Faded But Solid: 1971 Karmann Ghia


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We recently discussed how a Karmann Ghia could be a much less expensive alternative to a Porsche 356. Sure, the inexpensive little coupe isn’t a P-car, but it’s about 50 times less costly! Some of you weren’t happy with the automatic transmission in the last Ghia either; this one is a manual based on the three pedals in the pictures. It’s located in Fort Collins, Colorado and is up for sale here on eBay, with bidding at $2,100 as I write.


I think the little coupe looks best from this angle. I’ve been trying to decide whether the darker green areas where the paint looks better are places where someone tried to polish out the faded paint, or if they are areas that have been repaired or touched up and the paint is just newer. What do you think? The seller does state that it’s rust-free, which is encouraging.


It’s nice to see both the original hubcaps and trim rings in place, and the bumpers and vulnerable nose appear straight as well. I’m hoping this car would hold up under closer inspection as well–any Barn Finds readers close enough to take a look?


While the interior certainly has some wear, one of the things that is wonderful about a Karmann Ghia is the abundance of replacement parts. A complete interior kit, including new front and rear seat upholstery, door panels, rear side panels, full carpet kit and even a new headliner, plus all the hardware and glue to install them is less than $650! Other components are similarly inexpensive. I sure wish components for my Triumphs were priced like that! An equivalent interior kit for a TR6 with only two seats is $1,700!


The engine compartment looks well-used but maintained, with some components looking newer than others. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about the running condition of the car–I think I’d ask the seller to post a video if I were interested in bidding. What do you think this classy-looking Volkswagen is worth?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Scotty G

    Nice find! These are probably undervalued and it might be a good idea for anyone even remotely interested in owning one “someday” to jump on any decent one that a person finds now. This green one (I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one in that color before) seems like a winner, and it’s a very nice touch to include the interior kit info. Wouldn’t it be nice if every vehicle had the parts availability that VWs do.. (cough.. Subaru Justy)..

    My dad had a navy blue Karmann Ghia and the floors were like tin foil, as thin as it gets, just ready to have my brother or myself put our foot through.

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    • RayT

      I’ve seen that green on K-Gs before, and suspect the “shiny spots” are the result of someone checking to see if it would polish out.

      This definitely looks like a “nice one.” Unless there’s some hidden flaw, you could get it into usable condition pretty easily, and do the rest “as you go.” Like so many cars we see here, it strikes me as one to restore; K-Gs are lovely when all shined up!

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  2. RON

    Nice little car. Looks like a fair price on a possibly good car. I had one just like this in the early 80’s, mine was a 74 a little darker metallic green and had factory air. I think I paid about 1200 for it and it was a blast to drive and took a lot of hard daily punishment. Would love to do this one over in british racing green and that nice saddle interior. t appears to be running in the pix so at least it maybe moves under its own power

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  3. rangeroger

    It will require a very close inspection for rust. These Ghias are very prone to this. The pan is different from the beetle and they had serious leakage problems. I drove a ’70 and a friend gave me a ’69 as a parts car. I could get no heat to the front of the car or the defrosters, which made winter driving in North Idaho somewhat adventuresome. As in actually reaching out the driver side window to scrape the windshield.The heater tubes in the body were completely rusted out. The pan was rusted so bad the passenger seat fell through.
    It was quite fun in the snow as I could hang the tail out, turn into the skid and dirt track it up and over the local mountain pass going to work, there by passing all the people in the slow lane going 20 mph.
    btw, VW used the same pan for the Thing.

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  4. jim s

    at $ 2550 with reserve not met, i hope it is not set to high. would need a PI as not enough information in text. would be a fun driver if no rust and not to much is needed to made it safe. interesting find.

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  5. John

    Gorilla hair is what I used and after that I had heat. Before that I had to press my hand to the windshield as a defroster….but I was 20 who cared than!

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  6. Mike Smith

    Air-Cooled engines were widely used in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Most classic VW’s sport air-cooled engines.

    Classic VW parts

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