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Low Light Karmann Ghia

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I have a 1959 Karmann Ghia which was the final year of production. They are known as Low lights and were only ever made in LHD and were not sold in Australia.

Australia first go t Karmann Ghias in 1960 with the newer body style.

I bought mine out of California in September last year and eventually got it shipped here in May (long story)

Anyhow I know there are plenty of VW fans on here and also people who like picture driven threads so I thought I would record the journey here as I try to retain some of the 60yr old patina but also bring it up to a nice solid driver standard.

The mix of old and new might not work and I may change my mind down the track but to get it up and driving that is the direction I'm heading.

I was able to get it running after checking everything over however the asbestos checks in LA seem to have involved removing the brake shoes and calling it job done so I had quite a job of getting the brake system back up to speed.

Front and rear suspension done with new link pins and king pins up front.

First job was door hinge pins, followed by rear floors, then I tackled a dodgy repair to the RH front fender, where it seemed easier to cut a new body line with an angle grinder than try to rework the existing line.

Front trunk had a rusted rear wall and spare wheel floor, and the ridge on the front nose needed tlc.

Replacement rust panels are cheap and easy to source and the fit was good.

I have bought new bumpers also.

I disassembled all the seat frames and replaced broken springs and the sandblasted and repainted, ready for the new upholstery that I sourced from Lenny Copp in the USA, super expensive in VW terms but quite reasonable compared to Porsche stuff, and great quality. 

The roof paint is too far gone to be saved so I am just in the process of buzzing it all off after which I will be able to fit the new headliner and refit the front and rear windows with nice new seals.


Picture of the car in LA



By the time it got here things looked a little worse for wear.
















The car colour is Bamboo green with a Dark green roof.




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29 minutes ago, Zelrik911 said:

LHD to RHD conversion planned ?????

Definitely not.

whilst it is a very easy conversion it would go against everything I know and love about classic cars.

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 Cracking on then Chris 👍 Still have those rims here if you're passing by

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My wife’s aunty had a Karmann Ghia, same colour scheme, which I wanted but it was never for sale, she loved it.  I went away for 9 months for work, came back and she had sold it...bugga !

Thanks to “the recession we had to have...”

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Had a 70 model Cabrio in Signal Orange for several years. Installed a fresh 1776cc with a new case.

Still have a soft spot for these cars. Gone but not forgotten.GHIA.thumb.PNG.e1e68fc738a97314c01b1b184c232058.PNG

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Roof painted.





Seats reassembled with new springs and padding




Rust in battery area and both lower rear wheel arches done






Still a bit more to do


Might even be driving this very soon.


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46 minutes ago, Arnage said:

Love your work Chris.

912 looks fantastic

 You should see it up close! 👍

 Nice one knackers. The Ghia will be a cracker 

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Some progress, metalwork, body and paint finished, so I can get the eBay spray booth out of the garage and reclaim some space.

Engine back in, new wiring loom, and starting to put the interior together





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I found a set of NOS Enkei Flat 4 wheels from Japan and sourced some machined caps but I'm having second thoughts about moving away from stock wheels.

I have been able to get the rears to fit and just about to get to work on modifying the front steering and suspension to make fitment possible.





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