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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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 last year:

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 Michigan:

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

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El Presidente? 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe

Another Mercedes-Benz, another reported former owner who was a leader of a country. According to the seller, this 1966 250SE Coupe was owned Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos. I thought it would be neat to maybe find a photo of him with this car because presidents seem to have their photo taken a lot. (Speaking of, this is a really iconic photo of Mateos riding in an Adenauer cabriolet with JFK.) During my quick research of Mateos, I noticed he died in September of 1969. The seller mentioned that he owned this car in the 1980s. This is why I always say ”According to the seller”. I nicely presented these findings to the seller and he urged me to see if I could find any more information since I was already three pages deep in my Google searching. Turns out, a Mexican website is representing another 250SE, a white 1965, as Mateos car as well. Clearly it is not the same car. This is why it is always a good idea to do your own research before spending a bunch of money on a car or writing about it on the internet. Anyway, this W111 is a European-spec car mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox that needs a whole lot of help. Much to my surprise, it seems like there are plenty of people out there willing to give it such help based on the bidding.

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

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL

It has been a little while since I’ve looked at a Mercedes-Benz Pagoda, so now is a good a time as any to jump back in and check one of these out. Normally, I feature the top of the range 280SL because those are usually in the nicest condition, are optioned the fullest and are painted in the coolest colors. Today, I actually want to look at the one of the early Pagodas in the 230SL. This 1966 up for sale in Los Angeles is an extremely low mileage example with just a little over 19,000 and from the looks of it, has been maintained rather well.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL on eBay

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1966 Porsche 912

When I read about entry-level 911s these days they never really seem all that entry level. Even the most basic model will run you pretty close to six figures and selecting a few options can quickly move that price well above six figures. There’s always the Cayman and with a starting price below $60K we probably shouldn’t expect any Porsche to go much cheaper than that. As a luxury brand they have certain standards to uphold. But a Cayman isn’t a 911.

I don’t expect it to ever happen again, but I would love another 912. I know technically it’s not a 911 either, but it’s a heck of a lot closer to a 911 than a Cayman so for entry-level purposes it would do nicely. It’s been more than 40 years since the last 912 was produced and even that final one-year run in 1976 wasn’t really intended. For all intents and purposes 1969 marked the end for the 911’s little brother.

Its brief existence was a good one though. With its smaller 1.6 liter flat-4 many thought it a better handling car than the 911 due to its better balance. Sure, the 912 wasn’t as quick, but it could be just as fun. In the present market, relative to the typical high prices we see for a long-hood 911, the 912 still represents a nice value as well. Like many early Porsches that value isn’t quite as good as it once was, but outside of a few very high priced examples most 912s can still be had fairly reasonably.

This one, a Light Ivory 1966 Porsche 912 with Red interior, makes for an interesting example as it looks quite good, but isn’t entirely original. So we’ll have to be careful in fully understanding the details, but I think it makes for a worthwhile investigation.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Porsche 912 on eBay

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1966 Porsche 912

Slate Grey over Red: a color combination that forever will grab my attention and hold it. It is both elegant and exciting as the interior and exterior colors are juxtaposed with one another. It also looks particularly good on early Porsches, whether the 356 or on the 912 we see here. The chrome accents show well with the Slate Grey paint and the Red seating has enough contrasting elements surrounding it that it doesn’t overwhelm you. It’s a combination I simply do not grow tired of.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Porsche 912 on eBay

Year: 1966
Model: 912
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 17,793 mi
Price: Auction

The Porsche 912 is a sports car manufactured by Porsche of Germany between 1965 and 1969 as their entry-level model. A variant of the Type 911, one of the most famous and successful sports cars of all time, the 912 is a nimble-handling compact performance 2+2, delivering 90 SAE horsepower at 5800 rpm.[2] It is capable of up to 30 miles per US gallon (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg‑imp) fuel economy. This combination is possible because of a high-efficiency flat-4 petrol engine, low weight, and low drag. The Type 912 initially outsold the 911, boosting the manufacturer’s total production until success of the 911 was assured. THE CAR LOOKS GREAT DOES HAVE RE BUILT CARBURETOR AND INTERIOR WAS RESTORE TO RED LEATHER WITH SALDE EXTERIOR PAINT ,ITS ONLY BEEN OWNED BY ONE PERSON AS BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE , LOOKS GREAT DRIVE AWESOME ANY QUESTIONS 480 8942369

Strictly on appearance this 912 is fantastic. Both exterior and interior look in very good condition even if neither is the original paint or seating material. However, the history and originality of the car are less certain. We aren’t provided with any documentation to verify that these are this 912’s original colors and while the seller thinks this is a one-owner car, he isn’t sure. That’s not the type of uncertainty that inspires confidence. The very low mileage also raises questions. I’m assuming the odometer has rolled over, but we don’t know for sure.

Nonetheless, bidding here has been strong. It sits at $46,012 and since it’s up for auction with no reserve we know someone will be going home with it. As I’ve mentioned previously, excellent examples of the 912 have shown some very high values of late. If the documentation of this 912 is available we may see another high price.

-Rob

Bahama Yellow 1966 Porsche 912

Yesterday’s 930 brought with it a good deal of vintage flair with its golden-hued Platinum Metallic exterior over a Cork leather interior. It’s a combination that we almost never see on any modern automobile. Here we’ll turn the clock back just a little further for one of Porsche’s best vintage colors, and while the interior is a much more standard black, the beauty of the exterior provides all the charm we might need. Here we have a restored Bahama Yellow 1966 Porsche 912, located in New York, with a reported 36,687 miles on it. There isn’t much here to verify that mileage figure for us, but the rest looks fantastic!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bahama Yellow 1966 Porsche 912 on eBay

Year: 1966
Model: 912
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 36,687 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1966 Porsche 912 Coupe finished in it’s original color combination of Bahama Yellow with a Black interior. The C of A confirms it left the factory on 07/14/1966 with a rarely optioned electric sun roof, Talbot drivers side mirror, tinted glass, Butterfly style wood steering wheel and bumper horns.

Recently totally restored, this rust free Short Wheel Base California Coupe, is also fitted with a 3 Gauge instrument cluster, blemish free dashboard, properly restored and correctly anodized 15 inch factory Fuchs alloy wheels, period correct Blaupunkt radio with i Pod adaptor, fully rebuilt matching numbers five speed manual transmission, fully rebuilt and totally sorted 912 engine, color coordinated Coco mats, Euro H4 headlamps with yellow lenses, Euro rear tail lamps and front signal lenses, new Koni shocks all around, new exhaust system and on and on.

This 912 Sun Roof Coupe has been totally restored to exacting standards and drives incredibly well. There are no needs at all and it is ready to be enjoyed. The beauty of a restoration as detailed and sorted as this one is that the last 10% which is the hardest to complete, has been done.

Serious inquiries should contact Mark Starr @ 914 217-4817.

Back in January a similar Bahama Yellow ’67 912 sold for just over $114K at Gooding and Co.’s Amelia Island auctions. It was a pretty stunning example that sold for an equally stunning price. It certainly showed better than this Bahama Yellow 912 so I wouldn’t expect a similar sort of price here. That said I am curious just where the line will be for this one as it’s currently bidding at a much lower $34,012.

But let’s not let the level of bidding detract from this one because it does look really nice. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of yellow lenses on a Bahama Yellow car, but that’s hardly a significant issue for those who want to make the change. And overall it sounds to be well sorted and, while not totally original, in possession of most of its original items. For a 912 it looks to be a really nice example of these early younger siblings to the 911. Bidding certainly will have to rise and we’ll have an eye on it to see ultimately where things end.

-Rob