A/b: 1963 Karmann Ghia Coupe Type 34

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Next up, and winner of this week’s NGP Racing $50.00 gift certificate is VWvortex reader: Lee Hedges

Q: How long have you been into vintage VWs?

A: For almost 20 years. My parents drove a 1963 VW Panel Van and a 1972 VW Westfalia Camper when I was a kid. My first car was a 1971 SuperBeetle and my first vintage VW was a 1962 Beetle Sedan. I’ve owned almost every air-cooled VW built and discovered that I loved the Type 34 Karmann Ghia. I’ve owned 10 of them over the past 20 years, and I wouldn’t own any other model of vintage car.

Q: How long have you owned this car?

A: Just a few months, since April 2005.

Q: Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

A: This T34 was originally delivered to Italy, then exported to South Africa and finally into California in 1967. It’s got 186k miles and has never been modified by its previous four owners.

Q: Why did you choose this car to purchase?

A: It was a clean, original, complete, daily-driving T34, something that’s difficult to find these days.

Q: What was your objective with this car?

A: To clean it up, replace seals & missing parts, restore the interior, and enjoy driving it until my other T34 restoration is completed.

Q: What sort of style would you describe this car as?

A: Vintage Original.

Q: What makes your car special?

A: There are currently about 600 T34s worldwide that are capable of driving daily. This one is a well-behaved original early model with the stock single carb 1500cc engine, 6V electrical system, original drum brakes, and original interior… and it’s never been involved in an accident.

Q: What is your favorite part/feature/function?

A: The working fog lights when used with the headlights, a unique feature of the T34s, the only air-cooled VW to have fog lights as standard equipment.

Q: What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

A: Finding some of the rare T34 parts to keep it stock & authentic for 1963.

Q: How did you overcome the issue?

A: Actively talking/emailing with other T34 owners around the world & buying parts as soon as I found them.

Q: What would you change if you could?

A: I’d love to have an electric sunroof.

Q: What would you do to the car if money were no object?

A: Return the color to its original Ruby Red & Black.

Q: What is your most memorable moment with this car?

A: The drive back from Phoenix, AZ to Carlsbad, CA when I bought it was exciting, driving it for the first time and not knowing how it’d perform during the 450-mile adventure. It was very well-behaved and handled the cruise like a pro.

Q: Has this car competed in any events?

A: It took 2nd Place at this year’s Vintage VW Spring Festival in Carlsbad, participated in the San Diego Vintage Rally with 60 other vintage VWs & Porsches, and of course participated in the VW Classic on the 50th Anniversary of the Karmann Ghia.

Q: What is your favorite place to drive this car?

A: On Pacific Coast Highway along the San Diego coastline enjoying the beaches, the waves, the sun, and the girls walking on the strand.

Q: Who gets to drive this car?

A: Just me & a couple T34 friends.

Q: Do you ever take it off any sweet jumps?

A: Huh?

Q: If your car had a motto, what would it be?

A: “Life’s too short to be driven by boring owners.”

Q: What was your previous project?

A: I’m currently working on the frame-off restoration of another T34, a 1965 T34 Right-Hand-Drive Electric Sunroof example from South Africa. Before that I restored the third earliest known T34 in the world and created an accurate T34 Cabriolet replica.

Q: What one word best describes your car?

A: Well-behaved.

Owner Information:

Name – Lee Hedges

Address – Carlsbad, CA

E-mail – LeeHedges@PureT34.org

Occupation – Biotech Equipment Sales Rep

Club Affiliations – T34 Registry, PureT34, KGOC-GB, KGCNA

Vehicle Information:

Year – 1963

Make – Volkswagen

Model – Karmann Ghia Coupe, Type 34

Mileage – 186,000

Original Color – Ruby Red & Black

Current Color – Porsche Guards Red & Black

Engine – 45-hp stock 1500cc single carburetor capable of 80mph

Thanks/Props – Thanks to the four previous owners who maintained this little car, stayed away from modifications, and protected it from 42 years of traffic.

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