Olav Kvipt's 1959 Karmann Ghia

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As it looked after Knut Olav Sommerstad fixed it up in the late 1970's. Photo curtesy of Knut Olav Sommerstad.
Photo curtesy of Knut Olav Sommerstad.
Photo curtesy of Knut Olav Sommerstad.
As it looked like in 1988 When Per Digranes owned it. Notice the flared fender openings. Photo curtesy of Per Digranes.
When Eivind Torp owned it. Pictured is Svein Erik Olsen. Photo courtesy of Eivind Torp
The car as it looked like when Lars Gunnar Nordås sold it in 2005. Photo provided by Dag-Roal Wisløff.
Dag-Roal Wisløff in front of his newly purchased Karmann Ghia.
During the winter of 2006.
The day Olav Kvipt bought the car on August 26th 2006.
Summer of 2009.
November 13, 2010. At Momrak Verkstad where Aslak Momrak Stretched out the rear left fender.
November 19, 2010 Sanding off the white sticky paint begun.
March 13, 2011, Getting ready for primer.
April 8, 2011, Primer applied
April 9, 2011, Finished block sanding
April 15, 2011, Finished painted.
April 15, 2011, halfway assembled so it could drive in the dark, on the way to Åmot.
April 17, 2011, Finally assembled.
April 18, 2011, ripping of the masking of the freshly painted interior.
April 18, 2011, The interior was painted and assembled.
May 1, 2011 Olavs best friend David Petrych drove the car to Olav's apartment in Bø i Telemark with a couple of months old driver's license.
May 10, 2011. With the paint bearly 25 days old, the fender got dented once again. It was fixed soon as possible.
On June 24, three days after Olavs 18th birthday, he finally was able to drive the Ghia legal.
Nature scenery at Haukelifjell, Telemark.
Road trip to Bergen.
At a small lake in Askøy.
Olav pulling the engine out. After 1 month of non-stop driving, the transmission decided to retire on the road. Fortunately Olav was able to borrow Vinje Bilberging's washing hall to repair it.
Packed and ready for take off to SCC.
Norwegian television host Oddgeir Bruaset, known from the tv-show "Der ingen skulle tro at nokon kunne bu" was able to test the car out while filming on Kvipt, Olavs birthplace and home.
With the Coupe Devils.
October 9, 2011, Henning Fossheim built a fresh 1600cc engine for the car.
October 12, 2011. The Ghia received a decent engine, more proper to the Telemark terrain.
New years eve 2011, to celebrate a perfect year, Olav had to take the Ghia out for a spin to Fyresdal on summer bias-ply tires.

1959 Karmann Ghia originally sold new to Gompens Auto in Kristiansand, Norway. It was used as an exhibition car at the car dealer until 1962. The car was original Aerosilver with red and gray interior. The boss of the company sold the car to his mechanic who kept the car until the 1970's.[1]

By 1978, it had ended up in a barn in Kongsberg. It had been sitting in the barn a couple of years, and the owner had to clear the barn. It was sold to Knut Olav Sommerstad of Skollenborg for the amount of 1000kr. The car had been fit with Vauxhall Viva fender openings, and a newer front axle without kingpins was attempted installed. By then it had the original interior, consisting of gray and red, but it was painted red. The original steering wheel and seats were still there as well. Knut worked as a chief mechanic at the Volkswagen dealership and had no problem assembling and fixing the car up. He planned to restore it back to its original appearance, but found out it was to much work. He got the car registered with the license number DA-74905. He painted it red in his own garage and used it as a daily driver for two years. One of the fresh air inlet trim was missing, however, Knut fabricated a new one. Headlights from a 1968 Volkswagen Type 3 was installed as well. The car had its stock 1200 engine and was running well. He sold it in the early eighties to a Roger Wassengen of Hof, Vestfold.[2]

Per Digranes of Bergen, bought the car in 1987. By then, the car was freshly repainted wine red. Per bought the car from Drammen and used ut as his daily driver for about two years.[3] Per traded the car with a VW 411 to Eivind Torp of Trøgstad, employee of Hotshop AS.

Eivind tore the car apart and began restoring it. Eivind redid the body and repainted it once again. One of the fresh air inlet trim was missing once again, and since this was such a hard part to find, the front end was modified by filling the fresh air intakes and installing a set of Porsche headlights. The trim was removed, and the holes were filled. In 1995, Sten Nordby of Aurskog-Høland stopped by Eivind's house to pick up some parts for his car. He spotted an empty shell of a freshly painted and gutted Ghia standing safe in his garage. The car was totally disassembled and the current owner had lost interest in it. Sten asked if he could buy it, and so he did.

Sten assembled the car and got it up and running. A lot of new parts followed with the car, including a brand new TMI beige interior, Porsche 356 rims, new glass, custom bucket seats and a new Puma front suspension. Sten's wife used it as a daily transportation back and forth to work until 1997 when it was sold to Thomas Skogli of Ringsaker.[4]

When Thomas bought it from Bjørkelangen, he was told it had been built by Svein Erik Olsen of Hemnes. By the time he bought it, the Ghia had the license plate number DA-74905, Thomas changed it to K-1159. He used it during the winter time as well when he was working for Olrud Auto. It was fit with Centerline rims secured with studded wintertires. Alf Teksum helped him with some extensional bodywork, the driver's door was replaced as well. The bondo on the door was beginning to crack, and about 2 cm of bondo was found on it. He used it a lot, and one day he was talking with a guy at a cafe in Brumunddal, when a semitrailer with a Moxy dumper attached came rolling towards Thomas' Ghia. The trailer was approaching closer and closer, Thomas thought he had to see him. However, the semitrailer rammed the rear fender. He drove the car to Brumunddal Auto Rep which repaired the damaged fender. At this point, a lot of bad bodywork was found, lots of lead and bondo. When the car was fixed, he sold it to Ole Kristian Olsen.[5]

Ole kept the car in four years before he eventually sold it to Lars Gunnar Nordås of Mosjøen. The original 1200 cubic inch engine blew in 2002, and it was replaced with a larger 1300 engine.[6] Lars also did some work on the front end, repairing rust damages. In this process, the lower part of the nose was painted white.[7] He also planned to install a glass fiber flip front.[8]The car was sold to Dag-Roal Wisløff. Dag drove the car to Oslo without brakes.

He sold the car a half year later on October 10th to Sondre Kvipt of Fyresdal. Sondre was looking for a daily transportation and were searching after an old VW he could modify into a fenderless and chopped Volksrod. Kjetil Kvipt installed new brakes, heatingmuffler, and converted it to 12 volt. Kjetil also applied white over the red body, giving it a Bonneville salt flat look. Moon discs wrapped up the style. During the first winter, the Ghia was involved in a hit & run accident. The Ghia stood parked, while a big delivery van backed up into the car, making a dent in the engine lid and destroying the left taillight. Sondre sold the car to his little brother Olav Kvipt on August 26th 2006. Olav was just thirteen years old at the time and put the car in safe storage in his parents garage.

By 2010, Olav was just a year from getting his driver's license. Therefore, he began to repairing the car back to a nice condition. He took it to Momrak Verkstad ANS in October 2010, where Aslak Momrak repaired the dent in the engine compartment lid and the left rear fender. Something wrong had happened to the white paint Kjetil applied in 2005, making it never dry. Olav block sanded the paint away and fixed all the bondo cracks which had appeared during its years as a all-year-round transportation vehicle. A set of Firestone 5.60-15 tires were added on the Porsche rims.

On March 23th, the car was on its way to Momrak to get primered. Two weeks later, when friday came and school was out for the weekend, Olav took the bus home to Fyresdal from to pick the freshly primered Ghia. He wet-sanded it all night long with 600 grit paper, and next day it was finished sand-blocked. When sunday came, he drove it down to Momrak to have it painted Kirschenbër Rot, an original VW color. The next friday on April 15, 2011, Olav called the shop and asked if it was painted, which is was'nt. However, Aslak Momrak painted it straight away so i could pick it up the same day. Olav and his buddy David Petrych assembled the car on the evening and continued until it was driveable enough to drive in the dark. Eastern had begun, and Olav Kvipt and David took the Ghia to Åmot where they both had each their girlfriends. The day, the exterior was assembled. Two days later, during the trip back to Fyresdal the throttle wire split, and Olav and David was stuck in the mountains of Telemark with nobody passing by. However, it was fixed with a wire clamp.[9]

April 18, the interior was painted and assembled as well. When Easter was over, they drove the car to , were the boys attended school. Ten days later after driving the car to , Olavs 's apartment buddy bumped his car into the rear Ghia bumper. Since the bumper is mounted directly on the rear fender, the fenders was dented at the very same place as it was the first time. This was fixed right away, and no one could tell the difference. The car was parked outside his apartment in , waiting to get driven as soon as Olav could get his driver's license. After long days and night, he finally got his driver's license on June 24th, 3 days after summer vacation began. With new brakes and muffler, it was time to drive. The car was driven cross the country and every else possible. Olav learned that driving a 51 year old car did not only have benefits, old cars need a lot of attention and maintenance. The car was gone through technically during the winter, however the bumpy Norwegian roads managed to both the link and king pins.[9]

9000 km and 1 month later, the transmission broke down on the road. Fortunately, Olav could use Vinje Bilbergings washing hall to change the transmission. Øystein Nystog had laying around a 1960 VW Beetle transmission that was installed. In the end of September, the clutch snapped on his way home to Fyresdal. Olav's plan was to build a new 1600 cc engine this autumn. Henning Fossheim of Bø i Telemark was willing to help out, with his life experience in building VW engines helped building a new engine for the car. A week later, the car was up and running like never before with a fresh 1600cc.[9] When the roads were getting salt, Olav took it in for storage in Fyresdal. The interior is being redone with black carpet and white seats this winter.[9]

Olav is now looking after more information and pictures of his car. He is also looking for its original seats. Feel free to contact him on olavkvipt@gmail.com

External Links

Bø VGS - Tøff og sjelden bil på Bø vgs
Momrak Verkstad ANS
VWNorge - Vil ha opplysninger om min vinrøde 1959 Karmann Ghia - K-1159
VW2YOU - '59 Ghia
VW2YOU - Noe spes med denne Ghia'n ?



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