Though this one is a bit outside of the price ranges we normally focus on here at Moto Roster, the Karmann Ghia Type 34 is one of our favorite designs ever. So, when one this nice comes up for sale, we're flexible on our normal limits. We've been on the hunt for a 912 and it's funny that for the same $35,000 you would spend on a nice-condition 912, you could get a different 1600cc-powered German that makes 912's look as common as Camry's.
Intended to be the successor to the wildly popular Type 14 Karmann Ghia, the Type 34 was more refined, powerful, and unfortunately, more expensive. Unlike its younger brother, the Type 34 was built on the Type 3 platform instead of the Beetle giving it more room, and a more refined presence on the road.
The high price tag wasn't a huge deterrent at first as the 34 was the only game in town for this amount of power and sportiness in a VW. The sleek Italian styling didn't hurt either. By the time this particular example rolled out in 1966 though other models had caught up in terms of displacement and the Type 34's high price tag became too great an obstacle to overcome.
The current owner has had the car for about 20 years and has used it as intended so he's quick to point out it is not a show car. A repaint from at least 20 years ago still show well and the interior looks like it must have received new carpet at some point.
To give some example of how rare these cars are, the seller says that this was the "Michael S. Barnett" car. We don't know of too many other cars (that weren't handbuilt in Italy) that are referred to by the original owner. Certainly not many VWs.
$35,000 is a lot, and perhaps the most we've seen asked for an unrestored 34, but we're thinking it's not too crazy. As the P-car bubble continues to rise, we see no reason that this rare example shouldn't be lifted equally, it not more.
Find this Type 34 on TheSamba in Bellevue, WA.
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