Karmann Ghia with Viper Power Displayed at Essen

When you think of the Karmann Ghia, chances are that “hot rod” and “fast” are far from the first things that comes to mind.  A few years ago, Illinois-based Deanz Rodz and Race Carz set out to change that line of thinking by taking a perfectly good Karmann Ghia and giving it the street rod treatment as well as stuffing a Viper-sourced V10 between its front fenders.  Needless to say, the car has gained quite a lot of attention since winning “Lokar’s Car of the Year” at the 2013 Detroit Autorama and earned an invite to this year’s Essen Motor Show.

Documentation of the build can be found here, and additional photos as well as a Press Release are available below.

In Germany, the era of the VW Karmann Ghia has long since passed, even if it has not been forgotten. It was a sports car which was affordable for the great mass of the population as well and was built between 1955 and 1974. Almost 40 years later in the USA, Dean Rodz from Graymont (Illinois) presented the Blue Mamba, a custom car on the basis of the German sports car from 1967. Apart from the external shape (the bodywork), hardly anything has been left over in the Mamba snake. Ironically, the engine originates from a Chrysler Viper (also a snake). However, the Viper engine, a 8.4-litre V10 engine, supplies an enormous power of 650 bhp. The 44 bhp supplied by the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine from 1967 looks rather modest in comparison. Amongst other features, the Blue Mamba has a six-speed gearbox which is shifted manually, different instruments, different seats and a rollover bar. It is more important that the custom car looks beautiful.