1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Ever picture yourself driving a sporty vintage car? Or maybe you need that perfect, lavish gift for your special someone? You’re in luck! QBO is offering this awesome 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia at our next Beehive sale, so come on by the Timberhill Shopping Center 2409 NW Kings Blvd on Black Friday, November 24th (8am-2pm) & 25th (9am-1pm). Starting at $12,000 or best offer. 

The specs: Rear-mounted, 1,584cc (97ci) air-cooled, carbureted flat-four engine, with 55hp and 78 lb-ft of torque. Manual transmission. Red exterior (possibly factory Bloodorange or Phoenix Red), black interior with leather seats, four-spoke, thin-rimmed steering wheel, and floor shifter. Low mileage at 68,000.

These rare, sleek, fun little cars have loyal fans with clubs in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S.A.. As its name implies, the car is the dream-collaboration of three separate companies, two German and one Italian: Volkswagen, Karmann, and Carrozzeria Ghia. All three were heavily impacted by WWII but survived to produce their first VW Karmann Ghia in 1955, just 10 years after fighting had ended. Volkswagen, founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front (the national labor organization of the Nazi Party) lost almost all its factories to Allied bombing, but when an occupying British officer found one prototype VW car hidden in the back of a derelict factory he was inspired to restart production, having VW make utilitarian vehicles for the British military. 

The Klages coach-building company was founded in Osnabrück, Germany in 1874, becoming Karmann in 1901 when Wilhelm Karmann bought it to make convertibles, coupés, and niche luxury vehicles. Karmann’s only plant was destroyed by bombing, but when Volkswagen revived production, the struggling Karmann company was able to work for them as a subcontractor. 

Carrozzeria Ghia (originally Carrozzeria Ghia & Gariglio) is an auto design and coach-building firm founded in Turin, Italy in 1916 by Giacinto Ghia and partner Gariglio. Carrozzeria Ghia & Gariglio also ended up on the wrong side of history. Their single factory was obliterated and Mr. Ghia died of heart failure trying to rebuild it. In 1944 his friends, designers Felice Mario Boano and Giorgio Alberti, bought what was left of the company and soldiered on, ultimately producing car bodies for Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Jaguar, and of course VW.

In German, Volk + Wagen means “the people’s car” and VWs first vehicles only met basic needs. But by 1950, with the success of the Beetle, VW got an itch to make something sexier at a higher price point. Designers at both Carrozzeria Ghia and Karmann discussed with VW the idea of a new sports car and then went to work out of the public eye developing one. But the process was not much of a rivalry as some of the designers were friends who saw each other often and so many ended up kibitzing on the project that the pedigree of the Karmann Ghia’s satisfying look is murky at best and bragging rights are shared. Prototype Karmann Ghias were created in 1953, and from 1955 to 1974 over 445,000 (both 2+2 coupes and 2+2 convertibles) were manufactured in Germany and Brazil. When the car was introduced to the U.S. in 1956 production had to be doubled, it was that popular, that quickly. The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is an automotive phoenix that rose from the ashes of war-torn Europe. And although it weighs in with a bit less power than say, the much more expensive Porsche, this little phoenix can soar to over 85mph, so if you are the lucky buyer who snags this one you better keep an eye out for your local State Trooper. See you Black Friday!