Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
The Karmann Ghia was one of those good ideas that we can all be thankful was pushed into existence. Fusing the bombproof aircooled underpinnings of the VW Beetle with an achingly gorgeous body styled by Ghia's Luigi Segre, the hand-built coupé was a runaway success. It quickly became the USA's biggest automotive import of its time, and the global production figure topped 445,000 in its nineteen-year run.
OK, they weren't quick, but - like all aircooled VeeDubs - they were easily tuneable, although the model was always meant to be more of a boulevard cruiser than a sports car. And this is a brief that it fulfils perfectly. The silhouette has aged sublimely too, and it often appears in designers' top-ten lists of all-time most beautiful cars.
I can't tell you why this particular one has been trimmed in Veuve Clicquot colours. I do know that it was doing the rounds on the show scene as recently as 2013 in this orange-and-white combo but with a standard black vinyl interior, so I'd like to think that the themed retrim was merely a reaction to a casual suggestion that the exterior looked a bit Champagney. Whatever the thinking, it's a masterstroke, it really does look superb. While countless Karmann Ghias are trundling around wearing the heavy patina of age (and there's nothing at all wrong with that), it's refreshing to see one as luxurious and swanky as this. Lovely little thing.
Spotted at the 2014 Goodwood Revival - more photos here.