This Month's Feature VW

Not Going Anywhere

My 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.

It 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 done.

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.

The 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 surface.

The 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...

Jamie Johnson

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