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Estate Sale VW Karmann Ghia


What’s really in a name? In the automotive world, the badge a car wears can completely change its image. Take this beautifully styled Karmann Ghia, which isn’t all that much different than a Porsche, but isn’t nearly as valuable. Sure there are differences, but are they worth such a huge jump in value? This running and driving estate find is being offered here on the Samba with an asking price of $3,400.


The Ghia is essentially a rebodied VW Beetle and even used the same engine. The seller has already gotten this one running and they claim it fires right up every time. They also worked the brakes over and have it safe to drive. The interior is original and complete, but the seats have some tears and he dash is cracked. The seller doesn’t state what year this Ghia is, so what year would you guess it is?


Sure it’s not a Porsche, but it’s also not out of the range of the normal automotive enthusiast. This one needs some work, but could be used as is. For a comparison, this 1955 Porsche 356A is in rough shape and costs ten times as much. So which would you go for the VW with Karmann badges or the VW with Porsche badges?


  1. David Reeves


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  2. Alan

    ‘Scuse me, has that Porsche not even got a motor in it? No contest, the VW Karmann is still very distinctive.

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  3. Richard

    Low-slung sports car looks, simple, uncomplicated construction, German engineering, deadly dull anvil reliability with VW Beetle parts availability…..what’s not to like???

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  4. David

    I really like this car for the price. Too bad it’s in California. You can’t find one in decent shape around Ga.

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    • Robert J

      …and the astute shopper can better ones for less money here in California.

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  5. Dolphin Member

    If all this needs is some minor rust work on the doors & lids, and then paint, this could be a real good way to drive a vintage German-built coupe with Italian styling that will probably never be worth less than it’s worth now. These are valued at $7,500 to $15,000 in #2 condition, so this one seems priced about right for its condition. Not rare (almost 500K made), but the upside is that there’s likely to be used parts available for a long time yet.

    Interesting that the VW/KG may be very similar to a 356 that’s worth 10 or 20 times as much, but the differences in desirability and value are exactly what F. Porsche intended them to be, because Porsche has raced almost since the beginning.

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  6. jim

    i would go vw. just checked online and for the price of the 356 you could buy a lot of karmann ghia’s. vw wins on parts and service also. a nice find.

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    a ’67 I BELIEVE

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  8. todd

    Over riders, small turn signals and small brake lights…but four lug….I’ll say 1967.

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  9. John Allison

    To bad it’s on the wrong coast!! )o;

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  10. Brad L

    Seller claims it wears its original 1969 plates, so, I’d assume it’s a 68.

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  11. james woolnough

    Don’t forget that the Ghia bodies are hand built making them that little bit more special, also I’m not 100% sure but either 68 or 69 they switched from the standard bug swing axle to irs rear suspension making the road holding a whole lot better while retaining the smaller rear lights, front indicators and towel rail bumpers this only lasted for a year or two so this is the model to go for unless you want a low light.

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  12. Will

    Hmm… I’m just wondering how on
    e goes about installing new calipers on drum brakes?

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    • Alan

      I don’t know, but presumably drums on the rear (including the handbrake) and discs on the front, a common combination?

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  13. todd

    Ghia’s were first to have discs up front.

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    • Buddy

      First to have disks up front was the TR3 in 1957.

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  14. Todd

    I’d say 64-65. Been a while but memory says; small turn signals, bumper over riders and small tail lamps for my guess.

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