How Do You Pronounce Karmann Ghia?

How Do You Pronounce Karmann Ghia?

How Do You Pronounce Karmann Ghia Razor?

How Do You Pronounce Karmann Ghia

Car-man Gee-Uh… otherwise known as “Dammmmmmmm” in the case of a 1965 Razor.

We’d sure love to get our dirty, bloody, bruised, greasy, and burnt hands on a Razor Ghia to restore. We’ve got a  gorgeous 1969 Ghia on the floor right now, and you can see more than 1,000 build pics, too.

Want to know our restoration process, start to finish? Check out Blood, Sweat, and Vintage Steel on Amazon.

German Rotary Dreams: The 13B Karmann Ghia

Near Death Experiences

If you’re a VW purist you may want to stop reading now, because this is not your average build.

Way back in 2000 while in high school, Las Vegas local Richard Jones purchased what was then a mostly factory 1965 Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia as a daily driver for his girlfriend, Shannon.


While most VWs tend to let you know just before they’re about to give up with a host of warning lights, this car was built before that type of technology existed, and not too long into ownership, the original engine decided to quit. Richard decided this would be a perfect time to swap in a big 2443cc motor and take it street racing. This went on for a few years before that motor blew too, and at that time Shannon handed the car back to Richard. “That is when the fun began,” he says.


Richard would always pick up custom truck magazines like Mini Truckin’ and see everything on adjustable suspension, allowing them to lay completely flat on the ground. He set a goal to get his car as low as he could, but he had no experience with suspension design or metal work. Richard put some time into reading and gathering as much information on the subject as possible, and in eight short months he had the front suspension on a cantilever setup using air cans, while the rear was bagged. He would then use his newfound knowledge to create a factory-looking, right-hand drive dashboard.


Now that the VW’s stance was taken care of, Richard started to hunt down parts for the outside of the vehicle. Realizing that people didn’t give up these rare components easily or cheaply, he purchased two parts cars to get the finishing pieces required.


Richard and his family enjoyed the Ghia for a few years until one day another car pulled out in front of him. The resulting collision destroyed all of the front sheet metal and bent the pan. Richard was left heart broken; all of his hard work had just been undone in a split second. But he didn’t let the wreck get to him for long, and soon decided that a rebuild should happen. He persuaded the insurance company to not total it, as a salvage title would put a damper on the history of the car.


Richard went back and forth trying to decide what he should do, but he knew he wanted to push his capabilities to the limit. In the end, his goal was to mix his love for VWs and mini trucks to create a one-off custom. The Ghia was taken to the side yard of his house, braced, roof cut off, and flipped upside down in order for Richard to start fabricating an entirely new suspension setup. This is where all the years of research would come into play as he hand-built a full tube-frame chassis.


The front suspension now utilizes upper A-arms from a circle track car and hand-made lower arms, while the rear now runs hand-made trailing arms.


The air suspension was replaced with a 24-volt, single-pump, six-dump hydraulic setup with accumulators using Dice Suspension manifolds and cylinders all powered by two Odyssey batteries.

Twin Spinner


Given that the chassis and suspension had been completely customized, there was no way Richard was going to run a predictable motor. Instead, he opted for a naturally aspirated Mazda 13B twin-rotor engine out of an FC3S Mazda RX-7.


The bridgeported 13B sucks air and fuel through a 48mm Weber carburetor mounted to a RotaryShack manifold, while spark is provided by MSD coils and a 6AL module. Richard custom built a 2-inch steel header running into a 2.5-inch stainless muffler, and swapped the stock pulleys for a Gilmer Drive belt setup to keep things turning in the right direction. That trademark Gilmer sound doesn’t hurt either.


More than air would be needed to keep the motor nice and cool now, so Richard installed a 4-core custom-built radiator with two electric fans, and hand-made an aluminum expansion tank and overflow box. As for the driveline, that consists of a Volkswagen Type 2 091 gearbox with race-prepped Type 2 CVs, a lightened flywheel and a 2400lb clutch.


With all of this custom momentum, Richard couldn’t leave the brake system factory either. A Wilwood Pro Spindle brake kit along with Wilwood 4-piston calipers all around fed by CNC master cylinders were installed to make sure stopping power was up to task. Rounding it all out is a rack and pinion steering setup designed for a sand car.


Richard knew he wanted to run larger wheels, so while the car’s chassis was being built he tubbed the wells. The triple-laced Dayton wire wheels that were chosen for the build are not what you’d usually see on a VW, but they work so well. The fronts are 17×7-inch wrapped in Yokohama 195/40R17s, while the rears are 18×8-inch with 215/35R18s.


Even with all of these modifications, Richard wanted to keep the outside relatively factory but with a few personal touches. He’d come this far, so why not, right? The fresh air vents were deleted along with the door locks and wipers. The engine compartment also got some custom sheet metal work in order to fit the new power plant.

You’ve Got Red On You


Richard spent plenty of time and money inside the car too, and the new blood-red leather retrim contrasts perfectly with the VW’s off-white exterior.


The interior also runs Speedhut gauges, a Bug-Tech shifter, Tilton pedals and a hand-made roller throttle pedal.


As you can see, it’s been one long adventure getting the Ghia to where it is now. Richard has pushed through the aggravation of having his car almost totaled, which is a tough thing to do when you’ve watched your dreams literally crushed in front of your eyes.


Most people would have thrown in the towel at this point, but Richard has a very strong support group he surrounds himself with. First and foremost he would like to thank his now wife Shannon Jones. He says her love and faith in him, and her awesome sandwich making skills, kept him going throughout all the trials and tribulations. Thanks also go out to Juan at Snail Motorsports for the powder-coating, Corey for installing the Rebel wiring harness, Chris for rebuilding the engine, as well as Kevin, Marcus, Brien, Keith, AcroSean, Joe, Whiz, Lauren, Jake, Alex, Shane, and Tom Carsten (RIP) for their inspiration to think differently and to push the bar.


This car proves that with the right people and the pursuit of educating yourself, you can do anything. Mistakes and tragic events may happen along the way, but in the end, if you keep pushing yourself and surrounding yourself with a good crew, amazing things can happen.

Brian Goude
Instagram: grinder_tv

1965 Volkswagen Type 34 Karmann Ghia

Max Power: 200hp (estimated)

Mazda 13B 6-port twin-rotor, half-cut bridgeport, 48mm side-draught carb, RotaryShack intake manifold, MSD coils, MSD 6AL, MSD wires, Gilmer Drive belt & pulley setup, custom header to 2.5-inch stainless muffler, external oil cooler with fan, custom 4-core radiator with twin fans, hand-made aluminum expansion tank & overflow box

Volkswagen Type 2 091 gearbox, 2400lb clutch, lightened flywheel, race-prepped Type 2 CVs

24-volt 1 pump 6 dump hydraulic setup with accumulators, 2x Odyssey batteries, custom-built trailing arms, custom-made lower A-arms, Circle Track upper A-arms, Wilwood Pro Spindle brake kit with 4-piston calipers, CNC master cylinders, sand rail rack & pinion, all lines & fittings supplied by Nevada House of Hose

Triple-laced Dayton wire wheels 17×7-inch (front) custom-made 18×8-inch (rear), Yokohama S.Drive 195/40R17 (front), 215/35R18 (rear)

Custom-made tube chassis, modified engine bay, shaved air vents, wipers & door locks

Double diamond stitch interior inserts, hand-built metal right-hand drive dash & lower dash panel, custom tunnel cover, custom Speedhut gauges, Tilton pedals, hand-made roller throttle pedal, Bug-Tech shifter

More VW related stories on Speedhunters

via German Rotary Dreams: The 13B Karmann Ghia – Speedhunters


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How to Buy a Karmann Ghia

How to Buy a Karmann Ghia

How to Buy a Karmann Ghia That’s Both Very Old and Brand New

How to Buy a Karmann Ghia

If you’re already to the point of wondering how to buy a Karmann Ghia, you’ve got it bad. There’s just something about that shapely shape that’ll get your eyebrows doing that waggly thing they do when you see something you like. 

Most Ghias that you see out and about (if you happen to live anywhere that Ghia owners hang out) are in various states of disrepair (AKA rusty and rocking a patina that might have you wondering how that Dub’s still on the road) OR they’ve been restored. 

At Airkooled Kustoms, we just finished the restoration on one gorgeous 1971 Karmann Ghia – and we’ve got another one in the works, a gorgeous 1969 Karmann Ghia that goes perfectly with the song “Sex and Candy”. 

You can go bone stock or completely custom – and either way, if we’re doing it, the restoration will be done right. Our preference? Slammed to the ground.

Here’s one that might just be low enough.

This Stunning Karmann Ghia Has A Dirty Little Secret – CarBuzz

Whether you approve of the mods this guy made to his VW Karmann Ghia or not, there’s no doubt he deserves respect for saving the thing. The car was bound for the scrap heap, and he saved it from death. He then added some Subaru power, transforming the iconic little sports car into something that will scare small children and make grown men laugh. Dubbed the turbocharged ice scraper for its slammed stance, this thing is so sweet.

via This Stunning Karmann Ghia Has A Dirty Little Secret


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Where to Buy Classic Cars UK?

Where to Buy Classic Cars UK?

Where to Buy Classic Cars UK?

Where to Buy Classic Cars UK?

If you’re across the pond from Airkooled Kustoms, and you’re jonesing for a James Dean-style early Porsche, you might want to head on over to the Simply Porsche 2016 show. Write a check for one that’s for sale (and really, they’re all for sale for the right price), and get it shipped over to the Darkside for a total kustom (or bone stock) restoration.

No problem. Easy-peasy. 

Here’s more info on where to buy classic cars in the UK.

Beaulieu’s Simply Porsche 2016 show returns to the National Motor Museum for its fourth year on Sunday 5th June.

The popular Simply Porsche 2016 event welcomes Porsche sports cars and enthusiasts of all ages and models into the picturesque grounds of the National Motor Museum.

Simply Porsche 2016 – What’s on?

Simply Porsche is open to all types of this legendary German sports car ranging from the earliest 356 models, through to classic 911, 914 and 928, up to the modern Boxster, Panamera and Cayman.

Classic and modern Porsche - Simply Porsche event -

See all models of Porsche Sportscar, new and old at Simply Porsche 2016

Held in association with The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club (TIPEC), Porsche drivers are encouraged to bring along their much-loved sports cars, admire other the other cars on show and chat with like-minded owners and Porsche enthusiasts.

Throughout the day, rally visitors will have the chance to vote for their favourite Porsche in the People’s Choice Awards.

A commemorative trophy and Autoglym prize will be awarded to the owner of the Porsche that receives the most votes on the day.

Peoples choice - simply porsche 2016 -

Visitors get to vote on their favourite Porsche at the rally

Not only is Simply Porsche a great opportunity to see a fantastic selection of Porsches, visitors can also enjoy all of the features of the Beaulieu National Motor Museum including favourites like On Screen Carsand the World of Top Gear or the new Driving Change display, exploring motoring innovations, technology and safety throughout motoring history.

Tickets and Admission

Porsche-driving visitors to Simply Porsche 2016 can drive into the attraction grounds from 9.30am, when the Brabazon restaurant will be serving hot and cold drinks and breakfast snacks.

Advance participant tickets cost £10 an adult and £5 a child (aged 5-17 inclusive) and can be bought in advance at

Tickets can also be bought on the day at Beaulieu.

All other visitors should enter through the main reception from 10am (tickets charged at normal admission prices).

Porsche clubs whose members would like to park together within the show, club stands are available. Please book your club stand at least two weeks in advance by contacting

Simply Porsche is part of Beaulieu’s line-up of Simply rallies.  In 2016 this includes Simply Japanese, Simply Classics & Sports Car and Simply Aston Martin.

via Simply Porsche 2016 | Classic car events |


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Classic Car Restorations in Progress

Classic Car Restorations in Progress

Classic Car Restorations in Progress

Here’s a video tour of one of the classic car restorations underway at Airkooled Kustoms this week.

Here you’ll see the luscious Fergie’s 1969 Ghia, nicknamed Sex and Candy, which is up on the lift. Even her pan is sleek and sexy – and you’ll get a glimpse of her 15″ Fuchs and Spook’s kustom “I Want Juice” Juicy Ginger paint which never fails to have visitors’ jaws drop on first sight.

You can find out more about one of the finest classic car restorations you’ll ever see by visiting Fergie’s Ghia on her own page. There’s also a link there where you can check out thousands of pictures from the build file.

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