VW Karmann-Ghia: Wild Aussie Off-Road Racers and Sports Sedans
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VW Karmann-Ghia: Wild Aussie Off-Road Racers and Sports Sedans

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By MarkOastler - 15 September 2014

Frequent flyer. Steve Knott’s rugged off-road racer based on the classic VW Karmann-Ghia was one of the fastest Class 5 contenders in the Australian Off-Road Championship in 1989-90. With 18 inches (over 450mm) of wheel travel, this V6-powered missile was designed and built to withstand this kind of brutal treatment in gruelling events that lasted 400 kms and more. Image: Steve Knott

Given its humble VW Beetle-based origins, the Type 14 Karmann-Ghia of the 1960s would probably not be first in a typical wish-list of competition cars, but the stylish coupe boasts a diverse if little known competition history in Australian motor sport.
 
With beautiful styling by Italian design house Ghia, the low slung and curvaceous sheet metal crafted by German coachbuilder Karmann gave the humble torsion bar VW Beetle platform a new personality which appealed to motor sport competitors with creative engineering minds.