love for Volkswagens was inherited from
my oldest son about 12 years ago when
he was 9. I had recently finished an
American muscle restoration and made
some money. My son and I wanted a new
project and he wanted something small
after seeing a MG in a parking lot.
Mom gave us a small budget and my son
Tyler went to work on Craigslist. Tyler
was bidding on multiple MG's with no
success when he came across a Karmann
Ghia with trailer for $400.00. It had
been purchased from a storage auction
and had a salvaged title. We bought
it and brought it home and found out
it had catastrophic damage that required
major work including cutting off the
entire front end replacing it with a
3 piece fiberglass option.
was our first father son project that
started the Volkswagen world we both
live in today. After selling the Frankenstein
Karmann Ghia we bought, restored, and
sold 3 more Bugs and a 67 Fastback but
always loved the Ghia the most. Never
stopping the search for another Ghia
I came across one on Craigslist for
$3700.00 complete, running rough and
looking rough. The owner had owned the
car for over 25 years and was reluctantly
selling it. I told my wife as long as
it's not a total rust bucket and it's
all there I'm taking my money, getting
a trailer and bringing it home! Two
years later, it's almost done except
for a few small things, probably never
I got it home, dropped it off in the
driveway to take back the rented trailer
and came back to my son Tyler, 18 at
the time driving it around the block.
He had managed to get it running in
about an hour. We proceeded to gut the
entire interior including an excessive
stereo system MR-2 Toyota seats and
rotten carpet. We exposed beautiful
floor pans that needed a good coat of
bed liner for a finish. My then 11 year
old daughter started the body work with
a palm sander and I proceeded to cut
out some bad rusty panels for replacement.
engine compartment had seen multiple
layers of spray paint over the years
that had started to peel ultimately
needing an entire stripping. The dual
40 Webers were too much for the 1776
motor so I chose a Weber progressive
to make the car more of a daily driver.
The body work was completed in my garage,
jambs were painted, surface was prepped,
blocked and ready for a $1800.00 Maaco
paint job, Yes Maaco. I would like to
add that I brought the car home after
picking a GM garnet red/black base coat/clear
coat color scheme and color sanded for
over 24 hours to give me a show winning
interior was a kit pieced together from
both Scat VW (pro car seats) and TMI
including door panels, carpet, arm rests,
dash. Gauges were previously installed
from an early Porsche and needed rebuilding.
All other VDO gauges were replaced.
The original Centerlines were polished,
center caps were added, tires were replaced.
Car is equipped with front disc brakes,
Freeway Flyer transmission, Select a
drop front suspension, Scat VW header
and exhaust. This one is not going anywhere!
Or so I have said before...