Not A Porsche, But Not The Price Of One Either!

v1

This 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Cabriolet appears to be very original and fairly well maintained. No, it’s not a Porsche 356, but it sure won’t end up costing as much either! According to the seller, the paint is what it left the factory with and seems to be in pretty nice shape as well. It’s located in Manassas, Virginia and is up for sale here on eBay at no reserve, with bidding a very reasonable $1,875 as I write this.

v2

While there are a few dings and blemishes, I don’t see any rust and I’m pleased that the stock wheels and hubcaps are in place (although I wouldn’t turn down some EMPI’s or similar 8-spokes). The matching boot cover is a nice touch as well, I’m guessing that is factory issue as well. Unusually for a Karman Ghia, the nose doesn’t appear bent either!

collage

The pictures of the underside of the car look pretty good too! Were Karmann Ghias painted body color underneath? I’m really surprised to see the car this solid, although since the seller mentions areas of the floor and chassis have “minor areas of rust” some communication with the seller is probably in order. Of course, with 114,000 road miles, I’d expect some blemishes!

collage2

The interior looks like a car that’s been well-used but taken care of, like the rest of the car. I’d probably replace the dash top; new ones are available like this one for $300 or less. I love the picture on the right; the dust and the pretty gauge are just begging to be cleaned and driven!

v4

The engine is shown running, which is a nice thing that not enough sellers do. It inspires just that little bit more confidence in the condition of the vehicle and the honesty of the listing. In this case, we’re looking at the original 1584 cc flat four, nothing that will turn the car into a screamer, but enough to enjoy top-down cruising when the weather allows. I like this one, and while I realize this is no Porsche, it still makes me wonder how this can be a small fraction of the value of a comparable 356? Let us know your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Even though the bidding is over $5K now, this is more my speed! A K-G has good looks and decent handling; even better, thanks to good ol’ parts interchangeability, you can bump up the performance — and braking — substantially without fear of making it impossible or even difficult to return to original!

    I have to admit there were three words in the ad that curbed my enthusiasm: automatic stick shift. A diabolical device, that, that drove me mildly crazy the first time I dealt with one — in, of all things, a NSU Ro80 — and I have no interest in a rematch….

    Still, I’ve always loved K-Gs, and if a decent early model came along it would be a fine fix for my aircooled VW/Porsche needs.

  2. Scotty G

    GAA! It’s up to $5,300 now! Wow. An automatic, ouch. Nice looking car, but the price is about where I’d want it to be and there are still 5.9 days left on the auction.

  3. Dean

    It’s pretty easy to drop in a manual gearbox. I did it years ago to a beetle

  4. Dave Wright

    You don’t have to be a Porsche to be a nice car……..these are nice. I had one with a 912 engine that was great. It needed the gear ratios adjusted to take full advantage of the roughly 3X horsepower of the engine over the orignal. Today, with the right gears and trick brakes. It would be great fun to play with.

  5. Jason Houston

    A Karman Ghia is a poor man’s Pooch the same way a Camaro is a poor man’s Corvette, an Oakland was a poor man’s Pontiac and a La Salle was a poor man’s Cadillac.

    And who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

    • grant

      What?

  6. AMC STEVE

    That’s all the money there.

  7. Rick

    I will be surprised if this goes for even a penny less than $10K, even with the automatic, and I don’t think that would be a bad deal given the condition. Looks like a respectable driver to me, and actually there are people that might want this that can’t even drive a stick. Amazing how many people out there these days that can’t and aren’t able to even learn (count my wife in that category). Anyhow, always thought Karmann Ghia was a very exotic looking car, (and especially for those folks that don’t know what it is).

    • Dave Wright

      I agree…….one of the oldtimer dealers I know in Holland has a 1968 Beetle convertable listed right now for 44,000 USD…………we are being outspent.

  8. boxdin

    I’ve been thinking of making a baja ghia.

  9. RON

    Even as an automatic, it is about as nice an unrestored example as I have seen in a while. Sure prefer a stick but thy are fun to drive even a standard engine is powerful enough to drive for fun or kill yourself either one. If yu have to have more simple enough to upgrade that too. only poor man’s sports car I have enjoyed owning at the price range are the corvairs. Nice car

  10. erikj

    nice car,but crazy money. I have bought and sold all kinds of cars and trucks since the late 70,s but never had one of these. did have a few busses and bugs. As the old saying goes who would a thought!. Save a pile of vw,theres your retire fund. Wonder whats out there now for cheap that will turn to somthinglike vw,s. any one got a clue?

  11. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    As a now & long time defunct car magazine once stated in the early seventies- ‘the last speedster built is…’.

  12. Michael Rogers

    POKITA,POKITAPOKITA– MOBILE ROAD BLOCKS Worse than Metropolitans!

  13. Peregrine Lance

    My 1960 K-G was the last of the non-sync trannies, and it never was a bother. Nice touches: The tops were padded with a straw-like substance (was it STRAW?), which not only helped reduce any leaks to the soft top, they gave and held a nice shape.

    One word of warning: If–like me–your automotive knowledge exceeds your abilities, don’t replace the muffler yourself! I did–and it was a nightmare! All those Germans got back at us for criticizing their dash padding, by making the muffler a miniature Maginot tunnel! Still…I miss my Ghia!

  14. MountainMan

    Always liked these, Ghias have increased in price but still a great deal for a good looking rear engine convertible. These may experience a bubble like the P cars someday… surprising that they havent skyrocketed in price yet

  15. jimbosidecar

    Over $7K now. I owned 2 in the past. Nice cars, but the automatic turned me off

  16. Pete Mayotte

    Needs the third pedal.

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