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Karmann Ghia convertible – East 84th Street, NYC

August 14th, 2009 by Ian

Karmann Ghia 1

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.

Karmann Ghia 2Karmann Ghia 3Karmann Ghia 4

7 Comments

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7 responses so far ↓

  • personally i think the hard tops are nicer looking.

    on this specific example i will have to deduct points for the lack of trim molding around the windshield seal as well as the capless chromed wheels.

    i had a 1974 hard top ghia once…… beautfiul and fun cars.

  • hey archi – as always, thanks for your insight. good spot on the molding – is it meant to have a chrome strip as the surround? i would imagine that chrome needs replacing, or re-coating, quite often. and i have heard these type 14s were prone to rust. u have got to love the red interior though.

    • yup….. karmann ghias are supposed to have a stainless metal lock-strip around the windshield…… often times you see them without after a windshield replacement….. i arbitrarily use the presence as criteria to form an opinion on ghias i spot……. just can’t help myself. i’m loving old beetles and ghias these days !

      • Hey Archi, and Stu,
        This is actually my car, I just stumbled upon this post now. You’ll be happy to know I was able to pick up the metal lock strip at a swap meet, and will be installing it this Spring, it’ll be back in the neighborhood when the nice weather comes around so look out for it. Also Archi, I do have the caps, but they don’t fit over the “Ben-Hur” spinners I put on it.
        Thanks for the comments

        • Hey Louie – thanks for commenting – great car man. Glad you were able to catch the post. It def needs a set of spinners to complete the look. just kidding – keep us posted on updates you make to the car.

  • Had one back in ???…’70. Used.
    Red conv. with black top and int.
    Loved it even with lack of power.
    Nice curves, those twin exhausts…cool.

  • [...] stylists penned the current Volvo C30.  I can’t decide which I would rather own, this or a Karmann Ghia.Thanks for the amazing photos Emir Share and [...]