SUBTLY DOES IT (FOR US!)
Volks World|January 2020
So often, less is more. And we reckon that’s definitely the case with this oh so subtle ’66 Ghia
Jon Cass

There are certain Karmann Ghias that look just right, and dare we say Simon Larsen’s ’67 US import is one of them. There’s no air ride, the slammed suspension is static and combined with those JGE Kosmic rims and that rare factory Castilian Yellow paintwork, aesthetically we reckon he’s nailed it.

Simon and his family are certainly no stranger to air-cooled VWs, his dad having purchased a ’58 Bug for his first car. “My dad always liked Beetles and in 1990 he managed to get hold of a fire-damaged 1974 1300 which he repaired and rebuilt,” Simon recalls. “He ran it for a few years, but it ended up coming off the road and became a permanent feature on our drive while I was growing up.”

Walking past it to school every day, Simon could hardly ignore the stricken ’74, and by the time he was 14, he began to take a keen interest in it. “My enthusiasm spurred my dad on to begin restoring the Bug which had by now become quite rotten and together we rebuilt it into a Baja Bug,” Simon recalls. “We ran the Baja for a few years and it was great fun, but it was left laid up again needing welding work after damage caused while offroading.”

Worthwhile experience

A decade on, Simon suddenly found a renewed enthusiasm for the Baja but faced something of a dilemma. “By now it needed loads of work and because I was after more of a factory look I tracked down a relatively rust-free ’69 1200 ’shell and the Baja was sold to fund a suitable engine, wings and various other parts from a written-offBeetle I’d found in a local scrapyard.

On closer inspection, though, we discovered it had been shunted back and front so it turned into a full nut and bolt restoration. By the time we’d finished, we’d fitted new floorpans, front and rear quarters, doors, wings, wiring harness and carried out a full respray!”

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