Brazilian TC can call itself the very last Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. What you get from far away…

Auto Motor Klassiek » Articles » Brazilian TC can call itself the very last Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. What you get from far away…
Purchasing classics there

… is good. At least that's how the saying goes. Joop de Vreede was immediately eager when he heard in the corridors that Rogi Classics had the first Karmann Ghia TC shipped from Brazil to the Netherlands, while the specialist had resolved to keep the Touring Coupé for himself. Well, fans of air-cooled Volkswagens who have come across everything before will at some point start looking far beyond their doors.

Text & photography: Aart van der Haagen

After a number of public appearances during meetings, the Type 145 is becoming increasingly recognized, but until 2016, virtually no Dutch person had ever spotted it in the wild. Logical, because Karmann Ghia do Brasil only circulated the model in South America and never considered exporting it. That would also have been rather underprivileged at a time when the European headquarters were gradually abandoning the old-fashioned concept of an air-cooled boxer engine in the rear, while a modern generation of Golfs, Passats and Sciroccos were waiting in the wings. Customers on the home market did not exactly swarm around the Touring Coupé like bees. After the manufacturing process got underway with a delay in 1972, it took the dealer organization quite some effort to sell out the 2+2-seaters. In 1975, Volkswagen do Brasil pulled the plug again, after only 18.119 copies.


The story of the Touring Coupé can be told quickly. Since 1962, Volkswagen do Brasil has built the Karmann Ghia Type 14, or 'the round' that we also know, in a separate factory. The more angular Type 34 was skipped, but in the late 3s ideas began to form to launch our own successor, one that would be a bit stronger in practical use. Above all, the newcomer had to say goodbye to the old-fashioned 1600s design. To play it safe, the Brazilian Volkswagen division called in the Italian design house Ghia, where none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro drew up the lines for a three-door fastback. He built his creation around the floor group with drivetrain of the Type XNUMX, commercially known as the XNUMX. This meant that the idea of ​​marketing the Touring Coupé as a sports car was lost in advance.

Everything is for sale

Fred van Gils of Rogi Classics thought he would secretly bring the 1974 Karmann Ghia TC to the Netherlands for himself, but who can imagine his surprise when he received a phone call from Joop de Vreede. “He wanted to buy the TC. Very surprised, I asked: 'How do you know that I would have such a car delivered?' 'It's on Facebook,' he replied.” A clear 'no' did not last long. “Joop said: 'Everything is for sale. Talk to your wife. I'll call you back in the morning.' Well, we discussed at home. The next morning I mentioned an amount and Joop immediately agreed. He bought the Karmann Ghia sight unseen.” De Vreede confirms this. “I had to add this car to my collection of air-cooled Volkswagens. At the same time, Fred obtained an SP2 from Brazil, from the same family. Afterwards I regret that I didn't buy it too. He would fit in perfectly.”

The whole story, complete with an extensive photo report, can be found in the September issue of Auto Motor Klassiek. It's on newsstands now. So get it!


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  1. Karmann Ghia TC reminds me quite a bit of the Glass sport (which subsequently became BMW). I was working on that at the time!! But of course the Glass with a front motor and this one with a rear motor. Same designer????

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