Going into the Sixties, Volkswagen decided that they needed to shake things up a little as the original Karmann Ghia was losing a lot of its novelty value.

In September 1961, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, they launched a completely redesigned version, in coupe form only, under the works title of the Type 34 Karmann Ghia, although the model became rapidly known as the Type 2 Karmann.

The Volkswagen Type 2 Karmann Ghia’s beautiful styling for the Sixties was once again fruits of the company’s long-term association with Italian engineering and design shop Carrozzeria Ghia.

With its very strong resemblance to the recently launched Type 3 series, the Type 34 Karmann Ghia was powered by Volkswagen's new flat four-cylinder 1,493-cc (91.1-cu.in.) engine.

Thanks to its lightweight body, the new coupe was Volkswagen fastest production car of the Sixties, capable of reaching a top speed of 85 mph (137 k/ph) and generating 53 bhp at 4,000 RPM.

The Type 2 Karmann Ghia sat on the same 94.5-inch wheelbase as its older sibling, although it was 5.5 inches longer and was quite a bit heavier at 820 Kilos.

Offering more in the way of interior and cargo space than the generation one Karmann Ghia, the Type 34 was considerably more luxurious, featuring such Sixties innovations as an electric clock, integral fog lights, round taillights, upper and lower dash pads, door pads, and long padded armrests.

For those who had a little new car budget left over, after already investing a considerable sum on their new Karmann Ghia, might have been pleased to discover that an electrically operated sliding steel sunroof was available as an option from 1962.

The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 2 became only the second automobile ever produced to offer this luxury.

The comparatively high price meant the second generation Karmann Ghia never generated high demand.

The Karmann Ghia Type 34 was the most expensive and luxurious passenger car VW manufactured in the Sixties, costing the same as two Beetles, and among the most expensive cars produced in West Germany of the Sixties.

Despite the costs, the Karmann Ghia was a classic of automotive art, often appearing in lists of the best-looking cars of all time, despite having several upgrades from its original 1200 cc engine, the Ghia 2 lacked the performance levels to go with its looks.

Despite VW's well-established reputation for sound engineering and the model’s sleek good looks, the Karmann Ghia Type 2 failed to break any records as far as sales.

For the close to seven years that the Karmann Ghia Type 2 was in production, VW sold just over forty thousand models, with its comparatively high price ticket and less than outstanding performance chasing many potential buyers away.

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