1968 Karmann Ghia

ghia.jpg (42058 bytes)
ghiasmash.jpg (31309 bytes)
:( :( :(

I bought this Ghia in June of 95. It was owned by a couple who kept it garaged as a weekend driver.  They had repossessed it from a young kid in California who owed them money. I showed up at 4 AM to see it before they left for work after seeing it in the paper the night before. I bought it upon first site and it was my first VW. I had seen an electric racing Ghia at a local track when I was 13 and that is how I got hooked on VW's.
June of 95 A week or so after arriving home, I slammed the ghia to the ground, leaving only 2 torsion bars in top and bottom tubes! Mounted "temp tires" (125/15 jap car temps)...Could drive down the road, change lanes, and take out reflectors with the bottom of my beam and shoot them at the cars behind me =)

August of 95

Mounted stinger exhaust, minus the baffle. I liked it loud for some reason. Maybe it was the harleys who drove up next to me and included me in their convoys that kept me liking it.

March of 96

After being prodded by friends to enter my ghia late in the day, I did. I won second place at Bug-O-Rama.  I think my ghia coulda taken it, but since I had missed so many votes already, it was too late.
April of 96 Only weeks after winning second in BOR, the ghias life took a turn for the worse (as well as mine). After agreeing to take a female friend to the store, I approached an intersection.  Since I was so busy paying attention to her and what she was sayin, I had not noticed that the light was changing. I began my right turn and a 67 Buick Electra decided to test the strength of my German metal front end. We sort of   hit both front ends at a 45 degree due to me turning and him going straight in the same direction. Since my ghia was soo low, the front bumper went right under and wasn't scratched. However, the drivers front fender wasn't so lucky and was smashed pretty badly. I was in shock as I was hit but I saw it comin..too late. collision shoved me off into the far right lane and I flew up onto the curb bottom out lengthwise. I got out so pissed off I was gonna kill that bastard.  I was furious, and ready to beat down on the helpless soul who dared crush my pride and joy. Turned out to be an 80 year old man who shouldn't have even been allowed to drive. He was also coming back from his mom's funeral so he was all screwed up mentally as well. He could've avoided it, he started at a standstill at the light and sped up to 40 before he left the intersection. Cops arrived and my ghia was still stuck on the curb. Cop informed me that if I couldn't get it off, the tow truck would arrive and that wouldn't be pretty. I jumped in gave it full gas as my stinger howled and the pan scraaaaapped across the curb. Made it off. Was stranded for hours in front of a circle K while I tried to bend the compound curve fender away from the tire it had wrapped around. I ended up hacksawing a big slit in it and ripping off a piece. When I finally got it ready, I started driving and smoke was emitting from my drivers side rear. In all the confusion I hadn't even notice that the collision swung the rear over and slammed it into his side. I spent another 2 hours trying to get at that panel and bend it away. What a nightmare, and it lasted a total of 8 hours. It was a bunch of "a few more minutes, and it will be ready". Should've just called a tow truck. Didn't do much damage to the Electra, of course the bill was 1000 dollars.

January of 96

Exhaust is stolen...twice. First the stinger which didn't bother me too much, so I installed dual quiet packs cause that's all I had laying around. Then about a week later someone stole the dual quiet packs.  Turned out to be the same kid both times who WAS a 'good friend'. Installed the original exhaust back on and have been running OG exhausts on all my VW's ever since.

May of 96

Ghia caught fire =( .. Earlier in the night I had smelled gas and went to the engine compartment to investigate. It was dark outside and I reached my hand in and felt a fine mist spray across it real quick. Got flashlight and found no evidence. Fuel lines look good,  no cracking.. My imagination?..must be. 2 hours later I was driving down the freeway when I see flames leaping out of the decklid. Pulled over and opened the decklid only to get a burst of flames in my face. Shut the decklid and the paint immediately melts and bubbles on the decklid. Open it back up and stare at in in disbelief. No extinguisher. Guy pulls up with extinguisher and manages to get it out , but not after it had melted everything plastic in the engine compartment. Another guy pulls up and said he saw the fire and ran and filled up a bucket of sand, but didn't make it back in time. Turned out that "cool" clear chrome fuel filter I had installed a few weeks prior, had its threads stripped out and was leaking periodically, hence the fire. This was NOT the end of my exciting night.
    Called the AAA tow truck from my girlfriends house and he picked me and my gf up and took me to my ghia. Tow truck man brought a 2 wheel dolly truck, not a flatbed as requested. Loaded the front tires up on the lift and we headed home. Upon leaving the freeway offramp, he began to turn and then shouted "WE GOT A LOOSE GHIA!" .......WTF?!?!? I look over my right shoulder and see my ghia rollin solo, headed straight for the intersection. I guess he took off a little too fast from the ramp light, and the surge pulled the dolly out from under the ghia, causing the ghia to have momentum and roll straight forward. The tow truck driver slammed on his brakes in the middle of the intersection and I jumped out as my ghia was headed straight for me. I attempted to try to slow it down by pushing in reverse against the window post. That didn't help and I ended up trotting backwards as I pushed the opposite direction. Little did I realize that the tow truck door was still open and the ghia slammed me right into the open door! I was on the ground, and my girlfriend jumped out and over me and grabbed the ghia's rear bumper and crouched down and sort of slid on her feet while holding onto the bumper in an attempt to slow it down. That still didn't do much and it slammed into the curb on the other side (it was a T intersection). 2 Cops were standing nearby and they merely glanced over , then continued on with what they were doin (givin someone a ticket). The small collision broke off my bullet turn signal and TWEAKED the drivers side of my   previous perfect bumper like a taco. The tow truck guy apologized and  loaded my ghia up again. He began mumbling something about how it was my fault and my tires were too small......"
    Got back to the house and we began to discuss what me and the driver were gonna do to remedy this problem. The truck driver called his boss and then came back to me and said" ok ...ill give you half of what it costs to rechrome/straighten the bumper and pay for the bullet signal" .    " Fuck you, your payin for everything" I shouted, still pissed off about the whole night. However, that upset the driver and he stated that if I didn't agree, he would report that  thats how my ghia already was when he picked it up (referring to the accident in earlier months) and I better agree. At this point I knew it was a no win situation and agreed. The driver gave me 250 bucks which is half of what a new rechromed bumper costs, and another 10 bucks for the signal lense. All that money went toward replacing my battery,plugs, wires,   and etc that was damaged in the fire.

March of 97

Engine is making an odd clunking noise that gets worse then goes away.... Head for home, too late. Engine seized. Blown rod.


Ghia taken off the road due to another bad engine. Sitting in wait for 'someday' to get here.