Build Threads

Type 34 Registry member blogs and build threads

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in accessories
In addition to VDO and Gossen, Weigand also made 85mm tachs that fit in the VW 1500 dash. The 7000 rpm Weigand tach pictured in this 1969 ad is similar to one that's advertised for sale on The Samba right now....

Posted by on in accessories
Kamei offered lots of practical and functional kitsch for the VW 1500 including accelerator pedal covers and parcel trays.According to the ad, the pedal cover keeps the accelerator mechanism clean, protects the floor mat and tunnel from wear, relaxes the foot muscles and promotes good circulation. It also makes your accelerator pedal look like it's melting!...

Posted by on in accessories
The Petri/VDM model 355 steering wheel, aka the "coach" or "carriage" wheel, was available for the VW 1500 beginning in 1965 and was a popular upgrade. Here's an early ad:This ad from 1969 lists a different version for Karmann-Ghias after 1967:...

Posted by on in accessories
A Hirschmann auto antenna to go along with your new radio....

Posted by on in accessories
Jokon accessory reverse lights, including the VW 1500 version....

Posted by on in articles
Sad news came in today from Italy: Sergio Sartorelli, the man responsible for the design of the VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia, died yesterday at the age of 81. Sartorelli joined Carrozzeria Ghia in 1956 and within a year he became the head of styling for the prototyping department, a position he held until 1963. In that time he designed and supervised the design of dozens of automotive projects. His work on the 1500 Ghia began in early 1959 and continued through 1960. Though the 1500 Ghia was designed with collaborative assistance from young American stylist Tom Tjaarda, there's no question that it was almost entirely Sartorelli's design. Sartorelli's original 1500 Ghia prototype [photo: Larry Edson]After Ghia he went on to work with Centro Stile OSI (a styling, prototyping, and production facility originally affiliated with Ghia) and later with Fiat. In addition to the 1500 Ghia his most celebrated designs include the Fiat...

Posted by on in accessories
I was lucky enough to find an original VDO 6-volt tachometer for the Type 34 Ghia. I've been trying to track one down for years. It's a very rare original accessory part—I've only seen three of them in person in 22 years of looking, and I only know of a handful of others that exist. VDO Type 3 tachs are pretty common in comparison. It needs restoration but seems to be relatively sound. It doesn't appear to have been opened for repair in the past. Cosmetically, the biggest restoration challenge will be the cracked "glass."It has a white needle and silver knob and escutcheon. That and the fact that it's 6-volt means it was intended for a late '65 or '66 Type 34. All Type 34 VDO tachs were 6000 RPM to my knowledge. I had never noticed before when looking at others that the scale is progressive—it expands at the...

Posted by on in accessories
Seeing the light of day for the first time in over 40 years.Is it just me or does it look like it's smiling? The foam seal that goes between the speaker and the grille has begun to decompose, but everything else looks o.k....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
A nice VW 1500 illustration on a package of Serflex clamps.[image borrowed from an eBay auction]...

Posted by on in VW literature
Johannes Krasenbrink, owner of a few very early VW 1500s including probably the nicest low-mileage '62 1500 Ghia on earth, sent me these photos of an amazing 1961 dealer information brochure. Titled Wir werben für den VW 1500 (We advertise the VW 1500), it shows all the different components of the Volkswagen + VW 1500 advertising campaign that could be ordered by the dealers.It includes a few of the campaign pieces I've been able to find, including an advertising stamp (21) and a postage meter ad (23). If I was able to read the dimensions I could have some facsimile wheat paste posters made at their original size. I'd love to see the rest of this rare brochure!...

Posted by on in articles
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which has me thinking about where and when the VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia got its start and about its historical significance.The are many different reasons that people are drawn to the 1500 Ghia. Some appreciate it for its relative rarity. Others see in it an opportunity to own an affordable and reliable coachbuilt classic. Some just like the unique lines. For me it's all of the above, but I'm also interested in what the Ghia meant in its historical context. In a symbolic way, its design is an interesting automotive example of the so-called "German economic miracle," or Wirtschaftswunder. ["People's Dream Car," Hobby magazine, December 1961]Nearly fifty years on it's easy to lose sight of the context in which the 1500 Ghia was developed. Germany was still a recently defeated, divided country that was the front line of the...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
As a followup to a recent discussion among Type 34 Ghia owners about how to reproduce the "auf/zu" graphics that appear on every Type 3 engine lid, I've created high resolution vector pdf artwork based on direct scans of an original 1963 lid that Everett Barnes supplied. This version of the graphics was used from 1963 until sometime after 1966, when the letters O and C were replaced by the words Open and Closed. The pdfs can be downloaded and used in a number of ways to recreate the graphics. [Everett's engine lid scans]The easiest way to do it would probably be to have a sign shop use their plotter to cut a graphic in black vinyl (matte black vinyl would probably look best). As a reference for position, the dashed line triangular shapes on the graphics correspond to the recesses for the handles, though placement was probably a little different...

Posted by on in restoration
Jason Weigel (a.k.a. Notchboy) is embarking on a comprehensive detailing project on his low-mileage, all-original and already nearly perfect '63 sunroof Notchback. He started a video blog thread on thesamba.com so we can follow along on his progress.You can follow the thread here....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
Similar to another scale model that I wrote about a couple of years ago, this bus model carries an ad for the VW 1500. I'd like to think that ads like this were all over the streets in West Germany in the early '60s. Are models like this based on documentary photos of street scenes?[image swiped from an eBay auction]...

Posted by on in reproduction parts
Jeff Grant (a.k.a. "Anchovy" on thesamba.com) has started offering these cool reproduction aluminum key tags stamped to order with your VIN for just $12. When VWs were originally delivered the keys came with an identifying tag like this. Our '65 Squareback's keys still had their original tag—lucky for us, as most were discarded by the original owners. Though the tags became increasingly thin and more crudely stamped as the years went on, the '58 tag Jeff modeled his reproduction on was cut in a nicely rounded shape from heavy-gauge aluminum. It's the perfect key fob for your set of original keys. Go here to order yours....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
A couple of weeks ago Jonny Lieberman sent me a text message from the back seat of a Tatra T87. He had gone to a meeting of the local Citroen club and met Paul Greenstein, owner of many interesting and unusual cars including the T87, and he said I needed to drop everything and head over to Echo Park right away to see it. About 10 minutes later I was standing in front of Paul's immaculately restored 1941 Tatra, which recently returned to Los Angeles from the Czech Republic, where it was on display in the Tatra Museum. Incredible car—larger than you might think from photographs, the black teardrop coachwork with its central fin and three headlights suggesting some sort of art deco Batmobile from an alternate future. Paul asked if we wanted to go for a ride, and we were like...yeah! Here's Jonny's cameraphone shot from the back seat as...

Posted by on in press
How did so many VW Type 3s find their way to the United States before the VW 1600s were officially introduced to the American market in the fall of 1965? Conventional wisdom says that the cars were brought over individually from Germany by servicemen and tourists, or brought over the border from Canada, where the 1500s were available from their introduction in 1961. While there's no doubt that many 1500s found their way here through those channels, there was also a more formalized gray market supplying 1500s to the U.S. market in the early '60s. There were companies that acted as semi-official importers, supplying dealers with nearly new "used" Type 3s outfitted with sealed-beam headlights, MPH speedometers, etc. This allowed even authorized VW dealers to sell Type 3s years before they were officially imported (as seen here and here). VWoA tolerated the gray market, though when speaking on the record they were...

Posted by on in coachbuilt VWs
Better late than never, here are some of the coachbuilts at the 2nd International Southern California Vintage VW Treffen last Sunday at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. Some nice coachbuilt VWs and Porsches turned out, among them Jesse James' newly restored '50 convertible, a nice unrestored '52 Porsche convertible, a pair of '57 Rometsch Beeskows, and a '58 Binz double cab.One of the highlights of the day was caravaning behind Ivan Pang's nice unrestored '53 sedan. Great to see such a well-preserved piece of history holding its own on the Los Angeles freeways....

Posted by on in reproduction parts
After much discussion and debate it looks like Gerson of Klassic Fab is getting started on making dies for reproduction Type 3 floor pans. They should be available for purchase by the beginning of next year—$500 + shipping for a pair of complete pan halves. This is great news for Type 3 restorers. Until now our options have been to track down a donor pan or pan sections that are hopefully less rusty than what we already have, to adapt sections of Type 1 Karmann-Ghia pan sheet metal, or to use pan repair stampings of somewhat questionable quality that are sporadically available. Labor-intensive and/or costly endeavors all. Gerson's shop hand-fabricated the pan half pictured above for his own notchback project. Klassic Fab has become famous for producing high-quality sheet metal stampings for VW Buses. The quality and accuracy of their products are regarded as second to none. I'll be buying a...

Posted by on in General
http://www.t-34.co.uk/media/p9087613.jpg
Well, it's been a little time since I actually did some work on the Ghia, recovering the interior doesn't really count as it wasn't me doing the work. So spurned by an invitation to the Victoria day of the Volkswagen in November (Cheers Grey54) I've decided that I will try and get to the event - especially as I was also invited last year, and truth be told the Ghia is pretty much int he same state as it was back then. So motivated to go and do something, I decided that I really need to get the rear suspension finished, the  engine mounted, and the car rolling. Then I can get the exhaust system made, the headlining fitted and look at getting the thing running. First things first - having spent many many hours designing the rear suspension (mostly in my head) I made the decision, that i would...