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Body to chassis work..

Just wanted to toss up some pictures of the front-end stance (top row) some folks on ShopTalkForums wanted profile shots.  These aren’t full profile but it’s all we have at the moment.

The first picture is the result of the initial body to chassis merge.  I wanted to see if we could go lower.  Kevin then tweaked the suspension to drop the front a bit more.    I keep forgetting that these are 17 inch wheels – and as pictured, no rubbing, lock to lock! Trying to find the optimal mix between aesthetics and performance.

Ghias have narrow rear wheel wells.  So on the rear we rolled the fenders a bit to comfortably fit the 205s, but now we can (and will, eventually) go to 215s with no problem.




The Basilari 306R chassis featured at Hot VWs Drag Day

First public showing of the Basilari 306R (well, the chassis at least) and apparently, the chassis was a hit! Kevin said that his booth had visitors checking on the chassis all day long. Photos below!

The Drag Day is an event held twice a year in Southern California. Since we brought this event back just over 10 years ago, it has been a tremendous success.”



Chassis assembly – coming together..

Good updates received today.  The Redline ECU was delivered.  All parts have returned from powder coating and Kevin has installed the radiator frame and coolant pipes.   The motor was re-bolted to the transaxle as well.   The car is really, really coming together although we still have a long ways to go.

Next up – kafer bars, completion of the starter system, ECU installation, fuel system and finding some cheap tires.



Silver chassis and clutch access panel.

Another quick update:

1. The chassis has returned from powder coating.  It’s two powder coat layers – one silver and the other clear.

2. The second photo shows the access panel for the hydraulic clutch system.

This chassis is going to really pop when the dark red suspension components return from powder coating.  We’ll try to hold off on updates until we get some significant progress on the chassis.



Body, engine and radiator fitment.

Great updates today!  Kevin did a preliminary mock fitting of the body on the chassis with the radiator and motor.  It’s starting to look like a real car.



More roll cage photos..

Roll Cage (driver's side)

Roll Cage (driver’s side)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (bar view)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (bar view)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (bar view)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (bar view)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (bar view 1) Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (interior view - 1)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (driver's side)

Karmann Ghia Roll Cage (driver’s side)

Photo updates for the roll cage build.



Build update: roll cage and other items

Good progress on the roll cage was made this week.  In the photos you’ll see some welded bracing placed at strategic points on the body.   The interior shots are of the custom bends and cross barred section in the rear.   Kevin said there’s going to be about 50 feet of steel tubing used when it’s all said and done.  And we’re going to power coat the whole monstrosity in the same red as will be found in the suspension components.

Other photos are more cosmetic – the black mamba shifter is shown (we’ve had it a while) and the rear Wilwood calipers with e-brake setup are in as well.    We’re getting there!




Tire/wheel sizing tool.

The whole tire/wheel sizing thing got to be real complicated for this build.  At this point we’re looking at a set of 18 inch wheels and needed to do some preliminary sizing work.    So, after an hour or so tinkering around in Excel we came up with the attached tire/wheel sizing calculator tool.   You can put in a target size at the top and then try to “solve” for your tire/wheel combination.   So we’ve got the rough dimension work out of the way but we’re still going to need to determine our optimal offsets and such.

We’ve uploaded the tool so that others can use it for testing.   Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like (click the graphic to download):

Tire-sizing-sheet Tire/wheel sizing calculator (Excel).

This could help some other build projects out there.  If you find it useful, let us know and we’ll link to your project!



Transaxle fitted in chassis.

The SubaruGears transaxle mounted and shifting!  Kevin is an artist!



I got a feeling..

..that when this car is done, my conversations about it will go something like this (from the Fast and Furious):

Brian: So what’s your best time?

Dom: I’ve never driven her…

Brian: Why not?

Dom: She scares the shit out of me.

I’ve been reading some of the air cooled related forums and such, and people have  mentioned how fast and scary some 150HP Ghias are (traditional air cooled motors and the 4-cylinder Subarus).  Given the design goals for this project, I think this may be a car that’s too scary to drive.   Seriously.



Built January 16, 1958 in Osanbrueck, Germany..

The “birth certificate” arrived from the Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkwagen!  Original color was Aero Silver with Grey White roof.   It’s cool to see this and know that the new color will be very similar, just a darker roof.



Ghia Road Course Setup

This is one of the best threads ever regarding suspension tuning on a Karmann Ghia:

The first question anyone who knows racing should ask here is why run a Ghia?

To win, you can’t just run a car you love and hope it will win. You have to run a car you know that can win.

The VW Karmann Ghia is that car. Here’s the bullet points of why it can win.

  • The Ghia is light, 2000lb. and under. In today’s racing world that is usually 1000lb. less than the competition. And by competition, we mean anything you pick out on the track to beat. Forget classes for a moment, think lap times.
  • The Ghia has the advantage of a rear engine, which greatly helps accelleration traction, and weight distribution in braking over almost any front engine car.
  • Old Doc Porsche knew what he was doing with the suspension design, and general chassis dynamics. It was the layout of his Grand Prix Auto Unions just before WWII. The Ghia’s chassis comes from an old race car, but one that works.

FJCamper, ShopTalkForums thread (“Ghia Road Course Setup“)




Mendeola chassis/body fitment

Mendeola testing the body/chassis fitment.   It actually looks like a real car in the picture of the shop.  Kevin also put both seats in the car to see how they looked.   Still too big.




Body and Bulkhead

Yesterday Mendeola pulled the body off to verify some measurements. The bulkhead is installed and the pan halves are going on.



Chassis build started..

Mendeola has started the chassis work.