Journey said the Karmann Ghia originally was green, but he loves the blue paint that was on it when he bought the car a little over a year ago. He has buffed it out to a nice gloss and plans to keep it this color.
The Porsche 912e was intended as a transition car between the 911 and the 914 models in the United States, Journey says. The sleek profile of his coupe looks a whole lot more like the 911 than the boxy 914 which followed.
Phil Journey learned to appreciate Volkswagens, Karmann Ghias and Porsches while working in an auto shop during his college years at Washburn University. He now figures he owns at least 20 such cars, with dozens more body shells and drivetrain components in storage, awaiting reassembly.
An even rarer find for Journey was this 1976 Porsche 912e, a single-year car built only for American consumption. Also a warmed-up daily driver, this car is one of only 2,099 produced. `I never thought I'd see one, let alone own one,' Journey says.
The Karmann Ghia received a beefed up 2007 cc stroker Formula Super V engine equipped with a pair of Dellorto carburetors, producing an estimated 100 horsepower. Combined with a reworked 4-speed transaxle fitted with modified third- and fourth-gear ratios, the setup allows for easy highway cruising speeds.
The engine compartment of the Porsche reveals the original red paint scheme; the car had been in storage for 10 years when Journey found it. He installed a fresh set of Weber carbs and rewired the engine. It will soon get a boost from 2.0 liters to 2.7 liters and a high capacity cooling fan to improve performance.
The jet black Porsche was fitted with this oversized `whale tail' rear spoiler, which Journey says makes the car a bit of a `poser' -- promising a bit more than it can actually deliver. But it also serves as the perfect spot to mount an equally oversized air conditioner condenser.
The Porsche 912e rolls on genuine Fuchs magnesium wheels secured with aluminum lug nuts to lower rolling mass on the lightweight car. Tires are a set of Radar RPX-900's measuring 205x70R14, with the extra sidewall height giving the black coupe a more user-friendly ride.
The Karmann Ghia was basically a VW platform widened 5-1/2 inches and fitted with a sexier body, says Journey. The swoopy deck lid and tail lights underscore the styling upgrade of the cars, produced from 1956-'74.