1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe sports car at a classic car show in Markt Piesting, Austria
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia was a coupe and convertible sports car model produced and sold by the Volkswagen division of the Volkswagen Group. Combining the fundamentals and mechanics of the Beetle with classical Italian styling, the Karmann Ghia was never officially made available in the U.S. but has since become a coveted collector’s item and notable model in VW history.

In collaboration with Italian automaker Carrozzeria Ghia and German coachbuilder Karmann, VW began building prototypes for coupe and convertible models in the early 1950s. This led to the introduction of the first Volkswagen Karmann Ghia model, which debuted at the 1955 Paris and Frankfurt auto shows. Known internally by the Type 14 designation, the Karmann Ghia was virtually unchanged for its entire production run, which ended in 1974 when it was discontinued and succeeded by the Volkswagen Scirocco, a VW Golf-based sporty hatchback.

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  • 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (Starting MSRP $3,475)
  • Pros: The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia sports car is a classic VW model with a beautiful exterior and a roadster build that’s ideal for fun on the road.
  • Cons: The Karmann Ghia’s antique automotive form means it’s not nearly as fast as modern models and some of its equipment and features are either ancient or unreliable.
  • See Also: Arteon and Eos

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