The Norman Transcript

Features

April 6, 2014

1970 Karmann Ghia a keeper

NORMAN — Ron Tucker’s 1970 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (KG) Type 14 was an uncommon sight on a busy Saturday morning in Norman.

He was driving the unusual yellow coupe east on Robinson Street and parked briefly at a shop which allowed for a closer look. Tucker’s KG isn’t the only one in town but it’s one of a very few.

“The most common question I get about this car is ‘What is it?’” the retired nuclear medicine technician said.

Younger people don’t know because they’ve never seen one and it’s been just enough years that many oldsters have forgotten the vehicle’s atypical name. They are Volkswagen automobiles but the styling is by the Milan, Italy design house Carrozzeria Ghia that has envisioned sheet metal lines for everything from Ferrari to Chrysler.

Karmann is an automotive powerhouse based in Osnabruck, Germany, that made the steel bodies for VW from 1955 to 1974. Although they’re best known for these cars, they’ve also collaborated with Porsche, BMW and even on the 1968 American Motors Corporation’s Javelin.

Tucker’s KG has genuine curb appeal. For being more than 40 years old, it’s a solid little car that’s both functional and attractive. It has little flaws here and there but overall it’s the kind of ride with appeal for collector and driver. Tucker was lucky to find it and even better the purchase price was significantly below its value.

“It’s mostly all original but has been re-painted,” Tucker said. “I saw it for sale in an OKC residential area on my way home from work at Integris four years ago.”

He’d been searching for something fun to drive around on weekends after retirement. Tucker has had other sports cars in previous years and looked forward to the nimble handling and quick acceleration they provide.

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