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Posted by on in articles
In the early 1990s, after a few years of owning my first 1500 Ghia, I was becoming increasingly aware of that car's shortcomings. At the same time I began developing an interest in the earliest 1500 Ghias — the 1962 models, with their unique badging, cat-eye mirrors and other one-year-only quirks. It was around then that an early Ghia from Santa Barbara, California began showing up at Type 34 Registry events. It was the first '62 that many Registry members had seen up close, and it provided a crash course in early 1500 Ghia for us all.Here's a photo from a Registry cruise along the Southern California coast in 1990. That's me standing next my '63 looking back at this '62. Little did I know that I was actually looking into the future. In 1994 the owner of the car decided it was time to sell, so I thought it would...

Posted by on in advertisements
This small ad from the travel section of a 1965 issue of Sunset magazine was of one of the ways the tourist delivery program was publicized. The ad was placed by Volkswagen Pacific, the West Coast regional VW distributor at the time. The tourist delivery program allowed buyers to take delivery of U.S.-spec 1500S Squarebacks in advance of the official introduction of the 1600 model by VW of America in late 1965....

Posted by on in engine overhaul
When I decided to start getting my 1500 Ghia roadworthy again about three years ago – the first step in starting a proper restoration – I had no idea I would still be working on the engine rebuild at this point, but here I am. When I had to tear the engine down again to address a piston clearance problem in the summer of 2007, I decided to take care of a few things that I had neglected the first time around, among them clearing the intake manifold's blocked heat riser. I took the piston clearance problem that thwarted the initial rebuild as a sign, and this time I would do everything right. No shortcuts.If you want to lose momentum on a restoration project this is the way to do it. Since the manifold is a one-year-only rarity finding a good unblocked one wasn't going to be easy, so I spent...

Posted by on in old photos
A 1500N, a 1500S, and a 1500S Variant sunroof from the 1964 edition of Auto-Universum, a.k.a. International Auto Parade....

Posted by on in press
A 1500S Ghia made the cover of the February 1965 issue of Australia's Wheels magazine. The article inside claims that the featured car was the first 1500 Ghia to make its way to Oz.From a blurb on the contents page:"Unusual cars are two-a-penny in Australia these days, but we thought the Volkswagen 1500S Karmann-Ghia worth more than a passing glance. Ian Elliott's crisp cover catches all the glamour of this desirable personal car, with the Sydney Harbor Bridge as a background."Thanks to Lee Hedges for the auction tip....

Posted by on in General
Rear Seats
Here's a few shots of the interior after I picked it up from the trimmers last week     Front seat - not yet assembled.   I need to source the platic trim that goes around the front before reassembing it   One of mine is unfortunately broken There's a few more shots in the gallery on my site - http://www.t-34.co.uk/index.php?page=my project&action=thumbnails&id=161  ...

Posted by on in coachbuilt VWs
One of only a handful of Rometsch Lawrence sunroof coupes ever built was pictured in the December 1960 issue of Mechanix Illustrated.It's hard to be sure, but it appears to be a 1958 model.Patrick Baptist of the Karmann-Ghia Lowlight Registry has recently taken it upon himself to compile a list of all remaining Lawrence coupes. From his research I've already been able to determine that the Lawrence coupe that I once considered buying still exists, probably somewhere in Japan. You can follow his progress here and here. I wonder if this sunroof coupe is still out there anywhere?...

Posted by on in VW literature
This nice cutaway illustration of a 1500S appeared in the 1964 owner's manual....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
I got this used Hella interior light (343 947 111) from BerT3 recently. It's in nice shape with only the slightest indication of age. This part was used in all Type 34 Ghias except 1969 models, which for some reason got a one-year-only Type 34-specific light. '69 owners have some unique challenges.Franck Boutier and Lee Hedges have found that Stoddard, a Porsche parts supplier, offers a very nice reproduction of this light for a reasonable price. Apparently it was also used in certain 356s.My early VW 1500 parts book says that this same light, 343 947 111, was used in the trunk of the 1500 Ghia, but my later parts book calls for a Type 1 part, 151 947 111 A. My Ghia's apparently original trunk light doesn't have a switch, so they must have started using the Type 1 light earlier than the parts book indicates....

Posted by on in old photos
Here's a photo of an early '60s Karmann-Ghia (polar blue?) parked on a Haight-Ashbury street in the summer of 1967, found in a box of old vacation slides from a thrift store. It was common practice at the time for tourists in San Francisco to go to the Haight and take pictures of this new and exotic tribe known as the hippies.One of the subjects registers his disapproval with a one-finger salute....

Posted by on in General
The interior is finished - went down to see it today. It looks great and I can't wait to get it home (picking it up later in the week). Not much else happening on the car, the project has been on hold for other more important things - becoming a father is one - and extending the garage another. Just got planning approval on the garage extension this week so paid the next installment and commenced with manufacture today. Should be receiving the garage in about three weeks - then I just need to get the thing up. Will post some pics of the Interior when I get it home. ...

Posted by on in NOS parts
Thanks to BerT3 I now have the right side heater muffler I'd been searching for. This completes an NOS pair of these one-year-only mufflers. Looks like I have no excuses anymore, I need to get the engine completed and back into the Ghia.Left and right are definitely not interchangeable!...

Posted by on in old photos
A VW 1500 S opens wide and says "aaaaahhh" at the Pacific National Exposition in Vancouver. ...

Posted by on in accessories
I found this Bosch reverse light at the VW Classic swap meet a few years ago.It's not specific to the VW 1500 or even to VW, but it does have an interesting connection to the Type 34 Ghia: it's the same reverse light that's mounted on the VW 1600 Karmann-Ghia TC fastback prototype, which is on display at the Karmann Museum. [photo borrowed from type34.com]...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
My entire stock of 559 cerulean 1500 Ghia upholstery fabric has sold....

Posted by on in old photos
A VW 1500 makes its way down an Innsbruck street in the summer of 1967....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
Congratulations to Rick Christensen and his son Alex, the new owners of the '68 Type 345 that I spotted in the neighborhood. Rick and Alex have already started in on getting it ready for next year's VW Classic. Rick's beautiful '66 Type 34 took first in its class at this year's VW Classic, and he might just have a lock on it again next year with this car. I'm glad it's going to a good home.It turns out it is the same car I had remembered seeing about 15 years ago. The previous owner, Dean Naleway, is a super nice guy who bought the car in 1981 from the original owner and only put about 2,000 miles on it each year over the 28 years he owned it! Now that's the kind of previous owner you want your car to have had....

Posted by on in reproduction parts
I decided to try making an original-style tool roll with the reproduction Type 34 fabric....

Posted by on in Events
...from a Type 3 point of view of course.Thanks to the 1500 Club, the Type 34 Registry, West Coast Classics, DKP and Nick's Burgers, ISP West, the VW Classic, and old and new friends for another great one....

Posted by on in VW literature
VW used the same sales brochure to promote the 1500 Karmann-Ghia from 1961–64, updating its written content and changing and/or retouching some images to keep things up to date. It's interesting to see what they thought needed to be updated (obvious improvements like the 1500S engine, of course, but some minor details too) and what they left alone. And it wasn't just the car that got updated: sometime in 1963 the owner lost his hat. Why would VW go to the trouble and expense of removing his hat of all things?The first few years of 1500 Ghia production coincided with the time when custom no longer required men to wear hats. An old urban legend blamed/credited President John F. Kennedy for the decline in hat wearing, but it's more likely that he just helped to popularize a trend that had already started years before. But if you're VW and you have...