Posted on 21/11/2006 at 11:44

First visit

I wanted a Karmann-Ghia for a pretty long time... To be honest, a bit by despite, my 356 dreams flying away with their prices.

My only imperative was to find a "small lights" model, as I'm not fond of those last generation KG big rear lights. So I was reading the classified ads for month, affordable bases being rare, I even thought about shipping my KG from California... Until this January 2006 day, when I found an ad on Flat4Ever!
A '68 KG, looking pretty fine, for 8000 euros ; and moreover, it's only a few kilometers from where I live! So I contacted the owner (Mike, if you read this : many thanks!), who sends me some more pictures of it... I soon met him to have a closer look to the beast.
The KG comes from South Africa (Johannesburg) : this is why it is way less rusted than what we usually find down here. Actually, it is still registered in South Africa...
Engine and gearbox had been changed in Johannesburg, and it's been repaired by Technifun, a local shop that I know very well since it's arrived in France.
The owner, very friendly, explained that he brought back 3 KG's from South Africa (where he used to live), thinking that selling 2 of them here would pay for the third one he will keep for himself (the two others are left had drive)... Finally, and unfortunately, it did not work as expected, as he had to make many repairs on the cars (I got the bills) + importation taxes in France that were way higher than he expected.
The paint had been re-done (original color, nice but not perfect paint job) a few years earlier.
No rust in the wheel arch, bottoms are clean, no fiberglass detected with my magnet. No rust around the windshield, only 1 or 2 spots on the bottom of the rear hood lid.
Inside of the nose is clean, bumpers holders are perfect, no looseness in the door hinges (surprising on this model!).
The seals are clean, the interior is almost perfect ; the only thing I can't stand is the dashboard, the fake wood is too much seventies to me......
Drive test : big looseness in the steering box, the owner tells me it's already tighten to the max : I'll have to change it.
The shock absorbers are tired...
Some noise in the tachometer : the needle move, but the odometer doesn't ; the clock is present but doesn't work neither. The 1600cc engine is pleasant to drive...

The clutch cable makes a funny noise in the chassis... The heating system was removed (useless in South Africa), but the heating boxes are present, it shouldn't be a big deal to put it back. The back of the car looks lower than the front, probably the torsion bars being tired as well...

The owner tells me the car had 2 shocks back in the past : one on the rear left wing, another on the front left headlight. The later was not repaired correctly, there's some resin and the paint is ugly. The floorpans are clean (but not perfect) under the carpets...

So! The beast isn't perfect, but it's pretty healthy compared to what we usually see in France. I don't like the fake wood on the dashboard, I had prefered an older model with the 2 big tachos... But anyway, this one is complete, with a ball joints and disc brakes front end, I'll be able to drive it untroubled.

Some discussions and 7500 euros later, I'm her new owner!
Posted in : 1968 Karmann Ghia
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