Salt Rats - Unearthing Potential
When you have a vision as to what you want to achieve, you will strive to do everything in your power to make it happen. This is exactly what Steve Muller from German Performance Garage in Sydney Australia did when he purchased a wreck that had potential that no one else saw. Read on to find out what became known as The Ratmuller Ghia in the first of two part Blog.
Hidden Gems. It's always exciting to find something special and unexpected. This is what Steve Muller found when he purchased a wreck back in 2005.
The wreck was a 1971 VW Karmann Ghia. It was originally a USA car, spending most of its life in Los Angeles, before being shipped as a wreck to Australia to be mainly used for parts. There wasn't much left of the vehicle when Steve got his hands on this rough diamond. But it was enough for Steve to envisage what it was going to become.
A Land Speed Record Holder.
It can be said that Steve was destined to make great things with the VW. His dad ran a workshop dedicated to Volkswagens. From there Steve continued this by getting his hands dirty tinkering with Volkswagen Kombis at Kombi Rescue. And Steve's son, Kris followed his dad's footsteps in specialising in Volkswagen performance parts. Being the only three generation Volkswagen mechanic workshop in the country, Steve's current company, German Performance Garage, located in Castle Hill Sydney, was no doubt the go to tuning house for all VW and German manufacturer performance in Australia.
“...Steve got his hand on this rough diamond...”
With generations of expertise with VWs, Steve was the only one capable to get the Karmann Ghia to becoming a champion. He immediately saw potential in what was considered as a city runabout based off a common day VW Beetle. The beautiful curves of the body work were originally penned to be seen in, rather than raced. The low lying bullet like silhouette with smooth haunches and a light weight small body, made this car a perfect candidate to cut through the wind.
Even though the Karmann Ghia was already had the essence of being a high speed racer, Steve honed the vehicle even more. Inspired by the Cal boy racer look, he removed the windscreen to reduce the wind resistance. He smoothed out any surfaces that would be detrimental to its performance. Further weight reduction was extracted by making parts out of aluminium. To complete the Cal Look, Porsche 356 wheels were added to a lowered suspension.
The body work was repainted to it original orange colour. This Karmann Ghia was going to immediately stand out flying across the white salt flats.
However the race car was nothing without power. And Steve and his team at German Performance Garage were the perfect guys to make a VW fly. Using a 2180cc air-cooled flat four VW engine, and with the help of CB Performance Parts and Liqui Moly, the motor produced 140-150HP. Two banks of 48 IDA Weber carburettors completed the performance package destined to propel the Karmann Ghia.
The Ratmuller Ghia was now born. With the body and the engine complete, it was now time for Steve and his team to conquer what he envisaged from the start of this project. To make this little convertible into a world record holder. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Steve's adventure with his VW Karmann Ghia which will posted soon on the website and our Facebook page.
If you will like to see Steve's Karmann Ghia it is currently on display in the metal at Sutherland Volkswagen dealership. Further information can be found on the Volk Culture YouTube channel.
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