It’s been a little bit since we looked at some nice Karmann Ghias, and today there are two lovely but very different examples in the marketplace. These are lovely designs; granted, not the best driving cars in the world – but a car that really will set you apart from the crowd and will make everyone smile. Of the Karmann Ghias, my favorites are the early “low light” models and the Type 34 from a bit later – luckily, here’s an example of each:
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Having now written up my fair share of cars on this site, I’m asked from time to time “what’s the next E30 M3?” Certainly the trend that created demand on the M3 would have been hard to predict; while it’s a desirable package for certain and has an illustrious race career, I’ve also outlined how very similar cars haven’t achieved such notoriety. The Audi Quattro and 190E 2.3-16V, for example, though noted for their importance and with strong fan followings just don’t command the premiums of the M3. The Volkswagen world has been similarly fickle; the original GTi has certainly taken off in value, with prime examples now pushing well past $10,000 in today’s market, while other models that are arguably better cars don’t command the values of the GTi. Perhaps part of that appeal lies in the few that remain in good, original condition – especially with lower miles. But if you ask me what I think the next big thing in the Volkswagen market will be, I’d have to answer that the Corrado SLC has to be up there. A popular car to modify, there aren’t many that are left with low miles in pristine original shape. Couple the dwindling good examples with what is acknowledged as one of the best driving platforms Volkswagen has made and good looks, and the Corrado is sure to be a hot item for years to come. They don’t get much hotter than this example, either – with perhaps the lowest mileage Corrado we’ve seen on the market in the past few years, this Flash Red example is stunning:
I get wound up at times by Volkswagen of America’s product decisions. The cool cars that helped establish the company in this market are somehow now back burner issues for the company. VW had a perfectly good van in the Transporter (known as the Eurovan on these shores), yet decided to sully their brand by rebadging a Dodge Caravan into a People’s Minivan. Bad move. After a few short years, the Routan was pulled from the lineup and we have yet to see a return of a van with the VW badge here in the US.
If Volkswagen is worried the current generation Transporter wouldn’t work in the US market, maybe they should take a look back at their history and see how much brand equity is tied up in this workhorse. Fewer vehicles these days seem as versatile. A vintage Type 2 Microbus such as this restored example for sale in San Diego is on offer for mega bucks, but this seems to be the new norm for these vans.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1954 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe Microbus on The Samba
It’s not often that lightning strikes twice, but today we get to look at another well preserved first generation GTi. Last week I highlighted an example with a bit more patina but well presented; today’s car is another one that we’ve written up that defies belief. There’s a reason that these cars are so well regarded by the automotive press and automotive fans; they’re amazing cars that make you smile. They punch far outside of their weight class – a do-everything automobile, most people that have owned them (this author included) drove them with aplomb – clipping apexes and lifting wheels, nearly daily redline-runs and antagonizing every “sports” car you could find. That likely explains why so few remain in the condition of this car: