The Volkswagen Beetle needs no introduction. The ‘People’s Car’ of Germany gained popularity all over the world for being extremely simple to maintain, whilst offering reliable mobility for a family. However, it was anything but sporty in appearance and demeanor. Enter the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia in 1955, which took the Beetle’s underpinnings and mechanicals, and wrapped them in a much sportier body that was penned by multiple designers including Italian design firm Carrozzeria Ghia. The Karmann Ghia was a two-door, four-seat sport coupe or convertible, with the same air-cooled engine from the Beetle, mounted in the rear. It was intended to be a comfortable cruiser, rather than a flat-out performance model. This example is a 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia that comes from Florida and is a stunning example of a car that was once the highest volume imported automobile into the US.
The Karmann Ghia’s long and flowing lines endow it with a graceful appearance of merely gliding through the air, rather than cutting or forcing through it. This 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia wears a high-end base coat and clear coat paint job of eye-catching red and rolls on period-correct steel wheels and chromed hub caps, with new tires. The rear-mounted engine lends the car a characteristic poise that is most visible when viewed side-on. The black interior features leather seats, a four-spoke, thin-rimmed steering wheel and a floor shifter for the manual transmission. A manual sunroof is present too. A touch from the modern era is present, in the shape of a Pioneer CD/Radio head unit.
As it was based on the Beetle, the Karmann Ghia’s powertrain lineup mirrored that car’s offerings as well. This 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia features the largest engine that came with the range, the 1,584cc (97ci) air-cooled, carbureted flat-four that put out 55hp and 78 lb ft to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual gearbox. Though the Karmann Ghia was intended to be a comfortable cruiser rather than a performance car, it’s low kerbweight of less than 2000lbs, coupled with its sleek shape were enough to endow it with a top speed in excess of 85mph for the power on tap.
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