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  • #2
    quote:Originally posted by Transtar56
    Found this timeline in VW Trends. I would say the Karmann Ghia is probably a modified Chrysler design but the article does say refines previous Ghia styling ideas and doesn't actually tie down who the original designs were for.

    Timeline
    NOTE: VW's model year begins in August. VW made changes during production runs. U.S. delivered VWs are "export" models. Often, they have deluxe trim, the largest available engines and up-to-date suspensions. However, european consumers had a choice of engines and suspensions.

    1950 Unknown to Karmann or VW, Carozzeria Ghia's owner Mario Boano designs a VW coupe. The "paper car" refines previous Ghia styling ideas. Ghia tries building the car but VW won't supply a chassis. Meanwhile, Karmann and VW discuss building a Beetle-based sports convertible. VW's management rejects Karmann's styling concepts.

    1951 Dr. Karmann shares the VW sports car idea with Carozzeria Ghia's commercial director Luigi Serge. Ghia, during this year, decides to build an Exner-designed body on a Chrysler chassis.

    1952 Ghia builds first in a series of Chrysler show cars or Styling Specials.

    1953 Early in the year, Mario Boano's son Gian fetches a VW Beetle from Charles Ladouche, the French importer of Volkswagen and Chrysler cars. Within five months, Ghia's Turin, Italy facilities complete a prototype. By late summer, Serge presents this coupe to Dr. Karmann.

    1954 Karmann's body engineering team designs body tooling and modifies VW chassis. Only four or five test cars were built. Since the coupe's fenders were welded into the body shell and that shell used many small pressings, there were nearly 140 inches of welds on the outer skin. Many stampings were water-cooled to prevent distortion. A convertible prototype is built.

    1955 On July 14th, Karmann offers the press preview of the nameless VW coupe. VW decides to call the lithe coupe the Karmann-Ghia. On September 14th, the car is officially introduced at the Frankfurt auto show. The Karmann-built coupe differed slightly from Ghia's prototype. Changes included twin nostril-type front apron vents, curved side glass, full-width bumpers, wider chromes strips around the windows, relocated front signal lamps, revised rear deck louvers and a repositioned Ghia fender badge.

    Comment


    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by Transtar56
      Found this timeline in VW Trends. I would say the Karmann Ghia is probably a modified Chrysler design but the article does say refines previous Ghia styling ideas and doesn't actually tie down who the original designs were for.

      Timeline
      NOTE: VW's model year begins in August. VW made changes during production runs. U.S. delivered VWs are "export" models. Often, they have deluxe trim, the largest available engines and up-to-date suspensions. However, european consumers had a choice of engines and suspensions.

      1950 Unknown to Karmann or VW, Carozzeria Ghia's owner Mario Boano designs a VW coupe. The "paper car" refines previous Ghia styling ideas. Ghia tries building the car but VW won't supply a chassis. Meanwhile, Karmann and VW discuss building a Beetle-based sports convertible. VW's management rejects Karmann's styling concepts.

      1951 Dr. Karmann shares the VW sports car idea with Carozzeria Ghia's commercial director Luigi Serge. Ghia, during this year, decides to build an Exner-designed body on a Chrysler chassis.

      1952 Ghia builds first in a series of Chrysler show cars or Styling Specials.

      1953 Early in the year, Mario Boano's son Gian fetches a VW Beetle from Charles Ladouche, the French importer of Volkswagen and Chrysler cars. Within five months, Ghia's Turin, Italy facilities complete a prototype. By late summer, Serge presents this coupe to Dr. Karmann.

      1954 Karmann's body engineering team designs body tooling and modifies VW chassis. Only four or five test cars were built. Since the coupe's fenders were welded into the body shell and that shell used many small pressings, there were nearly 140 inches of welds on the outer skin. Many stampings were water-cooled to prevent distortion. A convertible prototype is built.

      1955 On July 14th, Karmann offers the press preview of the nameless VW coupe. VW decides to call the lithe coupe the Karmann-Ghia. On September 14th, the car is officially introduced at the Frankfurt auto show. The Karmann-built coupe differed slightly from Ghia's prototype. Changes included twin nostril-type front apron vents, curved side glass, full-width bumpers, wider chromes strips around the windows, relocated front signal lamps, revised rear deck louvers and a repositioned Ghia fender badge.

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:Originally posted by Transtar56
        I think the common thread is Exner.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by Transtar56
          I think the common thread is Exner.

          Comment


          • #6
            There was also a Studebaker-Porsche connection. The effort produced this car:

            I always wondered what looked so familiar about it - perhaps it has some Karmann-Ghia lines to it.

            Here's the story behind it (and an interesting twist!):
            http://www.studegarage.com/porsche.htm

            [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

            Comment


            • #7
              There was also a Studebaker-Porsche connection. The effort produced this car:

              I always wondered what looked so familiar about it - perhaps it has some Karmann-Ghia lines to it.

              Here's the story behind it (and an interesting twist!):
              http://www.studegarage.com/porsche.htm

              [img=left]http://www.studegarage.com/images/gary_ash_m5_sm.jpg[/img=left] Gary Ash
              Dartmouth, Mass.
              '48 M5
              '65 Wagonaire Commander
              '63 Wagonaire Standard
              web site at http://www.studegarage.com
              Gary Ash
              Dartmouth, Mass.

              '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
              ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
              '48 M5
              '65 Wagonaire Commander
              '63 Wagonaire Standard
              web site at http://www.studegarage.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Ive always liked the looks of Karmann-Ghias,and have always had a lot of respect for the VW air-cooled engines,having murderd a few of them in the woods and gravel pits as chopped "dune buggys". We didn't have ATV's in my youth,but you could buy an old beetle for 100 bucks any day of the week. They were simple to work on,tough as nails,and with big truck wheels and tires equipped with chains you could go through stuff that only four wheel drive rigs should attempt.
                Its fun to think of "what if" Studebaker had collaborated on a small sporty car with an air cooled rear engine,as the Porsche project Gary pointed out. Might have been quite a car.
                I bet N8 would have liked them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ive always liked the looks of Karmann-Ghias,and have always had a lot of respect for the VW air-cooled engines,having murderd a few of them in the woods and gravel pits as chopped "dune buggys". We didn't have ATV's in my youth,but you could buy an old beetle for 100 bucks any day of the week. They were simple to work on,tough as nails,and with big truck wheels and tires equipped with chains you could go through stuff that only four wheel drive rigs should attempt.
                  Its fun to think of "what if" Studebaker had collaborated on a small sporty car with an air cooled rear engine,as the Porsche project Gary pointed out. Might have been quite a car.
                  I bet N8 would have liked them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You said 1947 Starlight coupe. I thought the Starlight coupe came out in 1949. The 47 & 48 were 5 passenger coupes

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You said 1947 Starlight coupe. I thought the Starlight coupe came out in 1949. The 47 & 48 were 5 passenger coupes

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi
                        The design basis for the Karmann-Ghia is the 1953 Chrysler D'Elegance show car. It is not a direct copy of the design, but uses overall shape, a similar but lightened greenhouse, and particularly the side sculpturing with the fading front fender line and the middle character line that transitions into the rear fender line.
                        It is a sweet design, the only one more appealing is the DeSoto Adventure I.
                        Steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi
                          The design basis for the Karmann-Ghia is the 1953 Chrysler D'Elegance show car. It is not a direct copy of the design, but uses overall shape, a similar but lightened greenhouse, and particularly the side sculpturing with the fading front fender line and the middle character line that transitions into the rear fender line.
                          It is a sweet design, the only one more appealing is the DeSoto Adventure I.
                          Steve

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In many places around the world, excepting America, many coach builders were in their final death throws by the late 1940's and early 1950's as mass production was the norm in the US.

                            Many people in Europe and England liked American motor cars for there power and reliability, but wanted more continental looks rather than the brash flair of a US body and hence, especially in the 1930's there were many bespoke bodies for these cars.

                            It would seem realistic enough that Ghia had a design for a body ready to bolt onto a Stude or Chrysler chassis in 1950 in Italy. From memory there were 3 or 4 larks that were bodied in Italy in the early 1960's

                            Greg Diffen
                            Australian Stude nut living in Warwick, United Kingdom

                            1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 Dutch delivered
                            1937 Dicator sedan. Australian Body by TJ Richards
                            1939 Packard Seven Passenger monster UK delivered
                            1939 Commander Swiss Cabriolet by Lagenthal
                            1988 Avanti Convertible
                            Greg Diffen

                            Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

                            Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

                            1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
                            1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
                            1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
                            1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
                            1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
                            1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
                            1988 Avanti Convertible

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In many places around the world, excepting America, many coach builders were in their final death throws by the late 1940's and early 1950's as mass production was the norm in the US.

                              Many people in Europe and England liked American motor cars for there power and reliability, but wanted more continental looks rather than the brash flair of a US body and hence, especially in the 1930's there were many bespoke bodies for these cars.

                              It would seem realistic enough that Ghia had a design for a body ready to bolt onto a Stude or Chrysler chassis in 1950 in Italy. From memory there were 3 or 4 larks that were bodied in Italy in the early 1960's

                              Greg Diffen
                              Australian Stude nut living in Warwick, United Kingdom

                              1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 Dutch delivered
                              1937 Dicator sedan. Australian Body by TJ Richards
                              1939 Packard Seven Passenger monster UK delivered
                              1939 Commander Swiss Cabriolet by Lagenthal
                              1988 Avanti Convertible
                              Greg Diffen

                              Editor Studebaker Owners Club UK magazine

                              Australian Stude guy living in Warwick, United Kingdom

                              1933 St Regis Brougham Model 56 delivered new in the Netherlands
                              1937 Dictator sedan Australian Body by TJ Richards RHC
                              1937 Packard Super 8 Limousine UK delivered RHC
                              1939 Packard Super 8 Seven Passenger sedan monster UK delivered RHC
                              1939 Commander Cabriolet by Lagenthal of Switzerland
                              1963 Lark Daytona Hardtop
                              1988 Avanti Convertible

                              Comment

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