At the start of the 1950s, Wilhelm Karmann, head of the car manufacturer of Osnabrück, dreamt of an open-top spider on the basis of the Volkswagen Beetle. In the spring of 1953, he commissioned his friend Luigi Segre, owner of Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, to design a convertible sports car. That October, Karmann inspected the result in a garage in Paris, and was delighted – although what he saw was actually a closed coupé. The elegant prototype also impressed Volkswagen's Managing Director at the time, Heinrich Nordhoff, and the decision was taken to develop a production model of a 2+2 coupé.
Turin design on a Beetle base
Two years later, in November 1957, the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 14 Cabriolet began rolling off the assembly line. 'The dream car for fastidious motorists who love to drive fast, even with the roof down,' claimed the sales brochure in 1958. The convertible top set benchmarks in terms of workmanship, material and low noise.
Open-top dream: Karmann Ghia Type 14 Cabriolet
After 19 successful years and the production of 362,601 coupés and 80,881 convertible Karmann Ghia Type 14, the elegant model from Osnabrück went into retirement in 1974. Volkswagen heralded a new era: the Scirocco was ready to take its place.
Production draws to an end after almost two decades
A first in Bremen
Volkswagen Classic's Karmann Ghia Type 14 can be seen in Hall 5 from 31 January to 02 February 2020, together with more exhibits from throughout Volkswagen's rich history. Under the slogan 'Tradition verbindet' (Tradition connects), Volkswagen Classic has once again teamed up with Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge Oldtimer, Audi Tradition, Volkswagen Classic Parts, and 1. Kaferclub Wolfsburg for a united presence at the motor show. Roughly 650 exhibitors from twelve different countries are represented across an area of 47,000 m² at the Bremen Classic Motorshow. An estimated 45,000 visitors can look forward to over 100 clubs, a large parts market and an international sales exhibition, as well as the manufacturers' stands.
Tradition connects in Hall 5
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2019, Volkswagen delivered 6,28 million vehicles including bestselling models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat. Currently, 195,878 people work for Volkswagen across the globe. The brand also has over 10,000 dealerships with 86,000 employees. Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production. E-mobility, smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.
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