago (I liked it then, too). Did the earlier purchaser get in over his head, or is he trying to flip it?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Yep, it’s same car. The eBay auction was pulled early so we assumed it had sold offline. The asking price isn’t any higher, so I doubt it’s a flip. You never know though.

  3. Robert R. Member

    Hey guys I sent this one in to you at 1:40 pm on the 24th. Maybe David found it too? Please provide credit when credit is do. There have been others that I haven’t questioned. Thanks, Robert

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Sorry Robert. Sometimes we do forget to give credit, but David does his write-ups without access to our inbox. We will try to double check though if anyone has sent in the same car each post so we can credit everyone. We do appreciate all your help. Thanks!

      • Robert R. Member

        Jesse, OK, thanks. I didn’t know that you didn’t pass my “finds” to David. It’s just a case of like minds.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        That’s right! David isn’t a staff writer, he just likes to send in the occasional post. Perhaps we should start sending him all the good finds though.

  4. Dolphin Member

    Looks like a nice little late model K-G. Not too many left as good as this one seems to be.

    I’d rather have this car than a lot of other recent cookie-cutter cars that would cost more than the $7500 ask for this one, but people today don’t think like that. If it hasn’t got a plug for your digital music and 300 watts coming out right behind your head it’s no good.

    So is it worth the $7500? Yes I think so, but the seller won’t get it until the right person comes along, and there aren’t many of those, unfortunately.

    There are relatively low end auction houses that could probably sell it if you want to go to the trouble, a place like Leake Auction Co, which just had an auction in Oklahoma City where they sold 305 out of 393 cars offered, with some of them selling at under $10K. I don’t know if they take barn finds tho. Too much distance and it’s not going to work financially, so find one not too far away. Or it could be listed on The Samba website where there’s a lot of active buying-selling for everything VW.

  5. waynard

    Please be cautious quoting Hagerty. They value notoriously high; for obvious reasons. #2 car might price out at 10K. This is no #2 car. #3- probably. There is a reason this got put away; wonder what it is. At best I’m thinking the value is around $5900-6300. as is. Get an inspection on this.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I agree with waynard. I’m not sure why they do it, since their insurance is declared value. You can name your value and they charge you appropriately. But then, maybe that’s what they want you to do – overvaluing means more $$ in their pocket.
      When I sold my Vette, I could only have dreamed of getting what they thought it was worth.

  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Finally, a Bran Find where someone spent some time cleaning it up. Good thing too, since this is in really nice shape.
    I’m saving my pennies for a KG convertible in this condition.

    And, I want to mention that I’m not a fan of the new vertical look of the email. Too much scrolling required.

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