Karma is our official one year old mascot, seen here posing with one of her many degrees. We've given her this space to share some of her knowledge and speak her mind on a regular basis. So, this is your chance to get the goods from the Karmann Ghia-lovin' dog and stubborn-ass mutt, Karma.
Check THIS out!!!!!
Woof Woof! Oooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
Boy, do I feel stupid? Asking a dog in Texas this question, (a very cute
dog) but anyway I live in the Washingtion DC area where there is mucho
humidity. Does this accelerate the rusting of my ghia ? Does sitting in
a humid garage hurt my loved one much? Should I put an open bag of
nacho chips in the front seat to absorb those nasty airborne water
Ask J. how was the World Cup?
You've come to the right place to ask about humidity... here in
texas you can spot a VW driver by the permanent sweat-ring on their
back. Lets not even get into peeling flesh off of vinyl seats... More
of a consequence of heat and no AC, i suppose, but it sounds good.
P.S. - the world cup was amazing... even if our team did come in dead last. Shoot-outs bite the big one, though.
I have a 73 Ghia which I have just completely restored. I can't get the
rear window in with the chrome (polished aluminum). I took it to a
shop and they said it the chrome will never fit because the
it too tight. It is a new rubber from WCM. Any suggestions on how I am
going to get this window in? The car was never damaged and the window
out of there so the problem I would think is the rubber? I know the
is supposed to go in first but it just won't stay in the rubber. PLEASE
HELP. If you do I will send dog food.
Sounds like cold-rubber syndrome. Toss it out in the sun for 4-5 hours and let it get hot and malleable. Then try it. If the sun doesn't shine where you live, try it in the oven (on LOW!). and yes, the chrome should go in the rubber before the window goes in the car (with the rubber and chrome on it). Make sense? WCM rubber is generally good quality stuff.
Are you ever treated to Hut's leftovers? if not, a change of residence in south austin might yield a better wednesday nite snack of burgers and left-over onion rings (because everyone knows the onion rings never all get eaten!).
2-for-1 Wednesdays are like a little piece of heaven aren't they? Wanna know what goes through a dog's mind when he/she sees somebody new? "Do you have food for me? Do you have food for me? Do you have food for me? Do you have food for me? Do you have food for me? Do you have food for me?" You get the picture... And if the Olympics ever come to Austin, let me be the first to suggest that the rings be made by... god bless Hut's.
I am a woman on the verge of an early mid life crisis. Major and recent changes in my life have propelled me forward into that place of reconciliation with unrealized dreams. What does this mean? I've always wanted a KG. However, I know (essentially) nothing about cars, and would have to depend on paying someone to take care of it for me (only mechanically, of course as I would love it to death myself.) I unfortunately don't know anyone who can assist me in this regard either (what the heck, all my friends are scientists and writers...) So, here's my dilemna: I live in Toronto, land of plenty o' snow and lousy weather. I would want to drive this car all year long. Is this possible? And if so, which Ghia should I be looking for that would best suit my circumstance? I noticed you mentioned the Idiot Guide on your website. Does this particular idiot guide have a title you could provide me? I am not adverse to informing myself before taking the plunge. And, finally, am I completely out of my element? Would I be better advised to wait until I have substantial financial resources to perpetually invest (or at the very least, snag a mechanic?)
Please point me in the right direction.
You don't have to tell me about early mid-life crisis', we have ours
at 4 or 5!
Let me give you a bit of advice (since you did ask for it)... To hell
with reconciling with unrealized dreams! Fight them like your worst
enemy. Reconciling would be like calling up that 'ole dopey
boyfriend(s) of yours from college that you can't believe you ever went
The point is, don't do it.
PS - you dissin' scientists and writers? What tree do you think you're barking up, sister?!
I recently purchased a 73 convertible and found the front hood (trunk) latch was defective (i.e. the front hood will not come open so I cannot get to the brake fluid, spare tire, ete). The glove box release wire apprears to be broken. How do I go at this, remove the IP and go from there or is there a better way.
I posed this question to the mailing list group, and the answer was unanimous - go in through the horn opening. If you don't know where this is, stick your head under the front of the car and have someone honk the horn! After they peel you off the asphalt, you can stick your arm through here and use a screw driver to pop the catch-pin. You may have to have someone pull on the latch release in the car if the catch is just out of adjustment.
I bought a new Ghia Conv. in July of 1974 from a dealer. I am lucky to still have the car with only 37,000 miles on it. My problem is I can't find my vin number on any listing. Your charts don't show any 74 conv. being made, and even the regular vin nos. don't go as high as mine. The vin no. is 1442668047. Can you help me? The conv. did not have a rear seat for this year. Thanks and I owe you a bone.
Sounds like a 1974 VIN to me. My list is incomplete, and i haven't found any sources for the '74 model year. The 14 is the type # (ie - Ghia) and the next number - 4 in this case - is the year. The most official solution would to write VWAG and send them the VIN. They will send you your car's birth certificate for free. There's a link for doing this by e-mail in the "know-how" section of this site.
Since June of 1974 I have been the proud owner of a
darlin' blue Ghia! It now has almost 59,000 loving miles on it. For
years I have resisted selling it, saying, "I'm going to be buried in
it." ( I'm now 68, so who knows) (L)
My 71 year old husband uses it to drive over town--about 6 blocks
away--and he still looks pretty darn cute tooling around.
When we go out together, we feel like teen agers!
Aw shucks! Do you have a male dog you could introduce me to? This is my kind of family!
What a cute picture of you! And you're smart too?! Some of us have all the breaks. I am in the process of gathering parts for my kg. She's going into the body shop when el nino moves on. He'll have her for 2 months. sniff. Anyways, the question is: where, how can I buy a driver's side seat for my baby? I think it's beyond covering since I'm riding on springs. How should I handle the box of parts I've gathered? I read somewhere that body shops often "lose" parts. That would make me nuts given the amount of energy that was spent looking, paying, and stockpiling these items. I've started inventorying them. I pretty much trust my body guy but........ I also want to cover my a. I've had my ghia almost 4 years now and am so excited about fixing her up. However, this is my first foray into body shop land. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
Aw shucks, I'm blushing...Oh, wait, i can't blush. Anyway, two
months in body shop is a LONG time. In other words, its plenty of time
for your guy to "misplace" parts... or the entire box. I don't want to
'dis the body shop guys as a whole, because some of them are great...
but its tough for many of us to figure out who those people are. I'm
guessing that whatever you have in your box, you can install pretty
It depends on how inclined you are to get your hands dirty. So, stare
at your crystals, harness the energy from your karma pyramid, rub your
hippie beads, take a deep breath, and decide to trust or not trust. Its
a big step, I know, and can change your whole outlook on life if you
get burned. But, that is part of the splendor of living... uncertainty
is exciting... embrace it. But I digress. I guess a more rational
approach would be to hold on to the high $ parts, and give him the
I have a big problem with my 64 ghia convt. Im used to listening to my radio as I motor down the road. now that my radio has shorted out, and several attempts to have it repaired by the original manufacturer have failed what should I do. the aftermarket radio that was in the ghia fit perfectly without needing any dash altering. this ghia has several custom alterations but I would like to keep the dash stock if possible. any possible suggestions on aftermarket applications.
You mean you actually tried to get the original manufacturer to repair a >30 year old radio? Major kudos, big kahuna! Fortunately, you still have several options. First, you could go down to your local junkyard and look at all their vinatge VW's (bugs, busses, things, ghias, whatever) until you find a decent radio that is either the same model as yours, or one that's about the same size. All of these Sapphire's are about the same thing. Next, take it home, hook it up, and hopefully it will work. Otherwise, your right back where you started. If you are mechanically inclined, take that sucker apart and figure out how it works and the put it back together again. If not, go to the Know-How section of this site and I've listed a guy who does cheap radio repair. I hear he's quite good as well as affordable. You would be wise not to cut a huge hole in your dash to accomodate a multi-disk CD changer with graphic equalizer and amplifier. Good luck, and keep me informed...
Are you going to the World Cup too? Or is Master Jason leaving you to starve while he is galavanting across Europe? I think you need a raise.
I wish. I would like to go and take a chunk out of the asses of some soccer hooligans, but i digress. Besides, Taking a dog on vacation in Europe is a pain, if you're not already there. Master J promised to bring me back some coffee from Amsterdam, so i won't complain. I can always gallivant around the backyard.
I am looking for a detail diagram on wiring the fuel guage on my '72 karmann ghia. Any useful information or ideas on where to find info regarding this problem?
Thanks a Bunch,
I. Hmmm... you read? I try, but the cones of vision on each side of
my snout don't sufficiently overlap, resulting in difficulty reading,
sometimes referred to as 'dogslexia'. A tough call, anyway. Opinions
vary. Some people like books with pretty pictures, while others like
actual text. Your best bet is to go to the local mega-bookstore and
I am in desparate need of color information for my '74 Ghia. The original color of the car is orange, however after all rust has been eliminated, my pride and joy now has green doors and a dark blue rear deck lid. I really like the dark blue color and would like to repaint the entire car this color. However, I have not been able to find what paint colors were available for production year 1974. I really want to keep the car an original VW color (I really like the dark blue). Can you give me colors and codes offered in 1974????????????
Dear Color Blind,
No problem... just beebop on over to the Karma Ghia Workshop pages and look in his color section to get a list of what was available for the 70's ghias. For mixing formula's, check out the mixing codes on the Karman Ghia Club of North America pages... just go to the links section of this site and its at the top! No telling whether or not that blue is an original color, though... good luck!
I'm considering purchasing a 1953 type 1 LHD Karmann Ghia. Can you advise the basic points I have to check? If the car is mechcanically sound it is my intention is to use it as an every day car, commuting to work etc. Would a old car like this be suitable for this or are Karmen Ghias of that age more suited to Sunday afternoon drives? Thank you for your help.
Problem: Karman Ghias didn't go into production until 1955 and the first model year was 1956. ghias this old are best suited for museums and car shows. I would be interested to know how the year of this car was determined (see the VIN info on this site). This COULD be some sort of prototype - extremely doubtful. Let us know what you find...
Note: This ended up being a '56, in Bangkok no less!
I know absolutely nothing about ghias but I want one because they look good. I am arguing with my dad about the engine. He says that they are different than the vw bug engines. I say they're the same. You buy the same parts for them, right?
You are absolutely correct. The only difference - a slight one - is the air-cleaner. When i go the the local parts store for engine parts, i tell them i'm looking for bug parts, just to avoid having to explain what a Karmann Ghia is. Tell your dad not to worry since you'll be working on the engine yourself!
I'm absolutely nuts about Ghias and I desparately want one. I found one advertised on the net that I can afford and I've contacted the seller. The problem is, this guy seems pretty attached to his car and I'm worried that he won't sell it to me since it would be my first car (I'm 17). What should I do to convince this guy that I'm worthy of a Ghia? In your opinion, would a Ghia make a good first car?
This is a tough one. I myself would never sell one of my beauties to someone i didn't trust. Here's the first step - get the idiot book and read it. Its actually fun to read, and you will know everything about your car when you get it. Second - if this is a long term investment - and it should be - let the buyer know your intentions for the future of his baby. This combined with your knowledge of the vehicle's mechanicals (from the idiot book) should help convinve him you are serious. If there is one common thread among VW owners - its loyalty - which you will soon have and understand. A ghia is a bad first car, since most people wreck their first cars. Its a good first car, since owning one makes you learn about how cars work. Take your pick.
hi, i am looking at ghias but i am 6 feet 4 inches tall and my knees jam into the dash. Is it possible to have a seat taken out and replaced farther back? headroom is not a problem.
Dear In the Clouds,
I hope i can help you, my giant deformed friend. You are more than
three times my height, so i can't image. Headroom is not a problem....
so you are saying that you have enormous legs and a minature torso and
head? Wow. I imagine you could get a job as a Carnie pretty easily.
Okay....heres the thing.i recently purchased a 74 ghia convertible.i only spent 300 bucks on it so i wasnt expecting miracles.after looking the thing over,i discovered that the rust to the body was insignificant, but that the pan would have to be completely redone,if not replaced.my problem is that i want to do everything myself(no matter the cost or time),and i know absolutely nothing about vdubs.okay....the question.i want to do a ground up restor but i cant figure out how to detach the body from the pan.if you can tell me this one simple thing, you have my permission to call me an idiot as often as you wish......
Okay idiot bob, i'll answer your question as quickly as i can in plain english using very simple words and short sentences.
cheers big ears,
I need to replace the both floor pans, I see "Inovation" has fiberglass pans that will never rust. Is this a good idea?
This is a great idea if you hate your car or work for the company that sells fiberglass pans. First of all, if your pans are rusted, the pans aren't the main problem, the leak that is causing water to get into your car and settle on the floor is the main problem. I'm guessing you own a convertible, since this is almost always the case with old convertible tops that are bent, have holes, have missing seals, or windows aren't aligned properly... yes, you can adjust the window alignment fairly easily - but i'll save this for another time. So, get out the garden hose and douse your car while your SO sits inside and diagnoses the leak source. Fix it. Now, buy some steel replacement pans - they cost about the same as the fiberglass ones - and have them welded in. You should be able to have the work done for a few hundred bucks or less. A friend of mine chiseled out his old ones and had someone weld in the new ones for twenty bucks and a case of Bud. It doesn't take an ace welder to do the job... no one will see it. If you are doing the rear pans (steel pans come in two sections - to save you $, since i bet only your rear section needs replacing) don't forget to have the seat rails put in, or you will be sitting on the floor. This is a major consideration with fiberglass pans, since you can't put in the old seat rails... you sit on the floor or figure out a way to put in your favorite lawn chair. Another knock against fiberglass pans - they aren't steel... you want your 300lb friend to be able to go for a ride? Oh yeah, fiberglass pans will decrease the value of the car. Besides, you would obviously be half-assing a bigger problem.
Is there anyway I could put a heating device in a Karmann ghia?
I thought dog names were stupid! To answer your question, you've probably got two. The cigarette lighter, and the other one.... THE HEATER. Its there, maybe you've missed it. See those levers down there by the emergency brake? Play with them. I don't know what other sort of heating devices you've got in mind. A chambers stove? I nice heating pad to soothe the aching muscles? How about a hot plate to keep that nacho dip warm. You probably aren't going to bake a potato with the stock Karmann Ghia heater, so go ahead and put in that BBQ pit.
Hello I am an Englishman trapped in Southern California. I am having a hells own job making my 74 Karmann Ghia pass emmissions out here. The car runs great, but at high RPM it runs very lean nad fails with too much CO. Can you give me any advice ?
You're problem is not uncommon. Subscribe to the digest and ask those guys... they have succeeded. In Texas the emissions laws are slow in coming, and cars older than 25yrs are excluded, so we can drive our ghias all day long with no worries. Note: You know you're in trouble when you ask a dog about radicals formed in hydrocarbon combustion.
THE ORIGINAL ENGINE IN MY 69 GHIA WAS REPLACED WITH SOMETHING I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE ENGINE SIZE IS. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO ESTABLISH ENGINE SIZE, YEAR, ETC? THANKS
This is actually not too tough of a question, you just need the
right resources. Every VW engine has a number on it. Open your rear
deck lid and look at the engine. There's one belt and you're going to
be looking right through it to find that engine number. At the top of
the belt is the generator (that round thing- it spins around and
charges the battery while you drive)
and the generator is sitting on an aluminium pedestal that is bolted to
the engine case. Right below this pedestal some numbers are stamped on
the engine case. You will probably see big balls of dirt and oil and a
few outlines of numbers, so scrape off the gunk and read the number.
Karma, I have this problem. I'm getting ready to customize my seveny-two KG. It's in about three hundred parts in the garage- it's a little known fact that, yes indeed, a Ghia can completely occupy a four-car garage. It was in mediocre shape when I bought it, but I would rather restore an earlier model. Is it bad medicine to customize my car? I want to give it the feel of the newer cars out there. I love cruising past the little Honda yuppies and the soccer Moms in their mini-vans who stare at my car wondering what the heck it is, and where they can get one (don't try to explain to a Honda yuppy why a twenty year old VW way outclasses his overpriced, underpowered piece of junk. I tried that once- I told hiim that he is getting less engine for his money, and has little room to build his car to his own personality. He said he thought he liked his ride better still. His car wasn't that spectacular, but seeing as how it did run enough to pick me up on the side of the road after yet another incident, well.... Anyway, is it a major hoo-doo to customiize the classic Ghia. I want to put a full-length sliding ragtop, drop it down, shave the door handles, tint the windows, and make it a designer machine- which is probably going to take a lot of time and money. However, the alternative is to start cruising the papers looking for dealer sales
First off, poor is my middle name... so i feel for you, bub.
I can't belive i'm going to say the next part, but...
If customizing your ride and driving with your butt two inches off the
ground gives you a woody, then DO IT! This isn't really a CAR question,
this is a LIFE question. If i want to dig in the yard, i do it! If i
want to chew up the hose, i do it! Get the picture?
PS - Good rule of thumb! Disassembled Ghias take up about four times the space! arf!
I'm trying to find out the value of my Karmann Ghia. Its a '71, yellow, and has a few dents.
If I had a nickel for every yellow '71 ghia I raised my leg on...
First off, red ghias are always the most valuable, and they remind me
of hydrants. If its a coupe, then value definitely goes down in my
book, since I can barely fit in the back seat. Dents are a bad thing.
WORK with me Larry. I'm a DOG, and although we do have telepathic
powers, I've never seen your ghia, much less been close enough to leave
my mark on what are sure to be EMPI's.
Send em in! This bitch has her own E-mail.
Questions are answered right here.