1962 Karmann ghia time capsule – 77k mile unrestored survivor!

Price: US $11,211.11 Item location: West Linn, Oregon, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Karmann Ghia
  • Year: 1962
  • Mileage: 76,432
  • VIN: 5287798
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a spectacular 1962 karmann ghia. It’s the one that all of us dream of finding someday, n arguably the most desirable VW color of the 1960s, n incredible unrestored survivor condition, ith long time single ownership history.

Shirley Miller bought her brand new Pacific Blue (L-398) karmann ghia at Imported Motors Inc in Albuquerque, ew Mexico. She loved the racey styling of the karmann ghia and wanted a fuel efficient car to drive to work every day. Her parking permit sticker is still on the car. More on that later.

It spent its life in the warm New Mexico Desert under Shirley’s careful ownership and was regularly serviced by Imported Motors. It still wears an original oil change service due sticker inside the driver’s side door jamb.

Upon Shirley’s passing in the 1980s, he beloved ghia was put in the family barn where it would sit untouched for the next 30 years. It had been sparingly driven up to that point and had 76,280 original miles on the odometer. Today it has 76,432 miles.

I have some great pictures in the gallery link at the bottom of this ad showing it literally in “as found” condition, overed by a plastic sheet with a fine layer of New Mexico dust over the top of it.

In 2013, hirley’s Grandson took on the ambitious task of bringing the family heirloom out of hibernation and making it a road worthy car again.

The ghia was sent to Salem, regon for the karmann ghia experts @ House of Ghia to work their magic on Shirley’s ghia. The main objective was preservation and making the car useable like it was when it went into that barn so many moons ago. The family wanted to get the old ghia back on the road in a very presentable, omfortable, eliable state so they could put some miles on it and enjoy it again.

All of these receipts will be included in the sale. Here’s a list of the major items that were taken care of:

Front and rear seat upholstery in the original material and color.

New door panels front and rear.

New Carpet installed

New Dash pad

New headliner

Repaired & detailed the floor pan top and bottom

Original windshield removed, ubber seal replaced with high quality German seal

Original rear window removed, ubber seal replaced. German seal used here also.

Door glass scraper seals replaced

Window cranks and door release levers cleaned and serviced

Quarter glass window rubber replaced

New door seal kit

New front trunk seal

New pillar seals

Horn ring cleaned and reinstalled

Rear view mirror glass replaced

New seatbelts installed front and rear

Gas tank cleaned up and detailed. New fuel filter installed

12 volt conversion front to back. Original 6 volt generator converted over to 12 v to keep a factory appearance.

New light bulbs front to back. Even the interior light works.

Full brake job front to back including wheel cylinders, rums, ard lines, oft lines, tc.

The original 40 hp engine was completely rebuilt in 2015 by a long time air cooled VW specialist. This was not an economy rebuild. We sourced as many New old stock factory VW parts as possible. We also opted for the “big bore” kit that was really common on these cars back in the day. It’s an upgrade that makes sense from a driveability standpoint (similar to the 12volt conversion that was done), nd gives the ghia a little bit more “go, eeping up with modern traffic. The big bore kit is a piston and cylinder upgrade that keeps a 100% factory appearance from the outside.

This engine is the smoothest running, est starting air cooled VW I’ve owned. The choke kicks on and it will start effortlessly in cold weather. As it warms up, he idle speed comes down just as it did in 1962. Heater boxes are properly adjusted and blow nice and hot (in VW terms, ot hot like a modern car). Muffler is new. We also did the axle boots with German replacements while we were in there, ne less thing to do down the road.

I had a new OEM German clutch and throughout bearing installed at the same time as the rebuild. Surprisingly the original clutch had some life left in it, hich goes to show those miles accumulated over the years were easy miles. Engine sheetmetal was thoroughly detailed, t’s clean enough to eat off of.

It’s a real pleasure to drive as you’d imagine from the low mileage. As close as you can get to driving a ghia off the showroom floor. The original transmission shifts effortlessly, s super quiet, lutch is adjusted, t’s ready for a cross country trip.

Here are some interesting items that the ghia purists will appreciate.

You’ll notice in the pictures of the dash, here’s no key ignition to the left of the speedometer. This particular car never had an Ignition switch on the dash. That hole was never punched out at the factory. On the backside of the dash behind the wiring cover, t’s all factory original paint. Instead, t had a locking shifter ignition from the factory. Pretty rare and uncommon to see this.

Most L-398 Pacific Blue ghias left the factory two toned (with a white roof). This one was pacific blue single tone, ith blackwall tires giving it a very understated and clean appearance.

L-398 cars got ice blue seat frames, teering wheels, nd steering column tubes which really set them off.

Most ghias had a two toned wheel with a white center and black outer hoop. This particular car had single tone wheels off the assembly line in what appears to be blue white. Wheels are still original paint and one has a factory run that is hidden behind the trim ring. Again, small detail but an interesting one that makes the car unique.

It still has its date coded Lemmerz trim rings (April 1962). Very uncommon to find these on an early ghia nowadays, specially the same ones it left the factory with. It’s also got all 4 original hubcaps, ith the proper black logos.

Perfect floor pans that are rust free and nicely detailed in a correct chassis black.

Complete engine tar board / sound deadener still intact. Factory grease pencil markings can be found on the underside of the decklid.

All original date coded glass including the windshield which is in really nice condition.

It still has the Western New Mexico University bumper sticker and parking permit sticker affixed to the rear bumper blade. Both have been on the car since 1962.

Hooded rear bumper mounted accessory brake lights were added at the dealership and are period correct.

Door gaps are best I’ve seen, oors have that wonderful clunk to them when they shut.

Most of the car is factory original paint with some touch ups here and there. It shows really well. I personally love the patina but everyone has their personal preference.. It has bumps, ruises, hips, crapes, ings, ents, ipples, rimer showing through in several places, tc.. as can be expected from a 53 year old car that hasn’t been restored. Please spend some time looking at the pictures for a thorough assessment of the condition.

This isn’t the car to bid on if you’re after a pebble beach worthy ghia. It’s not to say it wouldn’t bring home a best original award, r best ghia at a meet but if perfect paint, lawless body work, nd fresh chrome is your goal keep looking.

However, f you’re after a wonderful ghia that’s aged beautifully as mother nature intended her to, ill drive circles around any “restored” car, as a great back story, ate coded correct from the instruments down to the trim rings, nd will attract the biggest crowd at any show, his could be the one you’ve been looking for.

Car cover included.

Pictures are worth a thousand words… I’ve got 100+ pictures posted in the gallery link below.


International bids welcome. I can store the car for a reasonable amount of time for anyone that wants to make shipping arrangements.

Thank you for your interest!