Chad Cunningham

1969 Karmann Ghia

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I found my 1969 Karmann Ghia during the Christmas break in 1995. The odometer read only around 95,000 miles. I had a feeling those were original miles and I was correct. The car was located in Wichita and was extremely rust free, which is not very common. When I saw how solid the car was, I knew I had to have it. I picked it up pretty cheap considering the shape.

It had just been painted a metallic raspberry color when I bought it. The paint job was a quickie and was not very good. The interior was pretty worn out, except for the original carpet, which was in great shape. The car didn't have any bumpers, which the seller claimed were at the body shop. We asked the body shop if they had them and of course, they couldn't find them. Bumpers are very hard to find in good shape for Ghia's, a lesson I was soon to learn. I then spent the next several years preparing for it's restoration. I hated the paint on the car and I really wanted a nice looking VW, something to be proud of. During those years, I looked everywhere for parts I needed for the restoration. I found a lot of the parts on the internet. I don't think I could have done it any other way. I even found some real nice bumpers on the internet that were from California. They weren't real cheap but about half of what a nice set of rechromed bumpers would cost.

I then sought out a body shop to do the paint and body work. I found a body shop that worked exclusively on old VW's. They bid the job pretty high so I found another shop that was recommended. I then had the car media blasted down to bare metal and then took it to the body shop. The body shop would have the car for a year and a half. Then when the paint was finally complete, my father and I put the car back together in a relatively short time.

The car turned out better than I had hoped and I am now ever so proud of my Ghia. I entered it in the local VW show and took first in the Ghia class. I then took it down to Eureka Springs for the big VW show there. I took first in my class again.

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  If you have any questions about my Ghia, you can e-mail me.

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Posted by WEBMASTER on December 13, 2011.