Sometimes, family stories about a collector car seem greater than the car itself, as is the case with the Pick of the Day, a 1968 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe. Not to take anything away from the Ghia, which is a fun sports car in its own right, but this one-family-owned classic has quite the back story.
The Concord, California, dealer advertising the Ghia on ClassicCars.com includes the lengthy tale from the current owner, whose mother bought the VW new.
Here’s his story as told in the ad:
“My mother bought this car new in 1968. She had suffered a medical setback and ‘felt a little down’ as she put it and she had always wanted a red sports car. It made sense that a Ghia was her choice because my parents had owned several Bugs starting with a 1956 with the only gauge being an odometer/speedometer and a flip valve when you ran out of fuel.
“Mom was so coordinated she could flip it when she ran out so quickly she did not have to restart the engine. My parents drove to Washington D.C. from Berkeley twice and dad told me the fuel bill was about $200!
“In 1991, when the Oakland Fire Storm hit, and took our old family home, my mom had a tough decision as the fire approached because there were two cars in the carport, my dad’s old Mercedes (a nice car) and the Ghia. Mom chose to drive the Ghia out and thus save her. The Mercedes was lost, and mom had recently spent over $3,000 for needed upkeep.
“I got a call from mom about three weeks after the fire. She expressed doubt that she had made the correct decision vis-a-vis the cars. I said, ‘No mom, you made the right decision!’
“Mom drove the car until she was 87. Having moved to a home on Grizzly Peak Blvd. at the top of Marin Ave. in Berkeley, she traversed Marin (an extremely steep street) with the down shifting and driving skill needed.
“At that point she gave the Ghia to one of my older brothers. He did some fixup including having her repainted and then I took her over about 10 years later. I have had her for about 13 years and significantly redid much of the interior and addressed the other compartments and upkeep.
“Mom had the engine rebuilt in 1995. Even though that was 25 years ago, the mileage since then is less than 8,000 miles.”
The Ghia looks quite nice in the photos with the ad, aside from a couple of significant dents on its left side, one on the rear fender and one in the door. But it is apparently a running piece that could be enjoyed as is.
“My hope is that someone will take good care of her and continue to restore her to the best of their ability and enjoy a beautiful car relic,” the owner concludes.
The asking price for this family heirloom is a modest $13,950.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.