AJ’s Car of the Day: 1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Typ14 Convertible

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Typ14 Convertible

Car: Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Typ14 Convertible

Year: 1959

What makes it special: Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia is a sports car marketed in 2+2 coupe from 1955–1974, and 2+2 convertible from 1957–1974 body styles by Volkswagen. Internally designated the Typ 14, the Karmann Ghia combined the chassis and mechanicals of the Type 1 Beetle with styling by Italy’s Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-built bodywork by German coachbuilding house, Karmann.

What made it famous: In August 1957, Volkswagen introduced a convertible version of the Karmann Ghia. The Type 14 was marketed as a practical and stylish 2+2 rather than as a true sports car. As they shared engines, the Type 14’s engine displacement grew concurrently with the Type 1 Beetle, ultimately arriving at a displacement of 1584 cc, producing 61 PS. In contrast to the Beetle’s machine-welded body with bolt-on fenders, the Karmann Ghia’s body panels were butt-welded, hand-shaped, and smoothed with English pewter in a time-consuming process commensurate with higher-end manufacturers, resulting in the Karmann Ghia’s higher price.

Why I would want one: I always loved the style of the Karmann Ghia, unfortunately try finding one: 1) No body rot, and 2) An affordable price nowadays.

Fun fact: American industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague included the Type 14 Karmann Ghia in his list of the world’s most beautifully designed products.