Classic Karmann Ghia Advertisements

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Here are some examples of the clever advertising VW used to introduce and maintain the popularity of the Ghia. Major selling points were always reliability and low cost, while managing to give a good ribbing to other sports car owners and companies. Today, its hard to imagine a slick new car like this one selling for $2000, or any car for that matter. I know I would have bought one!
A good way to start collecting vintage Ghia ads is to check out the Ghia ad listing at the bottom of this page, or try the Comprehensive list of VW Ads... a truly monstrous collection including most VW models. Some cool Brazilian TC Ghia ads are also located on this site.
I found some of these ads on microfiche/film, so image quality isn't the greatest (sorry!).
Some original Sales Literature is also located here, and there is also an impressive collection at the KGCNA.
Bernd Schneller has also has a nice collection of Ghia ads on the net.

By all means, if you have something you would like to share, please contact me.

from Time, November 1963
It's A Volkswagen, sort of.

   Did the Italian sports jacket fool you?
   This is our Karmann Ghia, a runabout for 2.
   It cruises at over 70.
   And takes curves with any sports car made.
   But it isn't a sports car. It's a Volkswagen with a special body.
   It's curves are too sculptured for mass production. We farm the body out to one of Eurpoe's best custom shops.
   Karmann of Osnabrück.
   Every seam is welded, filed, ground down, and sanded by hand.
   People keep asking if it's a Ferrari or something.
   Yet the engine, transmission and what-not are right out of our VW sedans.
   VW parts and service are all you need. You get bucket seats, a defroster for the rear window, soundproofing and an electric clock, all standard equipment.
   And for $2,295* for the coupe, $2,495* for the convertible.
   Some people have even walkout out when they found out it wasn't $5,000.

from Time, December 6, 1963
What if you put Volkswagen parts in a Karmann Ghia?

   They'de fit.
   Even if one of the parts was the engine.
   Because the engine is a VW engine. And the transmission and chasis are Volkswagen's too.
   Which makes the Ghia one of the best-humored runabouts on the road.
   And one of the easiest to service.
   If you're in a strange town, just ask any cop for the nearest Volkswagen dealer.
   But let us tell you about the body. Its takes 186 men to amke this body.
   It was designed by Ghia of Turin but was too sculptured for mass production.
   So we farm the Ghia out to one of Europe's finest coachworks, Karmann of Osnabruck. Where the body is welded, ground down, filed and sanded -- all by hand.
   The VW Karmann Ghia comes with bucket seats with backs you can adjust. Accoustical soundproofing like an office. Electric clock. Even a defroster for the rear window.
   People accustomed to a little posh usually guess the Ghia's price at around $5,000.
   The coupe's only $2,295*, the convertible $2,495*.

from Car and Driver, April 1964
For people who can't stand the sight of a Volkswagen.

   Some people just can't see a VW.
   Even though they admire its attributes, they picture themselves in something fancier.
   We sell such a package.
   It's called a Karmann Ghia.
   The Karmann Ghia is what happened to a Volkswagen when an Italian designer got hold of it.
   He didn't design it for mass production, so we wouldn't think of giving it the mass production treatment.
   We take time to hand-weld, hand-shape, and hand-smooth the body.
   Finally, after 185 men have had a hand in it, the Ghia's body is lowered onto one of those strictly functional chassis.
   The kind that comes with VW's big 15-inch wheels, torsion bars, our 4-speed synchromesh transmission and that rather famous air-cooled engine. So that along with its Roman nose and graceful, curves, the Ghia has a beauty that is more than skin in deep.

from Car and Driver, May 1964
Volkswagen, Italian Style

   The Karmann Ghia goes to show you what happens when you turn a Volkswagen over to an Italian designer.
   It comes out with a noble Roman nose, graceful curves and a low silhouette. In fact classical tradition is followed right down the line.
   Fenders, hoods and door frames are welded and shaped and smoothed by hand.
   Seats and convertible tops are padded and stitched and fitted by hand.
   Now you might think we're crazy to go to all this trouble just to turn out some fancy Italian sculpturing.
   Especially since this body of work ends up on top of one of those plain VW chassis.
   But consider.
   The chassis includes VW's 4-speed synchromesh transmission, big 15-inch wheels, torsion bars, and an easy-to-service non-temperamental engine.
   So that with the Ghia's beautiful form and this strictly functional interior, you've got yourself a pretty solid piece of architecture.
   It's known as renaissance Volkswagen.

from Time, 1964
Deep down inside, it's a Volkswagen

   A Volkswagen built for 2.
   It's our VW Karmann Ghia. It wasn't brought up with our other Volkswagens.
   Ghia of Turin designed it as a runabout. But its lines are so sculptured, half the work has to be done by hand.
   Should we make it anyhow? Oh, why not - a company's only young once.
   So we called in one of the finest coach-makers in Europe, Karmann of Osnabrück. Where it takes 185 men for the handwork on the body alone. Every seam is welded, ground down, filed and sanded by hand.
   It corners with any sports car. And holds the worst barrel-top roads at 70.
   But don't let its prima donna look fool you. The engine and chassis are right out of our VW Sedan.
   No $100 carburetors. No $40 tune-ups.
   And the price includes the little things you'd put in a car if you made it yourself. A defroster for the rear window. Adjustable bucket seats. A soundproofed interior. Even the electric clock.
   All for $2,295* for the coupe, $2,495* for the convertible, $4,790* for a set.

from Time, January 1965
Volkswagen, incognito.

   You'd have to be some kind of car sleuth to know that concealed underneath the Karmann Ghia's beautiful exterior is the heart of a Volkswagen. The Ghia's chasis and the 4- speed synchomesh transmission are the same as the regular Volkswagen's.
   Behind every Ghia is one of our famous won't-boil-over-or-freeze-up engines.
   You also get VW's big 15-inch wheels, the very ones that help VW bugs rack u p 40,000 and more miles on a set of tires.
   The Ghia's torsion bar suspension is all Volkswagen, too. Not to mention th e traction and gas and oil economy and low insurance and parts and service, etc.
   What aren't typically Volkswagen are the Ghia's sleek lines, the handwrought body, the noble Roman nose.
   If you're one of those people who admire everything about the VW except the way it looks, why not consider driving around in a beautiful disguise?

from 1965
The Karmann Ghia.

   Body: Hand formed, Hand finished.
   Engine: Magnesium, Air-cooled, Rear-mounted.
   Transmission: 4-speed stick shift, all gears synchromeshed.
   Suspension: 4 wheel independant torsion bar system.
   Seats: bucket.
   Mileage: 32 mpg (average)
   Cruising speed: 72 mph.
   Service: Any Volkswagen dealer. (Where else would you bring a Volkswagen?!)

German poster, 1966
Der VW Karmann Ghia hat jetzt einen 1500er Motor. Trotzdem w&uumlrden Sie sich beim Grand Prix blamieren.

from Newsweek, December 1966
Pussycats go where tigers fear to tread.

   Fancy cars with ferocious names are apt to do some unfanciful things in snow.
   Like get stuck.
   Then there's the Pussycat: the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
   It's a little less ferocious, a little more domesticated.
   For example, it can spend an evening out in temperatures that reach 20 below and yet zip you through six inches of snow come morning.
   That's because the Ghia engine doesn't need water or anti-freeze. It's cooled by air. And located in the rear to give the rear wheels much better traction. Its bottom is fully sealed. So the outside takes a beating from bad weather instead of the inside.
   Its front brakes are disc (the kind that won't fade).
   And although it's not as powerful as a man eating tiger as speedy as a wild horse, at least it knows how to find its way back home.
   The Volkswagen KARMANN GHIA

from Newsweek, april 19, 1968
This is Volkswagen's idea for a sports car.

   It will have an air-cooled engine in back. Like the Porsches that swept the Daytona 24-hour endurance grind.
   It will corner like a sports car. Have a 4-speed synchronized gear box like a sports car. And the body will be designed by men who design sports cars for a living.
   But it will go easy on gas. Like a Volkswagen. And be as easy to service as a VW.
   Will we ever get a car like this off the drawing board? We already have.
   The Karmann Ghia is at your VW dealer now for less than $2500*.
   If you didn't recognize it, maybe it's because you never saw the Ghia quite this way before.
   Maybe you should look again.

from Playboy, March 1969
Can you spot the Volkswagen?

   Lost among five of the world's great sports cars is one the worlds great Volkswagens.
   The VW Karmann Ghia.
   If you confuse it with a 170 mph sports machine, we wouldn't be surprised. The racy lines are the work of a famous sports car designer, the Ghia Studios of Turin, Italy.
   And the bodywork is the handiwork of one of Europe's oldest custom coachmakers, Karmann of Osnabrück. What makes the Karmann Ghia a Volkswagen is everything that makes it go. Independent 4-wheel suspension that takes curves like a racer. Surprisingly smooth 4-speed gearbox. And an air-cooled engine that averages 28 mpg.
   Of course, you can't reach the speed of a $15,000 Ferrari (top left), $16,000 Lamborghini (top center), a $9,000 Mercedes (to right), a $14,000 Maserati (bottom center), or a $14,000 Aston Martin (bottom right) in a Karmann Ghia (bottom left).
   But it costs only $2,365 to give the impression that you can.
   Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

from Playboy, November 1969
The sports car that's just as reliable as a Volkswagen.

   And why not? It is a Volkswagen.
   The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
   With its Ghia designed body it looks like something more exotic.
   And with its independent four-wheel suspension, solex carburetion, and front wheel disc brakes, it handles like something more exotic.
   But it's still a Volkswagen.
   So if something does break you don't have to start searching for a special sports car mechanic. Or face a six-month wait for part to arrive from some far corner of the earth.
   Even if you're tooling through some re mote place like Ottumwa, Iowa and your fan belt goes, there's a Volkswagen dealer there who can fix it.
   So when you buy a Karmann Ghia, you can forget all those bad things you've heard about exotic sports cars and remember all those good things you've heard about Volkswagens.

from Playboy, June 1972
The man who lives on the left owns a sports car.
The man who lives on the right fixes them.

   If the guy who fixes your sports car seems to be living beyond your means, maybe we have a solution.
   It's called the Karmann Ghia.
   And it was built for people who want to answer the call of the open road without making a lot of expensive pit stops along the way.
   That's why we started with the guts of a Volkswagen. The same advances that went into the Beetle to make it so monotonously reliable, went into the Karmann Ghia.
   Next, we turned things over to the Ghia Studios of Turin, Italy. (And you know how the Italians are when it comes to great bodies.)
   Then the Karmann Coach Works translated the Ghia design into a reality. At that point we had a beautiful sports car that was as economical and trouble free as a Volkswagen.
   So we stopped right there.
   The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Karmann Ghia ads and where to find them

Guess the target demographic!





For people who can't stand...

Car & Driver



Volkswagen, Italian style.

Car & Driver



Pussycats go where tigers fear to tread.




With technological triumphs like this, it only takes 4


5/ 1/67


This is Volkswagen´s idea for a sports car.


5/ 1/68


The 450SS Ghia. Designed by Ghia.


6/ 1/68


Which car costs less than $10,000?


12/ 1/68


Can you spot the Volkswagen?


3/ 1/69


Can you spot the druggist from Toledo?


6/ 1/69


Some cars just can´t be ass produced.


9/ 1/69


The sports car that´s just as reliable as a


11/ 1/69


In 1969, a Volkswagen was named one of the

Road & Track

10/ 1/70


The an who lives on the left owns a sports car.


6/ 1/72


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