1961 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

Vendor supplied images

UPDATE 26/05: Old UK Logbook added as well as pictures of front valance, front boot section, chassis number stamping, various old invoices, latest French Contrôle Technique

UPDATE 27/05: Contrary to what was previously stated the Karmann-Ghia still retains drum brakes at the front


  • Rare and desirable right-hand drive example
  • Restored in the UK in 1989-90 to a very good standard
  • Reportedly driving well, with no faults to report
  • Accompanied by a large history file

The Appeal

While mass production largely put an end to the noble tradition of coachbuilding, we find it fascinating that one of the most serially produced cars of all time, the Type 1 Volkswagen, would become the basis for a hand-made coupé. Styled by Ghia in Italy and built by Karmann of Osnabrück in Germany, the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia proved that there was still a market for exquisitely crafted cars, well into the latter half of the twentieth century.

We’re delighted to offer this 1961 1200cc example in right-hand drive. Restored some years ago in the United Kingdom and now residing in France, this is a very smart example and the vendor informs us it remains in great mechanical order. It isn’t often you find a right-hand drive Karmann Ghia, let alone one in such fine condition, so if it’s the car you’ve always been looking for, don’t hesitate in making it yours.

The History and Paperwork

  • Restored to a very good standard in the UK 1988-1989
  • Old UK logbook
  • Road registered in France
  • Contrôle Technique until 15/02/26 (mentions corrosion but as a minor advisory, they have to mention it if they see it)
  • Accompanied by an independent vehicle inspection report
  • Detailed photographic diary of the restoration process
  • The vendor informs that there is a record of all the car’s owners with an extensive history file

The Interior

  • Retrimmed in vinyl as per original specification
  • Retains numerous original fixtures and fittings
  • Well presented, with little in the way of wear

During the restoration, the upholstery was apparently retrimmed and we note that it has held up very well during the intervening years. The vinyl now exhibits a little wear, but nothing of any note or anything we’d term as damage.

The black carpeting looks smart, with not a lot of wear at all and we note that the perforated headlining is in good order, with the usual light stains in a few spots. The dashboard presents really well, with some light patination to the top but nothing more.

The vendor informs us that everything works well, with the exception of the horn and right-hand speakers which are defective. A retro-inspired Bluetooth stereo resides inside the glove compartment - a neat and discreet touch that keeps the look and feel of this interior period correct.

The Exterior 

  • Two-tone paintwork in blue and white
  • Very sound chassis, with no evidence of structural corrosion
  • White-wall tyres complement the colour of the roof

The Karmann Ghia is an immensely pretty car and this one, in its attractive blue and white colour scheme is especially attractive. We enjoy how the colour of the upholstery is echoed on the outside and the whitewall tyres further complement the two-tone theme.

The paintwork looks to be in really good order for its age. There are some slight blemishes in places and most notably some finish cracks in a few spots where the two colours meet. This is not very noticeable however, and the car presents really well overall. There’s no obvious signs of damage or corrosion to the bodywork or underside and the vendor assures us that the car is very sound structurally. The floor pans look good and we’re informed that the heater channels and main chassis spine are in great shape.

The chrome trims look great, as do the light lenses and all the glass, the steel wheels are embellished by smart hubcaps and we adore the aforementioned whitewall tyres.

The Mechanics 

  • 1200 cc air-cooled flat-four
  • Four-speed manual gearbox
  • Battery isolator recently fitted
  • 12v battery conversion
  • Starts, runs and drives well according to the vendor

The genius of the Karmann Ghia is that behind the exquisite and exotic coachwork, lies the same beating heart that can be found in literally millions of air-cooled Volkswagens. This keeps the  maintenance and running costs to a minimum, making these eminently usable classics.

The flat-four engine is said to run well and certainly presents nicely under the rear hatch. The vendor informs us that the only recent addition is a battery isolator - a sound idea on cars of this vintage. It reportedly starts promptly, runs without fault and drives exactly as it should.


This is a really handsome and apparently healthy example of the much-loved Karmann Ghia. We’re big fans of this curious Volkswagen and the fact it’s right-hand drive is sure to attract a great deal of interest. This is not one you can afford to miss out on!

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1961
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Karmann Ghia
  • Colour Blue/White
  • Odometer 5,349 Kilometres
  • Engine size 1200
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Bretagne
  • Country France
Bidding history
26 bids
  • h1_love•••• €20,000 28/05/23
  • muhamma•••• €19,000 28/05/23
  • h1_love•••• €17,500 28/05/23
  • maxus_s•••• €17,000 28/05/23
  • muhamma•••• €15,000 28/05/23
  • h1_love•••• €14,250 28/05/23
  • MW007 €13,750 28/05/23
  • Sc007 €13,500 27/05/23
  • muhamma•••• €13,000 27/05/23
  • MikeMik•••• €12,000 27/05/23

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