Corvair-powered Karmann Ghia - today's tempter 2

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

Unusual but inspired engine choice

Corvair-powered Karmann Ghia - today's tempter 2
Karmann Ghia is running a Corsair engine.

We have to confess to doing a bit of a double-take on this - a highly modified Karmann Ghia asking $55,000.

Karmann Ghias used a Volkswagen Beetle type 1 floorpan, matched to unique styling that these days has found a very strong following. They were built over a lengthy period, from 1955 through to 1974 and over 400,000 were made.

Despite the huge numbers, they don't seem all that common today.

Mechanicals included an air-cooled boxer four, starting at 1200cc and moving through the Beetle powerplant progression to 1600cc. Transmission was a four-speed manual.

Putting a new engine in one of these isn't so surprising and, typically, you might expect an air-cooled Porsche powerplant as an upgrade.

However the builders of this car looked to the USA and fitted an air-cooled boxer six out of a Chevrolet Corvair. That car was a rear-engined model built 1959-64. It suffered a poor reputation for handling with the original series running a swing axle rear. A change of design to a more conventional independant rear fixed the issue, but the car struggled to get market traction.

The six came in three different capacities: 2.3lt, 2.5lt and 2.7lt. There was also a turbocharged variant. This car claims a 2.8lt capacity and runs a four-speed manual.

A closer look at the photo gallery reveals this Karmann has had a lot of custom work done, including a unique centra console and interior trim. Overall, a really interesting project.

It's located in Qld and is priced at $55,000.

Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

Sell your car for free right here


Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.