Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1956 Volkswagen Beetle

1956 Volkswagen Beetle for Sale - Image 1 of 12

Click Here to read all about this VW and to view other pictures.


1970 Volkswagen Baja Bug


Click Here to read all about this Baja Bug and to view other pictures.


Monday, November 2, 2015

One of A Kind Volkswagens

Volkswagen Custom Camper

VW Transporter Driving Through A Tree.

1968 Volkswagen Transporter Sunroof

1968 Volkswagen Transporter Sunroof - Image 1 of 25

Click Here to check out this VW Transporter and to view other pictures.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rough But Running: 1961 VW Samba Bus

1961 VW Samba Barn FindIt never ceases to amaze me how dedicated Samba fans are to these buses! The most dedicated of Samba nuts will go to great length to save them and fork out serious money in the process. We've seen rusted out projects brought back from the brink, or in one buses case raised from the depths of a lake! The example you see here was found in a forest about a few months ago by the seller. They were able to work a deal with the owner and had it hauled to their barn, where they began work on. The previous owner put some parts of the bus in their own barn, including all the seats. Since getting it, the seller has replaced the front floors, gotten it running, installed new window rubber, and replaced the rag top and all the parts necessary to make it open and close. It still needs a lot more work to be a driver, but this bus looks like a decent starting place! You can find it here on eBay in Daytona Beach, Florida with a BIN of $40,000 and bidding just over $5k.


1953 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe

1953 Volkswagen Beetle Coupe - Image 1 of 47

Click Here to read about this rare VW Beetle and to view other pictures.


1973 Volkswagen III Type 3 Squareback

1973 Volkswagen III Type 3 Squareback - Image 1 of 25

Click Here to read all about this Square back wagon and to view other photos.


1971 Volkswagen Westfalia

1971 Volkswagen Westfalia for Sale - Image 1 of 49

Click Here to read all about this Westfalia and to view other photos.


1965 Volkswagen T1 Samba 21 Windows

1965 Volkswagen T1 Samba 1965 21 Windows Very Good Condition - Image 1 of 7

Click Here to read all about this Volkswagen and to view other photos and to see what they are asking for it.


1965 Volkswagen/1979 March Hare


Click Here to read all about this rare VW.


1964 Volkswagen Bus


This 21-window VW Bus here on eBay is one of the best conversions I've seen of the popular 60's people-hauler. This VW was ordered new by the Alfred I. Dupont school district in Delaware to serve as a school bus, quickly being repainted to the classic shade of yellow synonymous with hauling kids and their lunch boxes back and forth to campus. What's amazing to me is that even after being retired - and sold to a private owner - the bus retains its original, VW-stamped glass and folding canvas roof. The school bus equipment, like the flashing lights on the roof, are still in place, along with the faded remnants of the school lettering. Although the original color combination sounds stunning, I don't think this Bus should be repainted. If anything, the lettering should be restored and it should remain what is clearly the coolest school bus in town.
It recently sold for $32,000

Monday, October 5, 2015

1964 Volkswagen Bus: Cool School


Update – This school Samba sold for an impressive $32,000! Hopefully, the new owner will get in touch with us.

This 21-window VW Bus here on eBay is one of the best conversions I’ve seen of the popular 60s people-hauler. This VW was ordered new by the Alfred I. Dupont school district in Delaware to serve as a school bus, quickly being repainted to the classic shade of yellow synonymous with hauling kids and their lunch boxes back and forth to campus. What’s amazing to me is that even after being retired – and sold to a private owner – the bus retains its original, VW-stamped glass and folding canvas roof. The school bus equipment, like the flashing lights on the roof, are still in place, along with the faded remnants of the school lettering. Although the original color combination sounds stunning, I don’t think this Bus should be repainted. If anything, the lettering should be restored and it should remain what is clearly the coolest school bus in town. Bidding is already over $20K and I have little doubt it will creep higher in the days ahead. Thanks to Charles H. for this awesome find!


1965 Volkswagen/1979 March Hare

1965 Volkswagen March Hare - Image 1 of 50

Click Here to read all about this special car.


1952 Volkswagen Zwitter: A Very Rare Car

1952 VW Beetle Zwitter
The Zwitter is a very rare VW, produced for less than 6 months. Zwitter, a nickname from English VW fans, translates to “hermaphrodite” in English. The Zwitter is a blending of components of the split window and oval window VW. It’s a split window with the single glove box dash of the oval window model. 
Zwitters have some unique parts which are hard to find. This Zwitter listed on craigslist has been in storage since 1969 and is complete and original. It has had the pan repaired and it runs well although it pops out of third. The asking price is $16,000 which may seem like a lot, but the last (restored) one sold at auction for $60,000. What do you think this one might be worth?
Click Here for more pictures of this car.


Volkswagen Van

VW Bus Free Crochet Pattern

You’ll love to make this Crochet Volkswagen Bus and it’s a FREE Pattern! It’s fun to make and looks fantastic. The Crochet Pattern uses Amigurumi, the Japanese art combining crochet or knitting and sewing. It will make a gorgeous gift too.

Click Here for the free pattern of the Volkswagen Van.

Source: Van by Wilma

Thursday, October 1, 2015

1967 Volkswagen 21 Window Bus

1967 Volkswagen 21 Window Bus - Image 1 of 8

Click Here for more information on this 21 Window Bus and to view other photos.


1960 Volkswagen Microbus Panel Bus Camper

1960 Volkswagen Microbus Panel Bus Camper - Image 1 of 15

Click Here to view other photos and to read all about this Microbus.


1956 Volkswagen Beetle

1956 Volkswagen Beetle - Image 1 of 3

Click Here to see more photos and view the information about this car.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

1972 Volkswagen Beetle 1303S

1972 Volkswagen Beetle 1303S - Image 1 of 7

Click Here for more information and pictures of this car.


Friday, August 7, 2015

7 Passenger Volkswagen Crossblue

Volkswagen crossblue

Click Here to read all about the Crossblue Volkswagen that could be coming to a dealer near you.


Volkswagen XL Sport Concept First Look

Click Here and read all about it in this issue of Motortrend Magazine as well as seeing all photos.


1961-'69 Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

Photo Courtesy: Volkswagen AG 1961-'69 Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

Click Here to read all about this vehicle and to view other photos.


1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia for Sale - Image 1 of 2

Click Here to read all about this vehicle as well as to view other pictures.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Adult VW Coloring Art By Squidoodle

He is an amazing artist as you can see in these photo's that were posted on Facebook. He has a book coming out soon that you can buy with prints for adults to color or paint with their color choices. He also does work on consignment. Make sure to check out his page listed below.

Click Here to check out his Facebook Page.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1952 Volkswagen Beetle Deluxe

1952 Volkswagen Beetle Deluxe - Image 1 of 29

Click Here to see how to purchase a piece of history and to view other pictures.


After Devastating Fire, Restoration Begins On One Of The World’s Oldest Beetles


Click Here to read this story and how they are restoring it back to its original status.


1965 Volkswagen Bus: 21 Windows

bus1Sometimes, a classic is so rough the seller only needs to say, “See pictures” to eliminate any chance of misrepresentation about what he is selling. This 1965 21-Window VW Bus is here on eBay with bidding at $6,600 and the reserve unmet. I can’t say I’m surprised since these old air-cooled vans are following the trends of bathtub Porsches into collector car territory regardless of condition. The simple math on these vans says to count the number of windows and increase the price accordingly; that said, I suspect this example with its multiple day-lit openings will see an impressive final bid despite needing a ton of work. Still, the original paint is a bonus, along with the transmission it came with from the factory. The engine, like many old Beetles and Buses, is long gone, but that will likely be the easier part of the restoration considering the amount of corrosion in the floors. Oh, and you’ll also need a complete interior while you’re at it! So, what are your guesses as to where this one will end up dollar-wise?


A Baker’s Dozen Classic VW Beetles Up For Grabs In Online Auction

VW Beetle ad

 Click Here to read all about these Volkswagen's that will be auctioned off, and to see some of the vehicles.

1974 VW Thing
Bidding for all lots will be ongoing through June 3. For additional details, visit
- See more at:

1967 Volkswagen Bus: Dusty Type 2

1967 Volkswagen BusOver the weekend, I visited a junkyard in rural Massachusetts and found a row of Volkswagen Microbuses of different configurations

stacked next to each other. When you see them together, it’s amazing to see how many different ways one could order their VW Bus. It could be a camper or a delivery van, a pickup or a combination of a few different features, incorporating easy-access panel doors and lots of glass for natural daylighting. No matter what, the early ones are starting to pick up price-wise and I’ll bet there are a lot of interested buyers for this 1967 example found in all its dusty, barn-find glory  here on Stokes Auction as part of an upcoming estate sale in Poulsbo, Washington. I can’t tell much from the photos but talk about properly staging an antique vehicle that’s been fetching big numbers at auctions
This one does appear to be a genuine as-discovered specimen, however, which makes me wish I stuck one in a garage about 10 years ago. What do you think it will go for?


Cleans Up Nicely: 1974 VW Karmann Ghia

1974 VW Karmann GhiaOne of the most gratifying parts of reviving a barn find is washing off the years of dust and grime to see what the car really looks like. Of course when I’m buying a car online, I prefer to see it cleaned up before I bid. I know you miss out on the joy of washing the car yourself, but it saving you a lot of heartache in the long run. The seller of this Karmann Ghia did a great job of photographing it all dusty, but they have cleaned it up and boy did it clean up nicely. Of course having it cleaned up revealed some issues that aren’t noticeable in the dusty photos. It has some rust spots on the nose and some paint damage, but overall it looks to be in solid condition. The paint even looks shiny and could left alone. Amazingly, the nose is straight and dent free! You might not get the joy of cleaning this one off, but if you have been looking for a Ghia to enjoy you know what you are getting with this one! Find it here on eBay with a $7,900 BIN. Given the car’s location in Riceville, Tennessee I would want to inspect it for hidden rust. So do you prefer your barn finds to come with their dust intact or are you alright with them already being cleaned?


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Karmann Ghia

The Karmann Ghia, the most glamorous of Volkswagens, is an automotive drag queen: a rugged and humble economy-car chassis dressed up in the finest haute couture. It is also a car of many nations: engineered and built in Germany, designed in Italy … and styled in Detroit? Read on…
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia badge


For 20 years, Volkswagen managing director Heinz Nordhoff clung stubbornly to the Beetle. Although both in-house designers and outside consultants like Porsche proposed literally dozens of redesigns or replacements for the familiar Bug, Nordhoff rejected almost all of them. Instead, he opted for a steady, conservative evolution of VW’s basic Type 1 sedan (the Beetle) and Type 2 Transporter (a.k.a. Microbus), improving their functionality and build quality without altering their basic design. Like Henry Ford before him, Nordhoff preferred to perfect a fundamentally archaic automobile rather than risk anything new.

Conservative and autocratic as he was, Nordhoff was not oblivious to the value of new products, so long as they required little investment on the part of Volkswagen itself. The Beetle convertible, for example, was the product of the independent coachbuilder Karmann, not VW’s own Wolfsburg factory. As early as 1951, Nordhoff and Wilhelm Karmann had discussed the possibility of a stylish coupe based on the Type 1 chassis. Nordhoff was not satisfied with Karmann’s styling studies, however, and nothing had come of it.

1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia VW badge
The original Volkswagen was created by Ferdinand Porsche in 1938, perhaps inspired by designs by the Czechoslovakian company Tatra (which sued VW for trademark infringement, a suit not settled until 1961). It was originally called the KdF-wagen, from the Nazi slogan Kraft durch Freude, “Strength through Joy.” The more innocuous Volkswagen name was adopted in 1946.


Around the same time, Mario Boano, styling director of the Turin-base Carrozzeria Ghia, was looking for new customers. After the war, Italy’s coachbuilders had an abundance of talent, but a distinct shortage of business; they scraped by with consulting work and a handful of custom-bodied or semi-custom cars.

In 1950, Ghia was approached by C.B. Thomas, president of Chrysler’s Export division, and commissioned to do a one-off on a stock Plymouth chassis as a demonstration of what Ghia could do. The result was the XX-500, a four-door sedan based on an Alfa Romeo design Boano had done a year or so earlier.

Unlike GM, where styling chief Harley Earl reigned supreme, Chrysler in those days was dominated by engineers, not designers. Chairman K.T. Keller had recently hired Virgil Exner — formerly at Studebaker, and before that, an employee of Raymond Loewy — to head the tiny Advanced Style Center, although as yet Exner had no control over production car design. Both Exner and Keller impressed by the quality of Ghia’s craftsmanship, and even more impressed by the Italian studio’s low costs. Keller soon negotiated a deal for Ghia to build concept cars for Chrysler, based on designs created by Exner’s advanced styling studio.

1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia badge
The coachbuilder Wilhelm Karmann GmbH was founded in 1901. Aside from its relationship with Volkswagen, it has built cars for AMC, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes, Porsche, Renault, and Triumph. Carrozzeria Ghia, meanwhile, was founded in 1915 by Giacinto Ghia. When Ghia died in 1944, Mario Boano and Giorgio Alberti acquired a controlling interest in the firm.

During the same period, Segre began discussions with Karmann about the possibility of a Volkswagen-based coupe. Karmann had yet to produce a design that satisfied Nordhoff, but Karmann’s firm still needed the work. He was willing to collaborate if Ghia could develop a suitable design for Karmann to build. Mario Boano’s studios created several styling studies for a VW-based coupe, but none of their early efforts met with Karmann’s approval. Boano went back to the drawing board.


Around the same time, Virgil Exner commissioned Ghia to build a sleek fastback show car called the Chrylser D’Elegance. Although it had a decidedly Italianate flair, it was entirely the work of Exner’s studio, principally former Kaiser-Frazer designer Cliff Voss. Exner’s team created a 3/8th-scale fiberglass model of the D’Elegance, which was shipped to Turin as a guide for Ghia’s artisans in creating the full-sized car. (Ghia also produced roughly 18 copies of the similar Thomas Special, some of which were sold through Chrysler’s French distributor, although contrary to some reports, there were not multiple copies of the D’Elegance.)

A few months later, in the fall of 1953, Luigi Segre presented Karmann with a new coupe prototype to Karmann. Although it rode a commercially purchased Volkswagen chassis, it bore a pronounced resemblance to Exner’s Chrysler D’Elegance design. The prototype was significantly smaller than the D’Elegance, but Virgil Exner thought it was a precisely scaled-down version of his design.

1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia front 3q
The Karmann Ghia’s design was quite advanced for its era. It had curved side glass — rare then, even in America — and frameless door glass, with extremely thin roof pillars. The front fenders of the early models were more sharply curved, lowering the headlights and making the nose look even lower than it is. In 1960, the curvature was relaxed, and the headlamps raised about two inches (50 mm). 

Years later, automotive writer Jan Norbye interviewed Ghia’s surviving designers, who insisted steadfastly that the design concepts for the Volkswagen coupe were Boano’s, not Exner’s. To defend that claim, some historians have gone so far as to attribute the D’Elegance design — and even Chrysler’s other Ghia-built specials — to Ghia’s designers in Turin. Exner’s son, Virgil Exner, Jr., who was close with Segre, said that Ghia made no secret of the resemblance between the two designs. In 1975, Exner, Jr. told author Richard Langworth that during a visit to the Ghia studios in May 1955, the Ghia stylists actually asked Exner if he thought it bore too strong a resemblance the D’Elegance; Exner replied that it looked exactly like it.

Although the VW coupe was already in progress when Ghia’s designers saw the D’Elegance, we suspect that the latter’s design provided several elements that Boano utilized for the Volkswagen project. It was not an outright copy — the VW coupe and the Chrysler were certainly not identical, least of all in size, and simply adapting such a design to a much smaller platform was itself no small feat. Nonetheless, we don’t believe the similarities were coincidental. It is certainly evident that the collaboration between Exner and Ghia produced a common design language — if they hadn’t, it’s unlikely that the D’Elegance would have provided any usable themes for Boano to use — but if we had to assign principal authorship for the design that became the Karmann Ghia, it would be to Exner, not Boano. (We’re inclined to dismiss as national chauvinism the idea that Ghia, not Exner, designed the D’Elegance; there is far too much evidence to the contrary.)

1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia rear 3q
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia rode the same 94.5-inch (2400mm) wheelbase as the Beetle, but was somewhat shorter overall. It is much lower than the Beetle, though, at only 52.8 inches (1,341 mm) — as low as a contemporary Thunderbird hardtop. Although it was nominally a 2+2, the rear seat as always rather cramped. In 1973, the back seat was deleted entirely, a straightforward way of avoiding new U.S. federal laws requiring seat belts for rear-seat passengers.


Whatever its origins, the new design was favorably received by Wilhelm Karmann. He and Segre presented it to Heinz Nordhoff and Volkswagen vice president Karl Feurereisen in November 1953. Feuereisen was immediately enthusiastic, but the eternally conservative Nordhoff declared that it was too expensive before even asking what it would cost. Karmann retorted by quoting a highly attractive price. Nordhoff, who was neither blind nor lacking in taste (in his private life, he was a wine connoisseur and collected Renoirs), gave in. Contracts were swiftly signed and the new coupe got the green light for production.

Nordhoff was not wrong about the new coupe’s high production costs. Its sleek curves were too intricate and complex for simple stampings, and many of its panels had to be painstakingly hand-formed. Each body required a great deal of hand labor, which accounted for its high eventual prices, more than 50% higher than a Beetle sedan. The complexity of the body also posed serious production challenges, and it took 21 months for Karmann’s engineers to ready the approved design for mass production. The payoff for all this effort was a beautifully clean, elegant shape, one of the most attractive and tasteful of its era.

1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia gill
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia’s distinctive “nostrils” were not part of the original Ghia prototype; they were apparently added by Karmann. The louvers were added in 1960. On U.S. cars, the original marker lights, shone on this 1965 example, were replaced in 1970 by large, wraparound marker lights.

Underneath, the coupe rode a more-or-less ordinary Beetle chassis. Given the price and weight — the coupes were around 150 pounds (68 kg) heavier than the sedan — a more powerful engine than the Beetle’s 1,192 cc (73 cu. in.) four might have been appropriate, but Nordhoff was adamant that the coupe not be presented as a sports car. Volkswagen had a complex relationship with Porsche to preserve; VW paid licensing fees to Porsche for the Beetle (which had been designed by Ferdinand Porsche), while Porsche provided VW with engineering consulting services. Nordhoff had no desire to alienate Ferry Porsche by competing with the Porsche 356, which was in many respects a sleek, high-performance version of the Beetle. Since Karmann also did extensive business with Porsche, positioning the new VW coupe as a potential Porsche 356 rival would not have been a politic move for them, either.

In the end, the coupe’s only substantive mark of mechanical distinction was a front anti-roll bar, which helped to reduce the sedan’s tendency to oversteer. (Beetles did not get this addition until 1960.)

With the same engine as the sedan and more weight, the coupe’s performance was little better than that of the Beetle. The 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint took more than 30 seconds, although thanks to its smaller frontal area and lower drag coefficient, the coupe had a higher top speed than the sedan, around 72 mph (116 km/h). It had the same unburstable nature, however, the same familiar engine note, and the same excellent fuel economy.

The coupe made its press debut in July 1955, about a month before it went into production. At that point, it still didn’t have a name. Wilhelm Karmann finally suggested “Karmann Ghia,” which was simple enough, and had an appropriately mellifluous ring. The Karmann Ghia coupe went on sale in September 1955, with a starting price of 7,500 DM ex works ($1,875 at contemporary exchange rates), compared with 4,700 DM for an export-spec Beetle. In the U.S., prices started at $2,395, which was as much as a full-size Ford Fairlane 500.

1958 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia cabrio front
This 1958 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Cabriolet still has the original sloping front fenders and lower headlights, although it has the sturdier bumpers introduced in ’58.

A cabriolet was added to the line in November 1957, priced at 8,250 DM in Germany. In the U.S., it cost about $350 more than the coupe, putting it in the same price territory as a Chevrolet Impala convertible — definitely not an economy-car price tag.


While the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was expensive, it found a unique niche. It was not fast, but it was as attractive as some cars costing two or three times as much and few of those pricier rivals could match VW’s reliability or low running costs. Despite the high prices, 10,000 Karmann Ghia coupes were sold in the first year, and a substantial waiting list soon developed.

Initial production was slow, and as a result, Karmann Ghias were in short supply in the U.S. market until the early 1960s and Volkswagen didn’t begin advertising them until 1961. VW’s U.S. ad agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, approached the Karmann Ghia campaign with the same cheek and irreverence as their justly famous Beetle ads, freely admitting the car’s lackluster performance, but trumpeting its reliability, build quality, and Italian style. (Naturally, no mention was made of Virgil Exner.)

Since the Karmann Ghia was based on the Beetle, it evolved as the Beetle did. Engine size and power grew steadily, to 1,285 cc (79 cu. in.) in 1965, 1,493 cc (91 cu. in.) in 1966, and 1,585 cc (97 cu. in.) in 1970, the latter offering a whopping 60 gross horsepower (45 kW). The later Beetle’s MacPherson strut front suspension didn’t fit under the Karmann Ghia’s fenders, but in 1969, the Karmann Ghia acquired the Beetle’s improved “double-jointed” rear suspension. Karmann Ghias also got front disc brakes from 1967, which U.S.-market Beetles never received.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of significant changes, the Karmann Ghia’s popularity continued to increase throughout the sixties. By 1970, annual sales were over 38,000, despite starting prices over $3,000.

Its little-altered styling was timeless, but by the early seventies, there were similarly priced rivals with far better performance. A Datsun 240Z, for example, cost little more, but offered three times the horsepower, not to mention a more modern suspension. Karmann Ghia production finally ended in the summer of 1974; a total of 485,983 coupes and convertibles had been built in Germany and Brazil. Its replacement was the Golf-based Volkswagen Scirocco coupe, which bowed in early 1974. Like the Karmann Ghia, the Scirocco was also built by Karmann and styled in Italy (by ItalDesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro).

1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia side
This is a late-model (probably 1973) Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, with the oversize tail lamps and bigger bumpers added in 1971. It has the 1,585 cc (97 kW) engine, which made 60 gross horsepower (46 net, 34 kW), giving this model the highest performance of any factory Type 143. That wasn’t saying much; Volkswagen’s claimed top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h) was optimistic.


The original, Exner/Boano-styled Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (known to VW as the Type 143) was the first Karmann Ghia, but it was not the only one. In September 1961, Volkswagen introduced a coupe version of its new, cautiously modernized Type 3 sedan, known internally as Type 34, and nicknamed “Der Große Ghia.” Like the Type 143, it was designed by Ghia and built by Karmann. In a curious irony, its styling was at least partly the work of Virgil Exner, Jr., who worked as a consultant for Ghia from 1958 to 1961.

The Type 34 Karmann Ghia was never officially imported to the U.S. and sales were disappointing.

Production ended in June 1969, replaced by the Porsche 914. A total of 42,505 Type 34 Karmann Ghias were built, all coupes — there were prototypes of a convertible version, but it never went into production.

Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia front 3q
Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia rear 3q
From the rear, the Type 34 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia bears a certain resemblance to the Chevrolet Corvair, although it’s inevitably somewhat smaller. It was the most expensive Karmann Ghia, which probably factored into its poor sales. (Top photo and bottom photo both © 2006 ChiemseeMan; released into the public domain by the photographer)

There was also a third Karmann Ghia, also based on the Type 3, but produced only in Volkswagen’s Brazilian factory in São Paolo. Dubbed Type 145, it was marketed as the Karmann Ghia TC. The TC was never sold in either Europe or America, although 18,119 were sold in South America between 1970 and 1976.


By the time the original Volkswagen Karmann Ghia reached the end of its life, Heinz Nordhoff was gone. After announcing his imminent retirement, he died in April 1968, leaving his successor, Kurt Lotz, with a very troubled company. Nordhoff’s reactionary attitude towards the development of an adequate replacement for the Beetle had done considerable damage to VW’s European market position. In the U.S., the Beetle was a popular icon, but in Europe, it had fallen well behind the times. Lotz’s efforts to set a new direction led to chaos and political strife, and he was forced out in 1971. Volkswagen did not find its way until new chairman Rudolf Leiding introduced the Volkswagen Golf in the summer of 1974.

Mario Boano left Ghia at the end of 1953, shortly after proposing a joint venture with Stilo Bertone to produce a coupe version of Alfa Romeo’s new Giulietta. He and his son, Gian Paolo, opened their own styling studio, Carrozzeria Boano, in 1954. Three years later, he passed control of the firm to his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, and became head of styling for Fiat.

Virgil Exner became director of styling at Chrysler in 1953 and a vice president in 1957, a position he held until he was unceremoniously fired in November 1961. In 1962, he and his son started their own design firm, Virgil M. Exner, Inc., designing, among other things, the abortive Duesenberg revival of 1966 and the Pontiac Grand Prix-based Stutz Blackhawk, which went into limited production in 1971. Exner died in 1973, but his son went on to become a leading stylist at Ford Motor Company.

Luigi Segre died in 1963 and Carrozzeria Ghia eventually fell into the hands of Argentine businessman Alejandro de Tomaso, who sold it to Ford in 1970. It survives today, more or less, as Ford’s Italian design arm, and the name has been widely used as a model designation in Ford’s European operations.

1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia front 2
Not as cartoonish as the Beetle, the Type 143 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia nonetheless has a wholesome quality to it — voluptuous, but not quite sexy. Heavier bumpers and awkward rectangular side marker lights, added to late models, do little to spoil its looks.

The original Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, however, remains immortal. They’re prone to rust — a problem with various vintage Karmann products, exacerbated by the complex welding for the body’s compound curves. With close to 500,000 built, though, Karmann Ghias are common enough to be affordable, but not so ubiquitous as to be dull. As long as they don’t rot or suffer a severe shunt, they’re as cheap and easy to run as a Beetle. There are many faster cars, but few as pretty.


Friday, May 1, 2015

1971 VW Squareback

1971 VW Type 3 Squareback

littlevwdude 1971 Volkswagen Squareback 476668