volkswagen

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1970-1971 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (Type 14) spotted in Chicago.

The Karmann Ghia was designed by Italian design house Carrozzeria Ghia and built by the German manufacturer Karmann.  It debuted in 1955 and was built until 1974 when it was replaced by the Volkswagen Scirocco.  More than 445,000 were built during those years, making the Karmann Ghia a big success for Volkswagen.  It was powered by the same air-cooled flat 4 cylinder engine and rode on the same chassis as the Beetle.  It would be hard to not think of it as an inexpensive alternative to a Porsche if it wasn’t about as slow as the the car that it’s based on.  Still, because of its style, its mechanical simplicity, and its affordability, this is one of my favorite cars.  And if you think of its driving characteristics as “leisurely”, I can see how it would be a pleasant car to drive.