The Ultimate Las Vegas Cruiser – The Type 34 Karmann Ghia
Posted on September 23 2018
In Las Vegas, life hustles on a razor’s edge. What better to do but drop it low, and cruise slow. Here’s the perfect ride to do so.
The Cool Flo collective is a global community inspired by the VW lifestyle. It’s the freedom of the road and the great outdoors that we find mesmerising. It’s all we know. It’s all we want to know. Bringing you the stories behind this buzzing culture is our passion. So here, in collaboration with Superfly Autos, we feature a 1965 Type 34 Karmann Ghia, super clean and slammed in all its glory.
The Karmann Ghia was first styled in the fifties by Italian Luigi Serge, the brains behind the earlier Carrozzeria Ghia. Luigi’s car design was then hand built by German coachbuilder Karmann - hence the name Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Later in 1961 the Type 34 variant was released using Volkswagen’s new flat 1500cc engine combined with the chassis of a Type 3. Also known as the ‘Razor Edge Ghia’, it was Volkswagen’s fastest, most luxurious, and most expensive car at the time. Still today, on the hot streets of Las Vegas, the Razor Edge Ghia can’t help but be admired.
The Type 34 is a rare car to find these days. Only a few ever made it to the USA. So, owner Richard felt so lucky to find that his friend had one for sale at a car show. Spurred on by his wife Shannon, who instantly fell in love with the Type 34, Richard went ahead and purchased his dream car! He had an excellent opportunity and he took it.
He paid $2000 back in the year 2000, and knew that this rare find would deliver, despite not being in the best of shape. Richard has a history of customising VWs – a personal mission of his is to make each one slammed as low to the ground as possible, and he has special plans for this smooth shaped ride!
Richard likes to get involved creatively with his projects. His taste of the low life is inspired by Mini Truckin Magazine, where air ride suspension, hydraulics, and bodydrops is the way to go. For Richard, low was the only way to go. As low as possible. He first tried air ride suspension for his Type 34, but he went further and settled with custom made hydraulics to get that perfect drop.
Only a few subtle changes were added to that superb styling of the car, as Richard wanted to keep the car as it was intended. For wheels he added a set of Dayton Wires, 7x17-inch at the front and 8x18-inch at the rear, and these were covered with Yokohama tyres. Then there’s that paint job: a Mercedes 147 Arctic White, to be exact. The combination of that awesome slam, the paint work and that classic, unique body work comes together brilliantly.
Now for inside, and there’s a few cool surprises here. Richard decided to replace the original 1500cc engine with one from a Mazda 6, which is mated to a VW Bus gearbox! I’m sure most of us can agree that that’s not something you see every day. But pop the hood, and at first glance you’d never doubt the engine was originally intended for the car. Richard did an incredible job installing it snugly while keeping the engine bay looking super clean.
The custom work doesn’t end here, not for Richard. If you’ve been looking closely, with a keen eye, you may have noticed already. Richard went ahead and converted the car to right hand drive! His execution is superb, topped off with the red leather interior which works so well with the arctic white exterior. Richard has achieved his desired effect – a classy look found in old Corvettes, bound in the beautiful Razor Edge Ghia, finished with a slam to the ground. S
Thanks to Richard for sharing the story behind his head-turner of a Type 34, and to the collaborative work with SuperFly Autos.
The Cool Flo Collective: explore our treasure trove of VW inspired news and features. Wherever you are, make sure you #GoWithTheFlo.Share this Cool Flo Collective feature on Facebook