Hi from New Zealand

VW underneath a classic Italian body design.

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toeinthewater
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm

Hi from New Zealand

Post by toeinthewater » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:02 am

G'day,
Newbie and DIY challenged, looking for a rust-free, straight KG, 1968 - 72 from California to import to New Zealand with the intention of having it resto-modded. Anyone with a suitable car out there? Something in primer would be fine.
The intention is to fit a Subaru 2.5 engine and matching 5 spd transmission, using a transmission kit from CIP.
What would you suggest I upgrade the suspension and brakes to? Would I need to add a bracing bar across the engine and trunk bays?
Cheers,

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FJCamper
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Location: Birmingham AL

Re: Hi from New Zealand

Post by FJCamper » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:52 am

Hi,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Ghia's. Up here, we know and respect NZ as the home of the World's Fastest Indian.

Do you have someone in the States looking for a Ghia for you?

Are you having the Subaru conversion done in NZ, or contracting for it in the States?

The answer to a suspension upgrade is yes. You'd need it for the added Sub weight, and it will take bracing in strategic places, but not much. Now be advised, you are on the cost escalator here, as even a 1972 Ghia is now 44 years old and will need redone seats and upholstery.

I hope we can do something to help you, as you'd be saving another Ghia.

Our team, RetroRacing, runs Ghia's in historic sports car races, we finished third in class in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico, and love these cars.

Here's a clip or two of us from historic sports car racing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tng5ReSc2wY (Road Atlanta)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qmj_OjTLdk (Sebring)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUEFG3PgINs (Savannah)

FJC

toeinthewater
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Hi from New Zealand

Post by toeinthewater » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:36 am

Hi FJC,
Thanks for your response and the links to your car racing! What engine and transmission setup do you run? Do you have any bracing bars across the engine bay/trunk space for better handling?
I am having the conversion done in NZ, and am trawling thru Craigslist looking for cars in the LA area in California, since the shipping company is located in Long Beach, and I won't have to pay large amounts for bringing the car to them. "Medium dream, tiny budget" is how I might describe my project.........
Since NZ is such a small market, bodywork is very expensive to do here, so for me, rust is the biggest enemy.
Cheers,
Denzil

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FJCamper
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Location: Birmingham AL

Re: Hi from New Zealand

Post by FJCamper » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:37 pm

Hi Denzil,

On our 1965 swing axle 1600 Ghia, we installed a kafer bar, which is a bolt-in bar that ties the rear uprights together and triangulates to the frame horns. These stop frame horn flex and wheel hop on acceleration. Ours worked great. In fact, it worked so great our bolt-on camber compensator bracket never loosened, and they are famous for that. The transaxle for the '65 was stock ratios, but race-strenghtened.

You can kafer an 1600 and 2.2 litre IRS Ghia as well. but we took a different approach on our 1600 1970 Ghia. We used steel straps to bolt the transaxle down to the suspension yoke, and a very hefty dune-buggy brace to replace the light, stamped steel transaxle support. It's all bolt-on. We use both race-prepped close ratio and 3.88 final drive gearboxes in it.

You've apparently seen the weld and non-weld transaxle braces for installing bus and Porsche transmissions in the VW Type 1. With a Subaru engine, I think you'll need one. We have yoke-stressing experience.

We also race a high-powered 2.2 litre 1303 Super Bug in an odd, entertaining series named LeMons which is supposedly for $500 USD cars. We have to run against all those $500 BWM's. Our torque is so great it broke all the welds on the right rear of the body and bent the yoke, until after a crash, we rewelded everything together.

Here's the Blitzwagen kicking ass and taking names at Carolina Motorsports Park. The namelist includes BMW's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvYgzPgBRaw

One of our racing team guys (in fact, the driver in the video) has a VW bus with a Subaru engine, and loves it.

FJC

toeinthewater
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Hi from New Zealand

Post by toeinthewater » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:22 am

Thanks for all the info. The learning curve is steep, but well worth it!

dustrat
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:31 pm

Re: Hi from New Zealand

Post by dustrat » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:37 pm

Hi Denzil, just read your post looking for a Ghia. I,m from UK and I imported 2 RHD Ghia's 58 and 73 from Japan .Body wise in great condition but have had to do a lot of mechanical work. Might be worth looking closer to home.Robert

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