1967 Karmann Ghia
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Here is the story on Frenchy's famous 1967 Karmann Ghia. This car is a prime example of the popular Cal Look. In the years
1978-1980 it won 17 trophies, including Best of Show at Bug-In 21 & 22 and the title of "America's Most Beautiful Volkswagen". It has
retained its popularity today and was recently featured in the May 2005 Hot VWs feature
"Custom Ghia Top 10". We had to sell the
car in 1980 for a down payment on a mobile home. Frenchy has tried to locate it but has not had any luck. It would be a dream come
true for him if he were to find it and restore it to its former glory. Here is the story of the Ghia as told by the man himself:

I found the car in the Recycler newspaper in January 1975. I still have the bill of sale for it. I bought it from a teacher who lived in LA.
He sold the car for $1000 because he was moving to Australia and needed the money for the airline ticket. The first three photos were
taken just after I bought the car. I still have the original license plates. They are on the wall in the garage. In the third photo you can
see the original interior. I knew I wanted to make the car into a Cal Looker. The reason I bought a Ghia is because Roger Grago had a
very nice grey Ghia and I wanted to compete with him.

It was light blue when I bought it. I sanded it down and used spray cans to primer the whole car. You can see the result of that in
photo 4. Back then, some of us primered our cars with spray paint. After that, I lowered it and bought Riviera mag wheels for it. For a
while, I drove it just like that as my daily driver. Then I decided it was time to take it apart to begin the body and paint process.  I
bought a trailer from Steve Tims and a friend of mine from the club helped me get it to Bob Lilligard's shop (photo 5). We drilled a
hole through his Bug's bumper,  bolted a trailer ball through it and towed the Ghia from South Gate to Watts (LA), where Bob's shop
was, which was about 10 miles away. Photos 6-9 were taken while it was at Bob's shop. I chose Celica yellow because I liked it and I
wanted the car to stand out from the crowd.

While Bob had the car for the paint and body work, I began working on the engine and transmission. You can see the process in
photos 10-13. Photos 11 and 12 shows the transmission all detailed out. If you look at photo 14 you can see a close-up of the
aluminium firewall and the routing of the electrical system. Finally, the car was finished and here it is in photo 15 with original Empi 8
spokes on it.

The interior was done by Jere's VeeDub Seat Covers. He was in Garden Grove at the time. You can see the finished product in
photos 16-18. He did the carpeting and upholstery. He did a great job and it really fits well with the rest of the car. I installed a DDS
shifter and a  Formula France  steering wheel.  Here is the engine installed in the car (photo 19) and you can see my personalized
license plate, "My67KG".  I still have it and it is on display in my garage.

My Ghia was featured in the June 1979 Hot VWs article
"Ghia Mania". It was photographed at Knott's Berry Farm by my good friend,
R.K. Smith. That shoot was a lot of fun and I was honored to be included in the article. Photos 20-22 were taken at the shoot. Photo
22 shows all three cars that were featured in the article. There was a race car, a show car and a daily driver.

The last three photos are of the Ghia on display at Bug-In, where I would again take Best of Show honors. Photo 25 is the hood I had
made to display with the Ghia at shows. I almost sold that hood a few years ago. I'm glad I didn't and that instead it is on display in my
garage. I would love to have this Ghia back and restore it to how it looks in these pictures. Who knows? Maybe it will happen one day.
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To see more on the Ghia:
(Click on the photos to see a larger view.)
This is a shirt that I had made especially for my Ghia. It is air-brushed by hand.