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1958 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet Owner feature - Billy Tan

Owner: Billy Tan
Occupation: Ophthalmologist
Model: 1985 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

That's a truly beautiful car you have there. Tell us more about it?

This is an early example that was built in 1958, the first year the Cabriolet was made. To the knowledgeable enthusiast, it's known as the 'low light' version because of the lower level of its headlights. Laws in USA required subsequent models to have the lights on a higher level, so these 'low light' ones are very rare!


We understand you have a variety of classic cars. What got you hooked?

My father gave me my first car in 1977, it was an Austin 1100. After a few breakdowns, it was replaced by a 1969 VW Beetle 1300. I was a medical student at that time and somehow did not fancy the Beetle. After a year, I scrapped it and bought a Citroën GS 1220 Club. After having various issues with the car - and missing many lectures and classes - I realised how reliable and problem-free the Beetle had been (laughs)!

So you went back to your Beetle?

Yes I did! Actually I haven't been without one ever since. I've had a 1974 1200, and a 1979 cabriolet that was the last batch to be produced in Germany with factory air-conditioning. I still have it today!

That's just awesome! So what do you like about the Karmann Ghia?

Anyone who likes the Beetle will love the Karmann Ghia. It's got the same reliable mechanicals in a gorgeous design. To own the 'youngest' Beetle Cabriolet from Germany and the 'oldest' Karmann Ghia Cabriolet at the same time is simply a dream come true for me.