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When you've got the bug .. Karmann Ghia Convertible.

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Meet Per, 52, from the area of Amager in Copenhagen. A danish gentleman who in his daily day is as a coach worker with Nissan. He fell completely in love with air-cooled Volkswagens on a holiday trip to Los Angeles in 1978. In this glorious day and age, it was already buzzing with VW hotrods with surfboards stacked on the roofs. Already then, Per believed that it should be quite possible to achieve an old VW of sorts and make it uniquely his own.

What sparked your passion for cars, how did it come about ?

I suppose it goes all the way back to the Scalextric race-tracks that I had as a kid, with the Datsun 240Z, the Mini and a Mexico Escort. Also, when we used to play Top Trumps cards with cars. 


What is the earliest and most cared for automobile memory of yours ?

I would say either the the first custom car show in “Cirkelhuset” or the first car exhibition in the then newly built Bella Centre


Are there any automobile dreams you are yet to achieve ? 

Karmann Ghia Coupe 1959 Lowlight !

Tell us about your car !

I purchased the Ghia in 1992 as a complete victim to rust. The best thing about the car was its original Danish papers, thats basically it. Back then it was far from like today - it doesn’t matter where in the world spare parts are located, all you do is add them to the basket. In this case, I had to go through all sorts of auto jumbles in Sweden and Germany, and call to the states to order parts for the engine and other accessories. 

I must admit though that it was quite the challenge to sort out the rust, as it is a hand build car from the factory, no straight points or corners to measure from. For example, the two doors I had to order home from Texas had a difference in length of 4mm. There are very few who can manage this sort of project alone, I was very luck to have friends who could help me on the side, engine and paintwork amongst things.


Today the car stands as a 1965 Karmann Ghia Convertible "California-look", in this case with modified undercarriage, wheels and engine.

Bodywork all sandblown and with metallizing, nuts & bolts all exchanged with stainless steel ones.

Engine VW 1200

Mahle pistons and cylinders 90.5 mm

Scat 78mm crankshaft, pushrods

Pauter connecting rods

Scat D-port Cylinder heads 40x37,5 Manley valves

G301 cam Electric fuel pump with stainless steel hoses Bosch 009 distributer Scat soak up with 2 x 40 mm Weber's + KN filters Gene Berg oil pump, oil sump, , Equalizer/pulley, throttle, exhaust. Rebuilt blower with vertical oil cooler. Homemade breatherbox. Gear and motor block painted with black Harley Davidson ringlefinish Type 3 gearbox with reinforced side plates and short shafts. Brakes 4 x discs. 4xkoni gas absorbers, Gene Berg gear box suspension, slightly lowered. Wheels: polished detailed org. Porsche Fuchs 4, 5 x 15, 5, 5 x 15 rear fitted with toyo 135x15 and Firestone 195x15 behind. Lacquer: VW Clementine 1969 Interior: Custom, hidden sub and plant, org. Empi GTV rat from 1966, Gene Berg shifter lockable 40% shorter travel



Did you always dream of owning this particular car/model ? 

Deepest in perhaps yet, but in fact I just love Volkswagen


Will you keep it forever and are their any particular reasons why ?

I bought the Ghia in 1992 as a complete wreck. It was painted and finally put together in 1997 just in time for the big event BugStop Skagen. I have many great memories from BugRun Mantorp Park, European Bug In Belgium and of course Men in Bugs Summer meeting in Østerhurup.


Are there any advices you can give potential coming owners of this type of car, anything to look out for or to avoid?

Avoid too much rust, it is far from the easiest car to clear out rust to say it the least.


You can follow Per on Instagram with @ghiamaan,



Edited by: Niklas Walentin, Chief Editor and Co-founder of Copenhagen Classic Car

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