Monday, August 17, 2009

Tourist delivery ad, 1965

This small ad from the travel section of a 1965 issue of Sunset magazine was of one of the ways the tourist delivery program was publicized. The ad was placed by Volkswagen Pacific, the West Coast regional VW distributor at the time. The tourist delivery program allowed buyers to take delivery of U.S.-spec 1500S Squarebacks in advance of the official introduction of the 1600 model by VW of America in late 1965.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Getting back to business

When I decided to start getting my 1500 Ghia roadworthy again about three years ago – the first step in starting a proper restoration – I had no idea I would still be working on the engine rebuild at this point, but here I am. When I had to tear the engine down again to address a piston clearance problem in the summer of 2007, I decided to take care of a few things that I had neglected the first time around, among them clearing the intake manifold's blocked heat riser. I took the piston clearance problem that thwarted the initial rebuild as a sign, and this time I would do everything right. No shortcuts.

If you want to lose momentum on a restoration project this is the way to do it. Since the manifold is a one-year-only rarity finding a good unblocked one wasn't going to be easy, so I spent many hours that year trying everything I could to clear the blockage, about 12 inches of solid carbon buildup. I was nearly there when the wire rope I was using broke off inside, and there was no way to retrieve it short of cutting the manifold open. I then searched for another good used manifold and found one, also blocked but less severely, and not long after that, in early 2008, BerT3 contacted me offering an NOS manifold for sale. This is the way rare parts searches seem to unfold: just when you find an acceptable compromise something much better comes along, and you have no choice – you have to buy it.

Unfortunately all of my time in 2008 and the beginning of this year was consumed by my job and freelance work projects. I'm only just getting back to the Ghia now, and the first task, other than clearing all the junk out of the garage for work space, was refinishing the NOS manifold, which had too much shelf wear to use as is.

After an extensive wet sanding and many coats of Zynolyte Hi-Temp 0642 Machinery Gray it's ready to install.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

VW 1500s in Auto-Universum, 1964

A 1500N, a 1500S, and a 1500S Variant sunroof from the 1964 edition of Auto-Universum, a.k.a. International Auto Parade.

Friday, August 7, 2009

1500S Ghia in Wheels magazine, February 1965

A 1500S Ghia made the cover of the February 1965 issue of Australia's Wheels magazine. The article inside claims that the featured car was the first 1500 Ghia to make its way to Oz.

From a blurb on the contents page:
"Unusual cars are two-a-penny in Australia these days, but we thought the Volkswagen 1500S Karmann-Ghia worth more than a passing glance. Ian Elliott's crisp cover catches all the glamour of this desirable personal car, with the Sydney Harbor Bridge as a background."

Thanks to Lee Hedges for the auction tip.