Russ Weir from Shiftin’ Ghia Racing enjoys racing his 1974 VW Karmann Ghia. Over the years he’s transformed the sports car into something capable of 0-60 in four seconds and a quarter-mile under 12 seconds at 105+ mph.
It was previously powered by an aircooled 2109 cc flat-four. In 2016 the engine was severely damaged. Russ made the decision to swap it for a turbocharged 1.8 L 20v (APX) inline-four from a 2000 Audi TT Quattro. The engine produces 289 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque tuned by Chris Roylance at Volks Workshop.
The turbocharged Audi motor is paired with a 002 (CE) transaxle from a VW Camper thanks to TSR Engine Conversions adapter. The transaxle features the factory gearset with an upgraded aluminum spool, Stage 3 clutch, and Porsche 924 axles.
When it came to the front suspension Russ installed an adjustable ball joint beam with an EMPI quick-steer kit. It also features custom tie-rods and a set of GAZ adjustable shocks. Russ upgraded the factory IRS with Porsche 944 Turbo 30 mm torsion bars, Delrin grommets, and Urethane trailing arm bushings. He installed KYB GR2 shocks on clearanced towers.
At the track the Karmann Ghia rides on VMS Racing 15×3.5 wheels with 135/80-15 tires in front and Porsche Teledials with 10 mm spacers and Phoenix slicks. It stops thanks to disc brakes in front with Wilwood calipers and Golf 5×100 hubs. The rear brakes are Porsche drums.
Russ sent the car to Phil at Woodward’s of Sussex for weight reduction. While there the car received a fiberglass front and custom fiberglass rear. Everything is coated in VW Pacific Blue paint. The rear window and quarter window is filled with polycarbonate.