Junkyard Find: 1972 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
After seeing this 1986 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 on Tuesday and this 1980 Volkswagen Dasher four-door hatchback on Thursday, it’s only fitting that we should wrap up this week’s Junkyard Finds with yet another old VW: a seldom-seen-in-self-serve-yards 1972 Karmann Ghia.
Air-cooled VW Beetles show up in these high-inventory-turnover yards all the time, because 979 trillion of them were built and they tend to linger under tarps in yards for decades before finally getting junked, and I don’t bother photographing them (except for this ’73 Super Beetle). It’s not that I hate Beetles (I’ve owned a few), but I don’t think they’re of sufficient interest to shoot in the junkyard. A Squareback or Transporter, maybe, and a screaming green Karmann Ghia will make me take out the camera most of the time.
This one is just about completely picked clean, which seems a shame because the body is so non-rusty by Volkswagen standards (i.e., there are some areas with no rust). I shot this car in Denver, which isn’t a very rusty place, but air-cooled VWs manage to rust in places like Albuquerque and the Atacama Desert.
In stock form, the Karmann Ghia was slow even by the standards of its time; such underpowered sports cars as the MGB and Fiat 124 Sport Spider took on a distinct reddish color from the point of view of a Karmann Ghia driver, due to Doppler redshift effects, as they pulled away in a drag race.
Look, a Beetle in the very next row!
Volkswagen’s marketers didn’t try to hide their sports car’s somewhat limited power (60 horses in 1972) in their TV commercials.
The lack of a back seat was also presented as a plus.
Elsewhere in the world, however, the car’s alleged performance got more prominence in TV ads.
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It's not a 1972 Karmann Ghia - it's a 1970-1971 vintage - these 2 years had tail lights larger than the 1969, but smaller than the 1972-1972 cars. 1972-1974 KGs also had a sheetmetal indention in rear quarter panels where the bumpers tucked up against body. The '72-'74 KG & 1970-1973 Type 3 cars shared front & rear bumpers...
It's not a 1972 Karmann Ghia - it's a 1970-1971 vintage - these 2 years had tail lights larger than the 1969, but smaller than the 1972-1974 cars. 1972-1974 KGs also had a sheetmetal indention in rear quarter panels where the bumpers tucked up against body. The '72-'74 KG & 1970-1973 Type 3 cars shared front & rear bumpers...