My 73 Ghia Convertible

VW underneath a classic Italian body design.

Moderator: FJCamper

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Speedy
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:56 pm
Location: Houston, TX

My 73 Ghia Convertible

Post by Speedy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:29 am

Just wanted to share some pictures of my 1973 Ghia we have almost finished. The Ghia was a little rough when we started, but we can finally drive it, legally, on the road. It has been a fun journey, most of the time. I am looking forward to attending some of the VW shows like the Texas Classic, the Eureka Springs show in AR, Circle Yer Wagens in TN and of course our show the Monumental Bug Bash near Houston TX.
The front end was replaced with a donor front end. New rocker panel, front and rear quarter panels and the convertible support rails were replaced. The pans were replaced along with fabricating and replacing parts of the deck behind the rear seat. The battery tray was also replaced. For the doors, pieces were cut from donor doors and used to repair the doors now on the Ghia.
After many hours of body work; hammer and dolly, cutting and grinding, and sanding, and sanding and sanding we finally were able to block the car for paint. Mitchell applied PPG Dark Gray Metallic with several layers of clear. We have cut and buffed the paint and will be doing some touch-ups in the future.
We also purchased some olive burl veneer, cut out templates out of the cheap stuff first, then cut out the final olive burl and applied it to the dash. This took some patience. We had to steam and glue and clamp from one side of the dash to the other, but we finally were able to make it fit. Then I applied some chestnut stain and clear gloss to finish. Looks great!
We also fabricated a console for the tunnel with a plate for the gauges and cut-out for the stick shift. We’ve worked on the trunk, fabricating our own panels and covered them with fabric.
The seats are from an Acura Legend. They are 6 way power seats. We had them recovered and my name was stitched into the head rest. Very nice & comfortable. I actually sewed up the door panel pockets on my home sewing machine, designed the door panels myself. They came out like factory-made!!! I surprised myself.
We also installed the carpet, front windshield, and convertible top. We had both bumpers re-chromed.
We installed a new wiring harness & brakes.
I built the 1600 cc motor and it started on the first attempt. I also cleaned all of the parts. We also powder coated the tin for the engine. We intend to replace this engine with a slightly larger one soon. This was my first attempt to build an engine, also my first attempt to re-building a car, & we used parts we had from the engine that came with the Ghia. I did replace all of the bearings and had the heads machined.
Would like to hear some feedback!
Speedy
’73 Ghia
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VTghia73
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:40 am

Re: My 73 Ghia Convertible

Post by VTghia73 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:45 am

Nice Work!
Gary

Speedy
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:56 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: My 73a Convertible

Post by Speedy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:05 pm

Thanks. Lots of work. I am 64 & a grandma (MiMi), & this is my first engine build, project. I've learned a lot about cars in general. Also watch Street Outtaws & other car shows/races,. Never thought i would work on cars, including body work. I enjoyed tappiing out dents the old fashioned way. It's been a long 2 years working off & on, but now i'm ready to show it at the next VW Show, Eureka Springs late August. My kids still are amazed at what i can do. But thanks for the compliment.

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FJCamper
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Birmingham AL

Re: My 73 Ghia Convertible

Post by FJCamper » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:17 pm

Hi Speedy,

Great work and I know it all comes from love.I'm Frank Camper, the Ghia moderator here, and we campaign a Ghia in classic sports car racing.

You might not know of the Ghia song by the Beach Boys.

I wrote it, they sung it. Here it is.

Little Karmann Coupe: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-nxYy6HEX0

FJC

eericson
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:11 am

Re: My 73 Ghia Convertible

Post by eericson » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Very nice work! And a first-timer at 64? You rock!

Speedy
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:56 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: My 73 Ghia Convertible

Post by Speedy » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:01 am

I would like to thank both of you for the feedback. I must apologize for the late response, we have been moving. I also have just turned on the feature notifying me of responses to posts I have responded to. I’ll try to be more active on this link. Good stories. OH!!! 53 is MY number, year I was born.
Frank, thanks for the link to the song. Too cool. I did not know you wrote it, I am not sure I remember it. I was listening to Mexican music at the time. I do like the song, very catchy. I think we saw you race in Ennis TX around 2008 or 2009. I remember walking through the lot where the cars were, I guess the pit area, and seeing a Ghia with a fan blowing on the motor. I was amazed at how fast VWs could be. Later we heard the announcer say the driver of the Ghia was in his sixties, I believe. I also remember watching the Ghia screaming down the track. I took a video of the run and sent it to my son. He has a ’71 Chevelle with a 454. I wanted him to see what a Ghia could do. He did not believe me at first when I had him on the phone to hear the roar. So I video-taped it, ha!
As I stated earlier I am looking forward to taking my Ghia to car shows. In addition to Eureka Springs we hope to attend the Circle Yer Wagens in TN, LOVE Tennessee!

Speedy

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