Produced between 1955 and 1974, the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe has an interesting story with several firms and individuals involved from its conception until the final product evolved.
Famous design house Carrozzeria Ghia, Italy were already involved with Volkswagen on some projects when they suggested refinements in the styling of the then-popular Beetle, but the Volkswagen management refused to touch the original design. The Volkswagen management also ignored some of the suggestions made by Willhelm Karmann of the German coachbuilding firm Karmann.
But both the coachbuilders felt genuinely, that they could turn around the entire styling aspect of the Beetle. Not just them but even Virgil Exner, designer for Chrysler (who was then working closely with the team at Ghia) too felt that the Beetle can be given a better shape with elements from his earlier designed Chrysler d’Elegance.
It was also around the same time that the son of co-owner of Ghia (the 2 partners were Felice Mario Boano and Luigi Segre) had just purchased a Beetle in France and driven all the way to Turin where his father's factory was located.
This new Beetle was then completely stripped off and after numerous working hours a brand new stylish coupe shell was created. Additional inputs of its design came from other Italian designers Sergio Coggiola and Giovanni Savonuzzi. After 5 months, the newly covered body is transported to Dr. Wilhelm Karmann’s (founder of Karmann) workshop in Germany to the utter surprise of him.
On 16th November 1953, the Volkswagen management were invited to the premises of (Wilhelm Karmann GmbH) to inspect the car. They were shell-shocked to see the reformed Beetle and gave their final stamp of approval. After working on other small refinements for the next two years, in 1955 the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe was finally launched at the Paris Auto Show. It was a resounding success.
To honour Chrysler’s Virgil Exner contribution, Luigi Segre shipped out the very first production car to USA.
Between 1955 and 1974 nearly 450,000 were built allowing the Karmann Ghia to become an iconic model in automobile history.
|- Premium collectible|
|- Licensed product|
|- Material: RESIN|
|- High precision miniature models|
|- Non-opening bonnet, boot and doors|
|- Exclusive Edition models|
|- Only 1002 pieces created|
|Box Dimension (in inches)||14 x 6.5 x 6|