Oh Ghia ! And Karmann…Glam Bug From VW

Can you glam up a Beetle ?  Apparently, it could be and was successfully done in the early 1950s.

Volkswagon engaged the Italian design house Ghia, and German coachbuilder Karmann to create the eye-catching VW Karmann Ghia, and started production in 1955. (up to 1974 in Germany).  But the engine was still the venerable rear-mounted flat-four-boxer, air-cooled powerplant that drove all the Beetles.  (Later versions had more powerful engines)

My first encounter with one specimen was in the mid-60s – it was all-white, owned and driven by a lady dentist who worked at the Butterworth District Hospital.  (She used to do up the many ‘potholes’  on my teeth when I was a kid).  

Sleekness and glamour notwithstanding, the signature “chug-a-chug”  sound of the Beetle engine was unmistakable.  A close look at the badge verified the car’s bugsy heritage.

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