Pick of the Day: 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Image courtesy of Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Beetle is one of my favorite cars. It offers amazing build quality, an interesting and fun history, and are easy for a DIY owner to service. In addition, they are one of the few classics that can be used as daily drivers. Remember that the car is a late-1930s design with the earliest cars produced in the early-1940s and then built until to 2003. The fact that the model lasted this long is a testament to just how great a design the Beetle was.

Unfortunately, the Beetle isn’t beautiful. During its heyday, an ad for the Beetle showed a picture of the Beetle with the headline “Ugly is only skin deep.”

Volkswagen did create a striking car based on the Beetle but outsourced the aesthetics to Ghia. The automotive world benefited from the collaboration and the Karmann Ghia was born.

The Karmann Ghia is not a sports car but more of a touring car. It has sports car looks but the power is basic Beetle, but this shortcoming can be remedied by installing a higher output engine and a few other upgrades. The Karmann Ghia responds well to performance upgrades and with some work it can hold its own against the Porsche 356s and MGs from the same era.

1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The Pick of the Day is one of these wonderful cars; a 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia painted in my preferred color of Saturn Yellow over a brown and grey interior. More about that interior later. (Click the link to view the listing)

1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The biggest enemy of the Karmann Ghia is rust and this car looks to be in excellent shape with no serious issues with the tin worm. The Denver, Colorado dealer offering this car on ClassicCars.com describes it as having a few chips in the paint but otherwise cosmetically excellent. The listing includes a pre-purchase inspection of the car documented in the photo gallery and the Ghia looks solid. The photos show a car that appears to me to be a strong #3 condition driver-level Ghia.

1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
1600cc engine

The seller advises that this Ghia has a numbers-matching 1600cc engine and was owned for 40 years by its last owner. It further states that the Karmann Ghia had a recent paintjob and retains the original trim and glass. New tires and shocks were installed, the shift linkage was rebuilt, and a recent tune up was conducted.

Overall, this looks like a nice example of a fun Volkswagen. The one thing I hate is the two-tone interior. These cars weren’t built this way and I would have the seats recovered in the correct brown to match the door cards and after that minor change I would gladly drive this car everywhere.

1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The asking price for this Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is a market correct $22,900 and I will happily welcome it under my own Christmas tree if anyone feels so inclined. I promise I have been good this year.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.