Karmann-ghia Lowlight Registry

ID-552: modified 58 vert

ConvertibleYear: 1958


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VIN Number: 2051695
Body Number (behind the spare tire):: 39202
Date_of_Manufacture: august 29 '58
Original Destination: Netherlands
Current Location: USA
Body Color: red
Roof Color: tan
 

Full Description: also see ID-40: modified 58 vert. (because it's the same car!)

I've bought the car in July 2008 in New Mexico, and drove it home over Route 66 with no problems (about 1000 miles). Although some mods have been made to the body, it is a solid, straight and rigid vert. Don't hate me for the mod's; they were done a very long time before I came into my Ghia's life. I will nurture it forever because I really love it! Engine is a 1500 single port (bit more power than the original 30 PK). I'm enjoying it during the summers and doing it up in the winters bit by bit. The body mods will remain for now so I can enjoy the Ghia on the road like it's ment to be; the body work that was done in the past is of very decent quality. Since it was a New Mexico car, the top was not there, so now it will not see any rain before I've installed a new top. I've painted the inside and underside of the floors in Rust-O-leum (cream color), along with all 4 wheel wells: no more rust for ever! I've put disc brakes up front (came with dropped spindles) with dual master cylinder to enhance safety in modern traffic. Also installed a passenger side mirror. Bumpers are stainless steel. Rear discs are planned for this winter (2012) and the Fuchs will stay on it (4.5J in the front and 5.5J in the rear). I will probably replace the taillights back to the originals eventually (i have them, along with the metal inserts), add the rear bumper. But I'll leave the engine lid as is (it's kinda cool and unique like the early 356 style). The front nose was not bondo-ed (there has been no accident damage or dented nose at all), but they have just removed the ridge in the middle and have welded metal back; I'll leave that as is too, because it does not look bad at all and it does'nt distract of the lines of the car too much. The porsche 914 seats sit lower than the original seats, so for the driver's experience I'll leave them in (I'll cut off the head rests, then they will look a bit like the old 356 speedster seats). I'm collecting all missing parts and putting them back on, including the top which was m.i.a. when I got the car. All in all it's a pretty complete driver (that was the goal, because with the body mods, i'm not going make it into a show car without way too many $), and I really enjoy it as such. It's fun to drive and will continu to get better and more original as time goes by. Curious detail: this car was originally delivered to the Netherlands before it was shipped to the USA. No big deal i hear you think, but the interesting part is that I was born and raised in Rotterdam in The Netherlands. I moved oversees and am now living in the USA at the moment (and loving it) since a few years, but one day I'll bring this cool lowlight vert back to the Netherlands so it can again be on the soil were it drove its very first miles (yes, miles, not kilometers, since it was a US export model that was eventually going to the USA, and therefore it was ordered with a US speedometer in miles... although it did get to spend some quality time on the winding Dutch open roads first) when it was delivered back in 1958 in its original "perl-weiss" color.

Update 8/2012: summer is on its retreat, but still love the joy of open touring. The vert needs to share its spot under the sun with my 1965 westy split bus, because I also like to camp out and Volkswagen intended other iconic models than Ghia's for that. Oh yeah, I've ordered a stainless steel exhaust to replace the 4-tip one that was on there when I got it (it sounds great, but doesn't look right, and the rear bumper does not fit on that way, so it has to go),..... to be continued!
9 april 2013: finally found a decent '58 horn ring assembly, yes! hoping to put the rear disc brakes (airkwld) on soon now and enjoy spring... I will be installing the tach that I've put together, and also I've sourced a kohler clock to go into the fuel gauge hole. I will use 2 other gauges for the fuel and oil temp, they will go somewhere else. Since i'm from the Netherlands, i got a lowlight KM/h speedo. But as long as the car is in the US, I will keep the lowlight Mls/h speedo in the dash.
May 2013: I got a nice dash vase, with a red rose on it. And also a hella red tip blinker switch. Thinking about mounting a hella spot light....
June 2013: I've got the spot light, but will not mount it yet. I also bought a flip-up night visor for the inside rearview mirror. And I've gotten a steering column ignition lock which will go on the column some day, and then a red emergency switch will go in place of the current ignition switch location. The cockpit is slowly starting to look like something nice. I haven't driven it lately though...
August 2013: I'm moving from sweet home Chicago(USA) back to The Netherlands, and guess what will come along with me...
August 2015: life sometimes is busy.... haven't driven the car since August 2013; so it's been exactly 2 years... I did score some European headlight units which are needed to be legal on the Dutch roads.
January 2017: Time flies, I still haven't driven the car in the Netherlands.... currently I'm reviving a Zwitter beetle. It's all good for the little red one: the Ghia is sitting in a dry garage and I fire it up every once and a while to keep it alive.

cheers,
Tisius


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Listed by: tisius


Info: 1958 Karmann Ghia convertible