Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Eye of the beholder

Attraction initially is a result of a superficial desire on the external. We are simply drawn to beauty on face value. What you see as gorgeous on the outside preconditions that, what’s inside is presumed to be the same. It’s hollow, yes, but it is the law of attraction. And that is the flaw of it.

Cars are perceived the same.  It is but customary to be awed by the wonderful curves of a sports car. The angular-tension and skillfully chiseled body lines of an Italian exotic automobile are a sight to behold. We adore the restrained ornamentation and appreciate the elegance of the well-tailored proportion on a German executive sedan. These attractions start at the external. Most of them are translated well on the internal and the performance side of their merits. And surely, they won’t disappoint the initial impression set by their external splendor.  But, sadly there are those that are utter let down: looks well but doesn’t measure up to the expectation. Such a case could be the BMW Z3, as infamously reviewed in Top G... you know where!

External beauty can have a perilous effect if it sets off consequently high expectations on the other aspects. Is it then better to start with a less attractive external if that is the case? Would a plain-Jane of a design be better off? Maybe VW could be thinking along this light, decades back. The first Karmann Ghia, the Type 14, is universally accepted as a beautifully bodied Volkswagen. So much has been written about how well liked its shape is and KG-lover/enthusiasts are a plenty to affirm this. Though as beautiful as its external, the stock performance is not as sporty as the bodywork suggest. When the second Karmann Ghia, the Type 34 came into light, the reverse it seems happened. The external styling is, well, not as charismatic as the first one. To tell you honestly the first time I saw one in a photo, I really thought it was a Chevrolet Corvair. VW though, up the ante on a plushier interior, better available equipments, enhanced safety, bigger engine and host of other improvements. So did the plain-Jane KG approach work? Not really! The sales figures said so, thus their numbers aren’t many (by VW standards), making this KG a rare sight today.

So how does one perceived the external of the Type 34?

A queer proportioned coupe?

Are the Integrated driving light curiously placed?

Or, is the front end too distinctive?

Strong sharp lines earned its nickname “Razor”.

Luxuriously appointed interiors.

Personally, I have grown an unexplainable liking to this KG Type 34. Yes it is queer, but it has the charm of a rare uncommon beauty. If given the chance I’d love to have one (1:1) of these in my future garage. I guess “beauty” as they say, “is truly in the eye of the beholder”!
1:43 PMA VW 1600cc Type 34 from my Karmann Collection.