The words “rare” and Volkswagen Karmann Ghia don’t usually do together. That is, unless you’re looking at the bigger, sharp-edged version known as the Type 34 that was built in relatively limited numbers and never officially imported by VW to the US.
Like the Karmann Ghia Type 14 – the familiar sport model based on the Beetle chassis and air-cooled, flat-4 running gear – the Type 34 was designed by Carrozzeria Ghia of Milan and produced in VW’s Karmann assembly plant in Osnabrück, Germany.
But the Type 34 was a larger, roomier model built on the VW Type 3 chassis (think fastback and squareback) and bigger-displacement engine. The look is similar to the classic Type 14 but different enough to make you scrunch up your eyes and say, “huh?”
The Pick of the Day is a 1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34, produced from 1961 through 1969 and known in the UK as The Razor’s Edge due to its crisp character lines that stretch from nose to tail.
“In Germany, the Type 34 is known as “Der GroBe Karmann” or “The Large Karmann” due to its roomier and more luxurious features, compared to its better-known sibling, the Type 14,” according to the Jackson, Mississippi, dealer advertising the VW on ClassicCars.com. “At the time, the Type 34 was the most expensive car in the Volkswagen lineup, costing as much as two Beetles.”
This plus-size Ghia appears to be a preserved original coupe (they were all coupes) with just 34,942 miles showing on its odometer, the seller notes. The car still wears its Manila Yellow factory paint, with its apparently original 1,600cc, air-cooled boxer engine and 4-speed manual transmission.
“This a true testament to an almost unheard of and rare Volkswagen,” the seller says. “This vehicle does run and drive, as well as holds all of its original patina. Unrestored and never modified, it remains a living legend in the world of European nostalgia.”
So yes, this VW is quite unusual in both type and condition. There were just 42,500 Type 34s produced from 1961-69, and it’s estimated that about 1,200 still exist worldwide, with about 400 of those in the US, the ad says, quoting Type 34 Registry data.
The asking price seems reasonable at $27,500, and the future owner can decide whether to enjoy and drive it as-is, maintaining its originality, or restore it as a rare showpiece.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.