Nicolas Wlostowski’s 1973 Karmann Ghia

Every gearhead has dreamed of the elusive ‘barn find’ – a classic car, left and abandoned in a barn or shed, only to be found decades later in shockingly good shape. While this phenomenon is not as common as modern television might suggest, it became a reality for Nicolas Wlostowski.karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-4In June 2011 Nicolas and his dad found this 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 14 in a warehouse, where it had sat untouched for 20 years, caked in dust. The elderly woman who owned it told him it was in dire need of an engine rebuild, but when he wiped the dust away and got a better glimpse of the gorgeous green paint underneath, he knew this classic was meant to be his.karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-5Nicolas, an avid Porsche fan, found the Italian-designed Volkswagen to be a frugal alternative to its German cousins. The Karmann Ghia was, however, closer to a coach-built Volkswagen Beetle than a sports car. To give the twenty eight-year-old flat-four some much needed power, Nicolas had the stock 1500cc motor bored out to 1641cc. Along with the rebuild came a Stinger exhaust, Engle W100 camshaft, new pistons and a lightened crankshaft to keep them spinning.karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-6karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-7After giving the mechanical bits a proper restoration, Nicolas installed a 6cm narrowed beam and drop spindles in the front, then adjusted the torsion bars by four splines in the rear to keep the Type 14 well acquainted with the pavement. Yes – this is a static build. With the suspension in order, he raised the floorpan by 2 inches to slam the car even lower.karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-2To keep the car rolling Nicolas went through a few sets of wheels until settling upon a custom set of staggered 17-inch BBS E50s that tuck well behind the fenders. Look closely, and you’ll see his personal touch on the wheels – a set of Porsche center caps.karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-1Nicolas said his original goal for the car was to blend the Type 14’s timeless lines and curves with a classic racing wheel, and he’s done just that. But no build is completed alone; he wanted to thank his dad for his assistance in finding the car.karman_ghia_vw_porsche-3karman_ghia_vw_porsche_carrtel-8Nicolas hopes that car builders “stop the competition and start the passion,” and encourages other enthusiasts to build cars for themselves and no one else. His future plans for the Karmann Ghia involve a rollcage that he’s already started building, and he’s got his eyes fixed on the next set of wheels that really represent him – 3 piece Porsche Fuchs.  He’s certainly built this car for himself, and for that we applaud him.



  • 6cm narrowed beam
  • Dropped spindles
  • Lowered 4 clicks in back
  • Longer drop plates
  • BBS E50 17x6.5 w/ 185/25/17
  • BBS E50 17x7 w/ 194/40/17
  • Custom lips
  • Custom centercaps


  • Original exterior
  • Yellow front lights
  • 5 point Simpson seatbelts
  • Roll bar
  • Porsche RPM-meter
  • Bugtech shortshifter
  • Empi Steeriong wheel


  • 1641cc single carb
  • W100 camshaft
  • Electric fuel pump
  • Stinger exhasut