What are some tips when buying a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia?


Quick Answer

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia buying tips include inspecting the condition of the body, upholstery and mechanics. Rust is the single most important concern when inspecting a Karmann Ghia because it greatly affects the vehicle's integrity and safety.

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Full Answer

Begin by inspecting the areas most prone to rust, including in the nose, around the headlamps, quarter panels, wheel arches and door bottoms. Inspect underneath the vehicle, including the jacking points and seals, and check the front and rear bumper mounts and inner wings. Check for rust in the vehicle’s interior -- especially the heater channels.

Inspect the car for collision damage starting with the front nose. A center ridge that does not look aligned may indicate the vehicle has been in an accident. Check the front fender structure for signs of collisions -- usually indicated by wrinkles on the sides and front of the fender structure. Check that the area around the headlights maintains its original shape to avoid problems installing trim ring fittings and headlights.

Inspect the upholstery, although severely damaged upholstery is not a deal breaker when looking into vehicle restoration. Complete upholstery for VW Karmann Ghia is readily available and reasonably priced.

Check the mechanical condition of the vehicle. All parts except for the front disc brakes for Ghia models later than 1967 are interchangeable with Beetle parts. These are also readily available and reasonably priced.

Essential parts that should be on the vehicle -- even if severely damaged -- include bumpers, convertible top frames and rear fold-down glass for convertible models. These parts have good trade-in value or can be restored.

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