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Lot 55

2014   |   Amelia Island Auction 2014

1957 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

SOLD $35,200

Estimate

$45,000 - $55,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

1472693

Engine

1304869

Car Highlights

A Wonderful Example of the Iconic “Low-Light” Karmann Ghia
No-Expense-Spared Comprehensive Restoration Completed in 2013
Complete Rebuild of Engine, Transmission, Suspension, Steering, and Brakes
Approximately 100 Miles Since Restoration
Presented in Period-Correct Trout Blue

Technical Specs

1,192 CC Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
Single Solex 28 PICT Carburetor
36 BHP at 3,600 RPM
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
Hydraulic Front and Rear Drum Brakes
Axle Beam Torsion Bar Front Suspension
Swing-Axle Torsion Bar Rear Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle operates on a 6-volt electrical system, rather than a 12-volt as stated in the catalogue.

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This Car

The 1957 Karmann Ghia offered here is an early “low-light” model, so called because later versions saw the headlights relocated to a higher position to simplify production and comply with new regulations. The original “low-light” models, with their squared taillights, smaller front grilles, and pleasingly rounded front fenders, are arguably the most pure and handsome of the many design revisions the Karmann Ghia received throughout its 19-year production run.

This Karmann Ghia is finished in period- correct Trout Blue (L330) with blue interior trim and has been the subject of a no-expense- spared restoration, which was undertaken by a Mississippi-based vintage Volkswagen specialist over a period of several years, while the vehicle was in the ownership of a local Volkswagen collector.

This finely detailed, body-off restoration was completed in 2013 and included a mechanical rebuild of the engine, transaxle, suspension, steering, and brake systems. The entire vehicle was disassembled and all components were either replaced or restored as required. Since completion, the coupe has covered approximately 100 miles, and this Karmann Ghia “low-light” presents beautifully.

In addition, this Karmann Ghia also benefits from an electrical system that has been updated to the more reliable 12-volt system. It also comes complete with its original Sapphire AM radio, and its original jack.

Ghia’s brilliant design is now being appreciated well outside vintage Volkswagen circles and many examples now appear in multi-marque collections. Nearly 60 years since its debut, the Karmann Ghia has stood the test of time and has earned the admiration of automotive enthusiasts worldwide. Currently residing in a private Volkswagen collection in Maryland, this Karmann Ghia is ready for its new owner to enjoy at local rallies and events, where it would be very warmly welcomed.

The Karmann Ghia

Introduced in 1955, the instantly beloved Volkswagen Karmann Ghia would not have existed without the vision of Dr. Wilhelm Karmann. His firm was building the cabriolet variant of the incredibly popular Beetle when it submitted designs for a potential new coupe to Volkswagen. Ultimately, these plans were rejected by Volkswagen but Dr. Karmann remained undeterred.

He approached Italy’s Carrozzeria Ghia, whose proposals for a development of the Beetle had also been turned down. Together, they developed a new body and mounted it onto a Beetle chassis. The Ghia-crafted design study was shipped to Karmann in late 1953 and Volkswagen boss Heinz Nordhoff was suitably impressed that the Karmann Ghia entered production as Volkswagen’s upmarket coupe just over one year later.

The charming model was immediately embraced by the public on both sides of the Atlantic and, by the time production at Karmann’s Osnabrück plant ceased in 1974, more than 364,000 coupe and cabriolet versions had been produced.