Karmann Coachbuilts

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Karmann Cheetah

- Partial Restoration


Another restoration project


by Grenjs


Page 01


The owner of this Karmann Coachbuilt paid for his Karmann Cheetah to be fully restored back in 2009. However over the next 18 months following the restoration, the van suffered from quite severe water leaks. Several failed attempts were made during those 18 months by the restorer to resolve the problems. The owner even asked the restorer to remove the front overhead cab window believing this may have be responsible for the water ingress. However, the water ingress problems got even worse.

The owner then consulted with the Karmann Coachbuilts Club and it was decided that a full investigation will be needed and any rectification work would be undertaken by one of the Clubs restorers to solve the problem.

This work was undertaken in 2011 and what appeared at first to be simple remedial work turned into a fairly extensive restoration project. The restoration took many hours over a few weeks and this Cheetah is now 100% bone dry. Another Karmann saved!




1. A quick inspection was made and although it

was supposed to have been a full restoration

in 2009, there were signs that it hadn't been

done properly. Here we see the original wall board

fitted in the Karmann factory back in 1986 in

the top upper offside cupboard.

2. In the rear cupboard, wooden blocks had been

crudely inserted for reasons unknown. Note the

screw threads sticking out dangerously. Also

note the rogue staple through the roof board.

3. The original wall boards had been covered over

with new wall board. Note the old board is still

visible just below the cupboard bottom trim.


4. The original wall boards covered over

with new wall board viewed from a different angle.

5. The side walls in the lounge area too had been

 just covered over also. Note the crude cutting

around the cupboard bottom and a bad join half way up

the wall.

6. The ceiling in the overhead cab area were

bowed indicating that the roof board was no

longer attached to the strengthening battens..


7. Inside the cupboards, screws securing the roof

structure had "missed" the intended wall.

8. In the overhead cab, evidence of the water

ingress - rotten and damp wood.

9. And in the other corner, yet more evidence.

10. Great cause for concern. The aluminium

panel inserted to cover up where the front

overhead cab window was has a gap.

You can clearly see the framework.

11. Ill fitting edge trim rubbers - not ideal to keep

water out of the body.

12. The entire edging was like this.



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