Part VW part Porsche Karmann Ghia RS

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Part VW part Porsche Karmann Ghia RS

Karmann-Ghia-RS-jochen bader

This Karmann Ghia RS is the only one of its class ever. It’s the culmination of years of hard work from one man owner Jochen Bader. Its part Volkswagen and part Porsche; the body is a VW Ghia and the engine is an air cooled 3.6 liter boxer engine from Porsche 993.

Jochen Bader, the proud owner, took the sporty body of a 1970 Karmann Ghia and pumped it full of Porsche technology. The result was a hybrid beast that’s second to none. Bader tells that he got the 6 cylinder engine for cheap. It had power to spare, was intact and durable. And so he thought he’d build a car around it. He knew the motor wouldn’t fit into a VW Beetle but then he thought of the Karmann and realized, it’d be a perfect fit.

Originally the Karmann Ghia was a tamed little coupe with a 50 horsepower engine. In its original condition, it wasn’t suited to life on the fast lane. But still, in the 1960’s the little Volkswagen Ghia proved a hit with women.

Karmann-Ghia-RS-a-hit-with-women

But after Jochen Bader had finished pimping it, the tamed little Ghia went wild. Now his four-decade-old VW delivers the performance of a modern Porsche. The 321 horsepower 3.6 liter CC engine can propel the car to a top speed of more than 300 kilometers an hour.

The Ghia had good aerodynamics from the start. Now even modern-day sports cars have to make way for Bader’s Karmann Ghia RS. He’s used to the stunt looks.

Bader says even when he overtakes a Porsche or a Daimler the drivers are enthused and get a laugh out of it. The feedback is all positive; people give him the thumbs up and tell him it’s cool that a car like this can go so fast.

The pimping

The mechanical design engineer spent four years creating his Karmann Ghia hybrid. That he couldn’t have done it without the assistance of Stephan and Andreas – two automotive engineering students. They help him with the chassis, the brakes and the aerodynamics. And even wrote their thesis on the car.

The VW Beetle platform has often proved a good basis for modifications or reconstructions and the Karmann Ghia which was produced from 1956 to 1974 also employed Volkswagen technology.

While it looks sporty, the series production 2+2 sitter was hardly a speed demon. Its engine produced just 50 horsepower at best and the gear mechanism couldn’t go over 140 kilometers an hour. Still, the model proved a hit. Over 400,000 rolled off the assembly lines at Karmann’s factory in Osnabruck, Germany before its successor, the Scirocco went into production in 1974.

With the exception of the 18-inch wheels, Jochen Bader’s Ghia looks pretty much the same as the series production model. Though on closer inspection, you can see a steel roll cage through the rear window. Otherwise Jochen Bader has remained true to his motto; “why draw attention to yourself unnecessarily?”

Power under the hood

Karmann-Ghia-RS-engine

The most flamboyant part of the car is found under the hood. An air cooled 6 cylinder boxer engine from the Porsche 993. After undergoing various modifications, the 3.6 liter motor produces a whopping 321 horsepower. And that distinctive Porsche sound too.

The interior is very minimalist; Jochen Bader has integrated a tube frame into the Karmann body to improve stability and safety. This framework supports all of the Porsche technology.

Hidden underneath the VW body is the front and rear axles of a Porsche 944 turbo. The car is cost him plenty of money and sleepless nights. But for Jochen Bader it was all worth the effort.

Karmann-Ghia-RS-drive axles

He says for as long as he can remember people have dreamed of being the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It started in the ‘70s with the beetle but it’s harder with the new generation of cars like the VW Golf, which are already fast. He feels it’s boring just to make them go faster. No one gives a hoot about that. But take a 40 year old car like this which no one thinks can do over 100, he says then it’s something when you’re doing two hundred clicks and shift in the 5th gear knowing you still have a 6th.

Jochen Bader loves to push the car to its limits and doesn’t much care what purists think of his Porsche powered creation. His Karmann Ghia RS is a one-of-a-kind creation that runs circles around the rest

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