1969-1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
Prior to 2014, VW Karmann Ghia was just another stylish and somewhat oddball car from the bygone era. Then its prices practically doubled overnight. Early models (Karman Ghia was produced between 1955 and 1974) still cost around $20,000 on average. Moreover, concours models cost double that money. However, later production Karmann Ghia’s are seeing a slow decline in prices – especially when exceptionally preserved specimens are concerned. Late sixties and seventies models cost around $12,000 on average, and that’s probably the best deal available if you’re looking for one.
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia wasn’t oddball only thanks to its styling which was courtesy of Carrozzeria Ghia’s Luigi Segre, by the way. It also combined VW Beetle’s mechanics with Karmann’s coach-built body. Hence the three-piece name. One of the strong points of Karmann Ghia from classic car buyer’s perspective are its numbers. Long production run spanning over two decades has resulted in around 450,000 of these sports cars being produced.
Do take the words sports car with a grain of salt, though. Karmann Ghia can actually be considered for the unpopular accolade of world’s slowest sports car ever. It was basically a Type 1 VW Beetle through and through when it comes to mechanics and powertrain. Initial output of some 30 horsepower eventually rose to 60 horsepower near the end of production. Apart from Type 14 Karmann Ghia based on Type 1 Beetle, VW marketed much scarcer Type 34 based on Type 3 Beetle. Only, not in the US which was rather awkward. Still, some 400 or so Type 34’s can be found across America today. After 20 successful years, Volkswagen replaced it with the aforementioned VW-Porsche 914, prolonging their oddball sports cars offering for another few years.