This is Brad & Laurie Bull's 1964 Type 343 1500S.
They have owned this particular Ghia since November 2007. Here's a few words from Brad on their Ghia.
My story starts on Monday, October 22, 2007 with an email sent by a member of our local VW club. It was a forward of information from a guy selling a Type 3 Ghia. Apparently he sent this info to a couple local clubs as his initial attempt to sell the car. He included two pictures. After reading the email I thought to myself, “Neat car, but I don’t have the money for it and there’s no way Laurie would let me buy another car.”
I work evenings and my wife, Laurie, works during the day. Shortly after I read the email and dismissed it, she called me at home and said, “What’s up with that Ghia? Why is it so cheap?” After discussing it a while we concluded that I should look at it since it was only an hour from our house. Then I would have the option of either buying and flipping the car on The Samba….or keep the T34 and sell my project ’69 Karmann Ghia convertible.
I went and looked at it on Thursday of that week. Upon giving it the once over I could see that it had its share of metal work done to it but it was pretty solid. The car had been painted in a non-VW metallic blue with a white roof. The dash and some other places show that it was most likely Anthracite and Pearl White originally. The interior is not authentic either, but pretty complete.
I took a test drive with the owner along with my two sons crammed in the back seat. After we got back to his garage I looked it over another time and then told him I was interested in buying, but just had to ask if he would take less. He very kindly said he would take $200 off the asking price. He commented that his asking price was what he had paid three years earlier and had easily gotten $200 worth of enjoyment out of it. In order to purchase the car we had to get a loan through my wife’s credit union. This took another week to finalize, but he never complained or rushed me. He said that he wanted me to have it because he could tell I would enjoy it and take care of it.
We settled everything and transferred the car on November 2, 2007. Driving the car home was a blast! On the way we had to stop for gas in our other car. While I was parked to the side I had plenty of looks. Some were smiles, and others were of confusion. I knew pretty quickly that there was no way I was going to sell this car!
A week later I drove my new acquisition to the VW club meeting. I got there a little early and parked in a prominent spot. It was fun as each member arrived and said, “So who bought it?!”
According to the Registry database, it was “restored” in 1995/1996 with 61,000 miles on it. Then it was sold in 1998. I asked the previous owner about the guy he bought it from in 2004. This is part of his reply email:
“I believe that he was also going through a divorce at the time. In fact, when I showed up to look at the car, he didn't even have keys available to start it up (his ex had the keys). I bought it nonetheless. It is such a unique car; I was just pleased to find one in such good shape.
Looking back at my automotive receipts, it appears that I purchased the car with roughly 61,000 miles on it. I had the fuel lines & the fuel pump replaced by Foster's Automotive. Baum's Service Center gave it a tune up this past July (odometer 62,932) ... new plugs, distributor, wires, change oil.”
The bumpers had been painted so I stripped them down to the chrome. The chrome had been damaged in prepping for paint so they will be re-chromed in the future. They were also missing the guards so when a T34 mailing list email had a link to an ad on TheSamba for a set, I inquired about them. The seller told me that he just sold them but thought he had another set. Sure enough he did, so I bought them and had them shipped from the Netherlands. They are the later rounded style, but I’m happy to have license lights for night driving.
The majority of what I’ve done is work on electrical problems. Very few of the lights worked on the car when I bought it. Now all of them work to some degree. A couple of them have so little juice getting to them that you can barely see them. I would love to do a full harness replacement in the future. A small change I made was adding the trim rings to cover the ‘66/’67 Beetle rims. Not exactly authentic, but they look the part until ’64 Type 3 rims and rings come along.
I thank my wife, Laurie, for her support and helping me purchase my Karmann Ghia. It had a little over 63,000 miles on it when we got it and I have put about 500 on it this summer. I have enjoyed entering our Type 34 in two car shows, and sharing it with fellow members of the Southern Pennsylvania Volkswagen Club (SPVWC). It gets plenty of looks and comments everywhere we go!
Photos by Kenton Raver of www.FlatFourVW.com
Additional and higher resolution photos can be seen at: