Ferrari, Jaguar and VW Karmann Ghia (Really!) On London Telegraph's Top-100 car list

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My father liked the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and he recommended I purchase the one I owned for a few years nearly 30 years ago. It was a 1966 edition, dark green with all chrome trim. The windshield wipers didn’t work well, nor did the heater.


But the Ghia had its moments. I once drove it round-trip from Sacramento to Las Vegas and managed to maneuver through heavy rain, strong winds and followed a snow plow over a mountain pass on Interstate 50.

A few years into ownership, the Ghia was heavily vandalized and I sold it cheap.

Turns out my father had good taste, similar to readers of The (London) Daily Telegraph.

In its recently released list of the “100 Most Beautiful Cars,” the VW Karmann Ghia was voted No. 32, finishing better than some Ferraris and eight positions shy of the unique Talbot Lago T150C SS.

The London Daily Telegraph’s comment on the Talbot Lago was great, succinct commentary: “Commonly known  as the “Teardrop” — a reference to the elegant shape, rather than the eye-watering prices they fetch at auction today.”

The is counting down the list in 20-car increments and here are the No. 40-21 vehicles on the list, selected among 367 vehicles receiving mentions among thousands of votes.

40. Lancia Stratos
39. Ford GT40
38. Ferrari 365
37. Ferrari 275 GTB
36. Citroen Traction Avant
35. Citroen SM
34. Bentley Continental S2/S3
33. Auburn Speedster
32. VW Karmann Ghia
31. Morgan Plus 4/Plus 8
30. MG-T Series
29. Lotus Elite
28. Jensen Interceptor
27. Jaguar XJ6
26. Iso Grifo
25. Ferrari 330 P4
24. Talbot Lago T150C SS
23. Alfa Romeo 8C Competitor
22. Cord 810/812 Roadster
21. Alfa Romeo

Stay tuned for the top-20 and an expanded report on the newspaper readers’ selection of the Most Beautiful Car.


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1 thought on “Ferrari, Jaguar and VW Karmann Ghia (Really!) On London Telegraph's Top-100 car list”

  1. In the golden age of American muscle cars, what would be the appropriate first car for an anxious, desperate, American teenage boy? Mustang? Everybody’s ‘68 dream car, the GTO? Corvette? Yeah, keep dreaming. What I needed or, more importantly, wanted was something a little out of the ordinary, a little different, with a bit of cache and, well, cheap . . . Ah, the 1964 Karmann Ghia; the poor man’s Porsche, sports car, whatever. Four years old when I received it and looking older with an ugly turquoise paint; but the used-car dealer threw in a new dark green paint job for the $800 asking price. Now, I know we’re talking the same 41hp engine from the “bug,” but it sure seemed faster – and more fun.
    Like you said, the Ghia had its’ moments. Like driving the winding, undulating roads through a forested watershed in Baltimore County on a painfully beautiful day; school and work a distant memory, if only for a moment – and this is before BMWs and learning how to drive a proper curve. I really liked the look and the lines of my old Ghia and the good memories of driving my beautiful first car.

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