Copyright © 2007 - 2019
Copyright © 2007 - 2019, Coachworks For contact data Click Here.
This car has only traded hands once from new - into our hands from its original owner. Very early in its life it had been in a minor incident and expertly repaired, and it was restored in 1986. We think it was garage kept by the original owner, at least since 1986.
Here are some videos for you - these are all in the "MOV" format except for the engine run on the dyno, which is MP4:
It came to us as a driving vehicle with a number of wrong parts on it... So, we for the most part removed the items that don't belong on a 1959 Karmann Ghia and returned it to stock. This web page and its companions document how the car is now, and, for anyone who cares, we have a little more for you on a "backstory" page and we may show an image or two of how it was when we got it. Find links below.
ABOVE RIGHT: This vehicle, almost ready... This photo, and the one immediately below it, were taken moments before taking the car to the Kelley Park Vintage VW show in San Jose, CA, where it took third place among the Karmann Ghias! And that's before it was even complete!
AT RIGHT: This Ghia, almost ready for rebirth. Note the four-tip exhaust - it's a 1959 period correct "Autolux."
AT RIGHT: After the Kelley Park show, we continued to replace wrong parts and this is how the car looks today - very nearly 100% correct vintage, including the correct floor mats in the correct color, rebuilt '59 gauges, restored steering wheel, dyed and re-mounted on new backing boards door panels - even the brake handle boot is a color-coordinated and has the correct dimpling that matches the floor mats.
As part of returning the car to stock, we had to source a more-correct engine, so 356 Coachworks provided for it an Okrasa engine in a period-correct 1959, un-numbered crankcase. (Okrasa engines were offered by Volkswagen dealers - or, for a few lucky cars, it could have been ordered directly from Karmann - as an upgrade option to all Karmann Ghias through about 1963 and is a dual-port, dual carbureted package.) In this case, the engine was run-in on an engine dynamometer and after running in this brand new engine as per specifications it got fully 50% more horsepower than the standard engine!
AT RIGHT: There are several things to note in this image. First, you can see on the right side (left side of the car) the non-standard brake fluid reservoir, but also the original one in the original location. This car has dual-circuit brakes for safety and was done when the car was restored in 1986. Also visible, a nice trunk liner. It's not an original but is very nice. And, the vin tag can be seen on the left side of the image ahead (below) the gas tank on the side-wall (right side of car). Finally, notice that much of the visible hardware has been re-plated, such as the gas tank mount plates and chassis mounting plates.
In order to avoid having a hundred photos all on one page, all trying to load in your browser at once, we've breaking them into groupings:
ABOVE RIGHT: Okrasa engines, like the one installed here, were the way to more power back when this car was new, and, as stated above, were even offered by VW dealerships, or Karmann itself for a lucky few, installed upon first delivery. This one produces fully 50% more power than stock. Note the 12v system components! Also note, the air cleaner "turn down tubes" pictured here are originals but were only on-loan to bring the car to the Vintage VW show at Kelley Park in San Jose; a pair of Wolvsburg West reproduction units have been installed.
Want to see more of this vehicle? Click on one of the links above! ... This is the car's "home page!"