Friday, June 8, 2007

MOT road test, May 1963

In its May 1963 issue the German magazine MOT, sort of an automotive equivalent of Consumer Reports, tested a VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia. Their impressions were typical of 1500 Ghia road tests of the time.

I didn't translate the entire article, but the gist of the review was easy to pick up on. On the plus side, they thought it handled well and that it was nicely finished and economical to run. Less positively, they felt it was underpowered (especially considering the sporting pretensions of its styling), lacking in luggage and/or rear seat passenger space, and had unacceptable levels of wind noise. They didn't much like the fog light arrangement up front either.

This review is the only one I've found that tests a 1963 model, and the photos help resolve the question of which rim embellishers 1963 models were originally equipped with -- the older style Lemmerz trim rings used on the 1962 models or the later 1500S-style slotted beauty rings that are held in place by the hub caps. It's one of those early details that I can find no documentation for. The subject of the road test is clearly a '63, with its post-1962 badging and black interior, but it also has early 1962–63 style hub caps with black-painted VW logos and slotted beauty rings. This places the introduction of slotted rings at March/April 1963, if not even earlier. 1500 Club fact-checkers and car show judges take note!

[More information here.]

No comments: