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Tag: 1966

1966 Porsche 912

A few months ago I took a look an early Porsche 912 that while the price was right, had a bunch of issues known and maybe more than weren’t yet found. As luck would have it, another 912 popped up, this time an even earlier car, that has a little high price tag but perhaps is a much better starting point. Dare I say that this is even a turn-key example? I maybe won’t go that far since it is a 1966 after all, but heavy lifting is not required on this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Porsche 912 on eBay

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1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about air-cooled models on these pages, and that’s a huge gap in Volkswagen’s history. It’s also not so long ago that VW continued to crank out brand new Beetles alongside their water-cooled replacements. The proliferation paved the way not only for the water-cooled replacement models I tend to favor, but some pretty awesome air-cooled examples, too.

Of those my favorite certainly must be the Type 34. I dissected Volkswagen’s first attempt to move upscale in an article on The Truth About Cars back in 2008:

Volkswagen’s Other Karmann Ghia: the Type 34

Basically, like the Phaeton, the Type 34 was a sales failure. It was too expensive – costing about 50% more than a normal Type 14 Ghia. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t a very good looking failure. While the underpinnings were shared with its less exotic 1500 cousins, the upscale Karmann Ghia was aimed squarely at making peasants feel like landed gentry and certainly looked the part. Sweeping character lines ran the length of the car, giving it its signature “razor” nickname. Added to the upscale look in terms of desirability today is rarity. Never imported to the United States, the Type 34 only achieved about 42,500 units – less than 10% of the total number of the more popular and familiar Type 14 Karmann Ghia. But we’re lucky to find one today in Mississippi, of all places:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34 on eBay

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The Aquarium: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 by Chapron

Its hard to imagine a car that was more sought after and requested by the truly elite of the world than the Mercedes-Benz 600. I don’t need to regurgitate over and over again all the well-known individuals who owned these cars as I’ve done that in the past, but if you want to read about some of them, go nuts. Naturally, with great power and wealth comes with certain expectations and certain requests made to their favorite luxury car maker. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff that the Mercedes factory honored the request of, but today’s modification was so nuts that the Mercedes factory flat out said no to.

Nubar Gulbenkian, an Armenian oil tycoon, had a taste for eccentric luxury cars to say the least. He commissioned Rolls-Royce to build him some truly wild stuff and naturally asked Mercedes to do the same with their 600. The thing is, Mercedes said no. Why? Well, Gulbenkian had a thing for cars with fully transparent roofs. He had a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with a transparent Perspex roof, among other body modifications, that is truly a one-off. The story goes, Mercedes wouldn’t do it on the 600 because the structure of the roof isn’t entirely flat. So bending a giant sheet of glass on a car that is constantly flexing and experiences temperature swings isn’t something they wanted to dive into nor stand behind when it breaks. Tycoons usually don’t take no for an answer, so Gulbenkian ordered a standard 600 through a fake name and asked coach builder Henri Chapron in Paris to do the work. In additional to adding the roof, they covered the entire interior in leather and added other little touches like tobacco pipe holders on the front seat backs. I told you this guy was eccentric.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 at RM Soethby’s

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe

In terms of ‘Classic Mercedes-Benz’, the W111 Coupe is near the top. Rightfully so, as it is a product of Frenchman Paul Bracq who was also responsible for the Pagoda, 600, and even some other iconic cars at BMW, Citron, and Peugeot. It’s as every bit as elegant and stunning as anything that rolled out of the factory in Crewe, England at rival Rolls-Royce/Bentely, and the build quality is on par with some international bank vaults. Even doing a quick Google search for “W111 Coupe” will have you lost in an array of stunning examples. However, I highly doubt a Google search will turn up this color combination. This 1966 up for sale in Florida is painted in Sandbeige Metallic over a green leather interior. Yes, green. Not that green that almost looks like black. No, this is Saint Patrick’s Day green. Wait until you peek inside this car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe on eBay

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1966 Glas 1700 GT

Continuing with some 1960s vintage BMW history, we have to of course look at BMW’s major acquisition follow its successful staving off of Mercedes-Benz takeover. That company was Hans Glas GmbH. In the 1960s, this company briefly moved away from its bonds as constructor of sewing machines and licensed Goggomobils to produce some seriously pretty coupes; the 1300 GT and 1700 GT were the first and better known, but the 2600 and 3000V8 were no less striking. Glas employed same tactic as most major manufacturers for the designs, hiring an Italian to pen the lines. It was Pietro Frua who was responsible for the GT’s design, and while neither his name nor that of Glas resonate with the same authority as Pininfarina, Bertone, Ghia, Italdesign and Giugiaro, Gandini or even Michelotti (who produced a very similar design in the Triumph GT6), the combination was nonetheless a beautiful outcome for the German firm.

BMW purchased Hans Glas GmbH outright in 1966, gaining access to their Dingolfing plant and engineering team (incidentally, one of the first to use timing belts!). In the process, BMW’s technology and Glas’s designs merged, giving us the BMW 1600GT. The upgraded Glas 1700 GT offered 100 horsepower, and about 5,400 Glas-branded GTs were produced before the nameplate was eliminated in 1967. BMW produced a further 1,200 1600GTs before retooling the Dingolfing plant for E24 production in the mid-1970s.

Some fifty years on, that makes any of these cars quite rare, so even though this particular Glas isn’t the most pristine out there, it’s worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Glas 1700GT on eBay

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