Automakers use a vast number of alpha and or numeric vehicle designations in branding their products. And considering the roughly 220 nameplates currently crowding dealer lots, overcomplicated and hard-to-recall nameplates likely obscure product significance in the minds of consumers. Some model names, for instance, relate to engine displacement (Mercedes C63 AMG) or power (Lambo LP560-4) while others continue a long standing tradition (Ford Mustang). And let’s not forget the always popular references to completely random geographic locations (Nissan Murano) or lost civilizations (Pontiac Aztek).
In naming their beautiful Type 14 Karmann Ghia (1955 – 1974), Volkswagen favored shout outs to underpinnings (based on the Type 1 aka Beetle), styling (styled by Italian design house Ghia) and fabrication (hand built bodywork by German coach-builder Karmann). Referencing the car’s exterior beauty seemed a relevant marketing tactic and pundits like Walter Dorwin Teague seemed to agree with the positioning. Road & Track went as far as to call the Karmann Ghia “…a Beetle in an Italian suit”. Whatever you call it, VW sold nearly half a million during the model’s production run. We digg the red interior in this black convertible spotted on the Upper East Side.