Tuesday, May 27, 2008

VW 1500 Ghia on a London street, March 1962

An early 1500 Ghia with German plates parked on a London street. The date "March 1962" and "Volkswagen 1500cc Karmann Ghia Coupé" are written on the back of each print.

This car is unusual in that it's a solid color instead of the standard two-tone, and it's accessorized with a radio and whitewall tires. I guess a standard issue 1500 Ghia just wasn't special enough.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

VW 1500 brochure photography, 1961

Early VW 1500 brochures had dramatic layouts that employed panoramic photography. The photography and minimal modern typography gave the brochures a clean, smart, and contemporary feel, possibly taking a lead from Volkswagen of America's famous ad campaign by Doyle Dane Bernbach. Here are a few panoramic spreads from the 1962 VW 1500 full line brochure (click to enlarge):

The VW 1500 cabriolet was included too. VW didn't officially pull the plug on it until the middle of the 1962 model year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

1961–64 VW 1500 Karmann-Ghia upholstery fabric

After years of thinking about it and months of planning and research I finally have a manufacturer starting work on a reproduction of early 1500 Ghia upholstery fabric — the woven fabric used for the front and back seat inserts and door panels from 1961–63 and the seat inserts only from 1963–64. I asked 1500 Ghia owners which colors they would most like to see reproduced and the three most requested colors were red (554), silver (564), and cerulean (559), so that's what I'm having made. 3 yards will be needed for seats and door panels and 2 yards for seats only.

Here are some samples of the original fabric (shown larger than actual size):

554 red, originally used in black and pearl white cars from 1961–64 and anthracite cars from 1963–64.

564 silver, originally used in anthracite and ruby red cars from 1961–64 and emerald green cars from 1963–64.

559 cerulean, originally used in sea blue cars from 1961–64.

(You can see these and other paint and upholstery combinations in the early VW 1500 Ghia color brochures)

It should be available by late summer or fall of this year. If all goes well the next project will be reproducing "salt and pepper" fabric for 1961–63 Type 3s.

Many thanks to Lee Hedges and Matt Pierce for sending original samples of cerulean and silver fabric, respectively.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Blaupunkt radio installation kit for VW 1500/1600 Karmann-Ghia

I found this NOS Blaupunkt installation kit a while back:

It includes a speaker, mounting hardware, knobs, escutcheon, trim plate and complete installation instructions — everything you need except the antenna and the radio itself. The trim plate in particular is a sought-after part in the Type 34 community. Brand new ones almost never come up for sale. The speaker has never been unwrapped. It's been that way for 40 years so it can wait a little longer until the Ghia's finished.

Here are the installation instructions in case they're of use to anyone (click to enlarge):

Antenna template (the full size image is actual size so download with confidence):

Noise suppression instructions for AM radios:

Noise suppression instructions for FM radios:

I have a very clean used Blaupunkt Frankfurt AM/FM/SW radio that I'll install in the Ghia using this kit. Since it's a universal kit for fitting any Blaupunkt model to a Type 34 Ghia it doesn't include any parts that are specific to certain models. Those parts were included with the radio. Unfortunately that includes the chrome outer knobs seen in a Type 1 Ghia in the photo below, which I'll need for my Frankfurt:

If anyone knows where I can find these knobs please let me know!