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It’s been a long year – let’s get back in the garage with the Karmann Ghia.

The Karmann Ghia has been with us for the last few years but there’s been a pretty big road block (pun maybe intended) to get out to the farm to be able to work on it. My white Land Cruiser – my original daily driver dumped it’s oil and the engine seized up…a year ago. Since then I’ve been working to get my green Cruiser consistently running so that I can actually make it out to the Ghia. 

Did I give up? Nope. Just had to get past those pesky roadblocks. The main goal is to get the whole body primed and to do that, we have to tackle some body issues first.

  1. Find the Karmann Ghia’s Holes
  2. Hole Filler Techniques
  3. Epoxy Hole Filler
  4. Karmann Ghia Headlight 
  5. Rust Mort Fixer Upper
  6. Karmann Ghia Curve
  7. Interior Replacements

1.Find the Karmann Ghia’s Holes

Back at the farm I was able to go around the Ghia and mark all the holes that needed to be filled.

2. Hole Filler Techniques

There were a couple different techniques I needed to use to fix the spots around. I started with one that would prove to be one of the easier techniques for a tiny hole. I used a handheld copper sheet to use as a heat plate backing so that the weld wouldn’t stick to it but rather fill the hole. With that being successful, I moved to the next place. Using the same technique I filled a hole on the drivers side tire space. By using light behind where the hole had been I was able to see any missed places.

3. Epoxy Hole Filer

The next two spots weren’t too terribly difficult but the product was it’s own problem. I used two different two part epoxy filler and the first one ended up being too thin and had to be redone. But the second epoxy worked perfectly. Once dried I sanded the two spots down and they were right.

4. Karmann Ghia Headlight

The third place began the tricky work. Because it was over the headlight, it had to become a curved repair. I cut a piece of sheet metal and had to replicate the curve of the headlight. Then I had to cut a hole in the body to fit the tiny piece of sheet metal in. With welding and grinding, it fit right in. Later I’ll be doing body filler so it will smooth it out even more.

5. Rust Mort Fixer Upper

The air compressor at the barn had been having some issues and needed a part repair. While I was waiting on that delivery, we had to move on to a few different spots before finishing the larger hole repairs.

To prep the interior for the primer, I used Rust Mort to brush on all the rust parts that had formed in the last year. Even though I had the Ghia sand blasted last year, it still had formed some small rust and luckily the Rust Mort was the fix. 

6. Karmann Ghia Curve

With the air compressor being fixed I was able to complete the passenger side headlight hole repair and move on to the next larger piece on the drivers side.

This hole was in an opposite curve from the headlight. This hole has curves going in all directions so this was definitely going to need some problem solving. To fix this hole, I needed to cut out a larger hole in the body and fit in a piece of sheet metal to easily fill the hole. But because of the curve, it had to be met with a lot of patience. 

Once the hole and the sheet metal piece were placed together, I welded a few spots, hammered down the extra places of the patch to meet the body work, and then fully welded it down. With grinding and sanding, it really turned out better than I had imagined. 

7. Interior Replacements

With all of the major holes repaired, there was one last problem I wanted to solve before getting primer on this thing. There are two pieces in the interior that are fully rusted and I wanted to completely cut out and replace. The two pieces connect to the floor of the car so they really need to be in good shape. 

I was able to remove the welding from the original rusted pieces and weld on the replacement parts. The replacement pieces actually came all the way from Germany from a guy who creates replacement parts for vintage VW’s – pretty cool!



I sanded down the body, used a tack cloth to get off anything left over, and got started on primer. I tried out a new 3M spray gun where the parts can be reusable BUT you can also throw them away and replace them. The primer was also a two part epoxy primer which was something new for me, too. We gave it a shot and I’ll let you be the judge. Did it turn out as great as we all imagined?

I’m excited to get on to the next part with the Ghia – until then.

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