Friday, December 4, 2009

Volkswagen Kills The Beetle, For Now

Model Bows Out Next Year, New Model Expected In The Future

The Volkswagen New Beetle launched with great fanfare over a decade ago, reviving the classic Beetle name from the company's history. Yesterday at the LA Auto Show, however, VW sent the car packing.

The company hosted a press conference where they announced that 2010 would be the car's final year. To commemorate the moment, VW released a "Final Edition" special model at the show, expected to sell only 3000 units in a unique paint scheme. Half of that number will be hardtop coupes while the other half will be convertibles.

While most of the vehicle is the same as the New Beetle you could have purchased over the last few years, this new edition comes with a sport suspension and unique 17-inch wheels. The hatchback will cost $20,240 while the convertible starts at $27,170

Retro Fabulous

2010 VW Beetle

The New Beetle launched in 1998 to incredible amounts of media and consumer attention. It caught (or, more likely, started) the wave of retro hype that automakers fixated on during the millenium. Cars like the Ford Thunderbird arrived on the scene hoping to curry the same favor that VW found with its new-age Beetle.

The next Beetle, likely to launch in 2011 as a 2012 model, is expected to shed its cutesy, happy-go-lucky design aesthetic in favor of a more aggressive look in concert with VW's Golf, with which it will share a platform.

The Beetle is dead, long live the Beetle!

Source: Autoblog

Friday, November 6, 2009

They still make that? VW Golf Mk1 ends production after 25 years

Volkswagen CitiGolf

The original Volkswagen Golf Mk1 arrived as a replacement to the Volkswagen Beetle way back in 1974. Sold in the States as the Volkswagen Rabbit, the early front-wheel-drive hatchback had a transverse-mounted (water-cooled) 1.5-liter four-cylinder rated at just 70 horsepower. It was good for a 93 mph top speed and nearly 38 miles per gallon. While the standard Rabbit was rather ho-hum, the late-to-arrive Mk1 "GTI" ushered in the hot-hatch movement with its 90-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder, slick manual transmission, and upgraded suspension. It was a seriously cool car.

In 1984, Volkswagen introduced the Golf Mk2. As the successor was bigger, wider, and more expensive than the original – and customers may have been turned-off by the "improvements" – VW chose to continue the Mk1 production and sell it as the low-cost Econo Golf, or CitiGolf.

Over the past 25 years, more than 500,000 units of the venerable Mk1 have rolled out of a South African assembly plant for sale in markets abroad. Variants have been fitted with a wide range of engine choices (both gasoline and diesel), from 1.1-liters up to 1.8-liters of displacement. Transmissions have included 4- and 5-speed manuals, plus the (obviously outdated) 3-speed automatic. Lacking nearly all of today's necessary safety equipment (a driver's airbag was eventually fitted), time finally caught up with the CitiGolf this summer and the South African plant was closed in late August.

Interesting side note: the tooling used to build the CitiGolf all these years in South Africa was reportedly originally used to make the Rabbit at Volkswagen's Westmoreland plant in Pennsylvania. Thanks for the tip, Doug!

Source: Autoblog

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Volkswagen Eos

The Volkswagen Eos is a four-seat retractable hardtop coupe convertible, introduced in 2006 as the successor to the Volkswagen Cabrio. The Eos is Volkswagen's first production coupe since the last Corrado in 1995.

The name Eos is derived from Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn and wind.


Roof design

The Eos incorporates into its five-piece folding roof an integrated and independently sliding glass sunroof — making the Eos the only retractable hardtop of this kind. The roof folds automatically into the trunk in 25 seconds, thereby reducing trunk space from 10.5 to 6.6 cubic feet (300 to 190 L)

The roof was designed and is built by OASys, a subsidiary of Webasto Germany.

Inception, production and history

Prior to production, the EOS was shown as the Concept C concept car at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show — designed by a team headed by Peter Schreyer, Head of Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg. Other sources attribute the design of the EOS specifically to Slovenian Robert Lešnik.

The production Eos, produced at the AutoEuropa plant in Portugal, was presented in September 2005 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with the North American introduction at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January, 2006.

2004 Concept C

Unlike the Cabrio, which was a convertible version of the Golf hatchback, the Eos is a standalone model with all-new body panels, although it shares the platform and components from the Passat (Mark 6 (B6 now PQ46 platform) (2005-present)). The wheelbase matches the Golf Mk5 and Jetta.

Eos White Night (2009-present)

It is a special black and white colour scheme package. It includes Candy White-coloured body, Deep Black Pearlescent-coloured roof, cherry-red LED tail lights, 18-inch Budapest wheels. Interior features black mirror covers, radiator grille and trim strips, black nappa leather seats, door and side trim and black steering wheel with light-coloured seams, trim strips and radio trim in Candy White, Sill panel strips with White Night letters. Other features include Climatronic climate control system, sports chassis lowered 15 mm and heated front seats.

The car had base MSRP of €33,140. This option is available with all non-V6 models.

Cabriolet VW Eos


The Eos is produced in Volkswagen's AutoEuropa factory in Palmela, Portugal. Although production started in late 2005, first deliveries were delayed due to a wind noise problem.

International markets

The Eos was finally released in Europe in the first quarter of 2006, and in North America in the third quarter of 2006. Right-hand drive market Japan began sales in October 2006 followed by New Zealand and Australia in January 2007. It was released in South Africa in the second quarter of 2007.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rare VW Buses

Custom VW Bus

Classic VW Bus

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gilbert's Volkswagen

1972 1302S Super Beetle
My ex-daily driver
Second owner since Dec. 31, 1994

Anzhal Flamingo Red

Original 1600dp engine

Solex 30-PICT carburetor

Scat headers w/single quiet pack

Stock interior w/Toyota front seats

14" Rota Minilite replica wheels

Falken Ziex tires (195/60R14)

One-piece windows

Blower fan

Complete papers including certified VW of Germany birth certificate.

Tachometer has been removed but is included with the car

Steering wheel has been replaced with a stock unit

Volkswagen Made In Ireland

Ireland VW Factory

Ireland's place in Volkswagen history was established in 1950 when a consigment of six Beetles arrived into Dublin packed in crates in what was termed 'completely knocked down' form ready to be assembled. A former tram depot was aquired for this purpose at 162 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge - the premises now occupied by Ballsbridge Motors.

There, the first Volkswagen ever built outside Germany was assembled thereby establishing Ireland's unique place in the history of Volkswagen worldwide. That first Volkswagen ever assembled outside Germany, which survives in its original condition is exhibited in the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

With assembly output rising from 46 units in 1950 to 2155 units in 1952, the business quickly outgrew the Shelbourne Road facility leading to the purchase of new premises at Naas Road, Dublin.

In 1955, assembly was transferred from Shelbourne Road to the new factory on Naas Road - premises which had earlier been commissioned by tayloring company Montague Burton then placed on the market for sale before ever being used.

In the new Naas Road premises, Beetle assembly continued non-stop until September 1977 when the production of the Beetle ceased in Europe. During this period, the Naas Road facility - which remains the headquarters of the company today - also assembled the renowned Volkswagen Transporter van.

Stephen O'Flaherty

The Volkswagen organisation in Ireland was founded by the late Stephen O'Flaherty.

In 1950, thanx to his vision and enterprise, the Volkswagen Beetle was introduced into Ireland. It was an initiative that was to change the face of Irish motoring and lead to the establishment of a nationwide industry that was to grow in significance and importance ever since.

Widely remembered as one of the great pioneers of modern Irish motoring, Stephen O'Flaherty was born in Passage East, Co. Waterford in 1902. His father came from the Aran Islands.

His association with the motor industry in Ireland began with his appointment to the accounts department of Ford in Cork wich he joined circa 1928. Later, he moved to McCairns Motors, Dublin where he rose from his first appointment in accounts to become Secretary and General Manager of the company.

In 1939 he resigned from McCairns Motors to devote his attention to Howard McGarvey & Sons, a small engineering business which had been acquired in Townsend Street, Dublin which specialised in general engineering works servicing steam engines and steam driven wagons and the reworking of all forms of engineering machinery and equipement.

By 1946, he had re-shaped the business transforming it into a fully-fledged motor distribution and retailing operation trading under the name Motor Distributors Limited. In its new guise, motor activities began with the assembly of forty-eight Adlers. By 1948 the range expanded to include Willys Overland jeeps and station wagons, Nash and Singer (assembled in Townsend Street), followed by Lagonda , Aston Martin and Alvis (imported fully built up).

Then along came Volkswagen. In 1949, the company was successful in securing the Volkswagen franchise for Ireland - a deal that was signed and completed on 22nd June 1950.

Three years later, in 1953, Stephen O'Flaherty further extended his relationship with Volkswagen by aquiring the franchise for the UK which he subsequently sold to the Thomas Tilling Group in 1957.

May It Rust In Piece

Source: VW Made In Ireland

Friday, August 21, 2009

1971 Volkswagen Beetle

Wow! Check out this rare 1971 Volkswagen Beetle with 1940 Ford Coupe conversion kit. This is a really neat idea for these older Beetles. It comes with the stock 1600 cc dual port engine and 4 speed manual transmission. Features include AM/FM/Cassette radio, hub caps, seat belts, vinyl interior, and radial tires. This "Bug" has many new parts including carpet, headliner, upholstery, floor pans, heater channels, tear drop tail lights, dashboard, axle beam, shocks, and brand new tires. It also has brand new custom wheels and a newer paint job. You don't find many of these VW's that have been converted. They are real eye catchers. You're sure to get a ton of compliments driving this "bad bug" around town!

Source: Gateway Classic Cars

Monday, August 17, 2009

VW T2 Doka,Double Cab + 2CV

I have a Austrian, ex BH, military VW T2b Doka. B.j.: 22.09.1978. for sale. In very good condition. 1600 ccm. The general overhaul was in 2005 / engine, gear-box, brake, bodywork,painting.. The inner painting is original. Beautiful inner drapery, original, automatic Blaupunkt radio, openable butterfly windows. The heating working well. They are rubbers on bumpers. In the engine since a renovation approximately 8000 km is. It’s run very well. Fresh oil in the gear-box and in the engine . Strong battery. 6 person. All seat has a safety belt. There are the canvas holder. It is new painting, the wooden staves are missing. The canvas is tore on the pelisse of the sewing. The car is on Hungary. The car has valid hungarian papers and registration number. The periods of validity of the technical revision is until 09.07.2007.


71 Single Cab VW or

Fully Restored VW Campers

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All our campers are sold with full mechanical overhauls, and are rust free.
Why not enjoy the luxury of a newly fitted interior in a classic Vw camper, take a look at some of the pics of our recent conversions and give us a call or send us an email to inquire about our fully restored campers, and have a classic Vw camper finished to your taste. We can ship worldwide. All campers are sold with full warranty

1970 VW Single Cab

Saturday, August 1, 2009

VW & Ohana Road

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hi-Tech Car Factory

Source: YouTube

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Punch buggy

A 1967 Volkswagen Beetle

Punch buggy (also called punch bug or slug bug) is a car game generally played by young children in which participants lightly punch each other in the shoulder upon first sight of a Volkswagen Beetle while calling out "Slug bug!" or "Punch buggy!" in reference to the Beetle's nickname, the Bug. See also "padiddle."


Most references about the game originate from unofficial sources and personal accounts from players. Estimates suggest that it has existed since the 1960's.


Some players consider Volkswagen's 1998 reintroduction of the New Beetle invalid for game purposes but, as older models become more rare, some players may choose to include the new Beetles. Others allow "classic" bugs to count for two punches. Another similar variation is to count a Best Buy Geek Squad Beetle as four regular punches (or slug-bugs). Some authors suggest similar games with station wagons, convertibles, PT cruisers and buses. A simpler variation has been suggested for use in helping to engage autistic children during car rides.

External Links:

Rules For Playing Slug Bug or Punch Buggy

Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile

Baja Bug

A 'Baja Bug'.

The term Baja Bug generally refers to an original Volkswagen Beetle modified to operate off-road (open desert, sand dunes and beaches), although other versions of air-cooled Volkswagens are sometimes modified as well.


Baja Bugs originated in Southern California in the late 1960s as an inexpensive answer to the successful, Volkswagen-based dune buggies of the mid-1960s, especially the Meyers Manx. The building of the first Baja Bug is generally credited to Gary Emory of Parts Obsolete circa 1968. The first Baja Bug in racing is credited to Dave Deal, the famous Californian cartoonist, in the Mexican 1000 of 1968. The first fiberglass baja kit (bug eye kit) was not introduced until 1969 by the Miller-Havens company. In the early days before fiberglass body panels became available, enthusiast and racers simply made their own modification to both the body and mechanicals of a stock VW to develop a machine suited to harsh, off-road environments. The metal fenders and front and rear aprons of the car would be partially cut away to allow more for ground clearance and suspension travel. This came to be know as a "cut baja". More engine power was attained by fitting dual port heads and modifying fuel injection systems from VW Type 3 cars to work on the Type 1 Beetle engine.

Why the Beetle?

The Beetle was popular in less-developed areas of the world because of its rear-mounted air-cooled engine, flat floorpan, and rugged torsion bar suspension. In fact, advertising of the period touted the fact that the Beetle was so watertight that it floated. Those same attributes made the Beetle the perfect choice for the basis of an off-road vehicle as evidenced by the car's success both then and now in the Baja 1000 off-road race.


Basic modifications are simple. A lightweight, shortened fiberglass front body panel is fitted after the sheetmetal from the trunklid edge forward and rear engine decklid and everything rearward (rear apron and engine compartment) is removed. The rear treatment leaves the engine totally exposed to aid in cooling. A tubular steel cage front and rear bumper is fitted to the body and floorpan for protection of engine and occupants. Shortened fiberglass fenders both front and rear meant removal of the Beetle's distinctive running boards and the likely addition of more tubular steel parts (side bars) in their place. The rugged torsion bar front and rear suspension standard on the Beetle, allows it to withstand the rigors of offroading and the rear ride height to easily be raised slightly and stiffened to make clearance for larger heavy-duty off-road tires and wheels. The taller sidewall tires provide more flexible ride comfort and rocky road ground clearance. The Beetle suspension "stops" can be moved to allow more suspension travel. Longer shock absorbers for the increase in suspension travel, provide more dampening control over bumps giving more driver control and comfort. Some people even get rid of the torsion bar suspension and install coilover-type springs that mount to a roll cage, allowing extreme amounts of travel with a very comfortable ride.

The Baja Bug today

Though Baja Bugs have been greatly supplanted in recent years by tube-framed, purpose-built buggies known as sand rails, due to the slowly dwindling supply of suitable donor cars, they remain a popular choice in desert regions as few beaches in the US are open to vehicular traffic. Many are fitted with highly modified Volkswagen engines and a few home-built hybrids have Ford Pinto engine, Chevrolet Corvair, Porsche, Mazda, Subaru or other four- to eight-cylinder water-cooled engines. Customized roadgoing Baja Bugs remain fairly popular as well.

Recently, Volkswagen has attempted a revival of the Baja Bug with the Dune concept in 2000.


Rallye Baja

Baja California

Baja Kit ("bug eye" style)

External links:

Southern California's Baja Bug Club

VW Baja Bug owners and drivers at

VW Offroad site Australia.

VW Baja site UK

Baja Coalition Website

The fastest growing online VW community

Volkswagen Type 4

Volkswagen 411 / Volkswagen 412

The Volkswagen Type 4 was a mid-sized 2 or 4-door saloon or 2-door estate built by Volkswagen (VW) of Germany. It was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October 1968and withdrawn from sale in 1974.

The Type 4 was larger than the Volkswagen Type 3 and had a more powerful engine (1.7 - 1.8 litres, as opposed to 1.5 - 1.6 for the Type 3). The Type 3 and Type 4 were the last of the company's air-cooled models apart from the vanagon Type 2 bus range which continued until 1983 (and had an updated version of the type 4 fuel injected engine), and followed on from the Volkswagen Type 1 ("Beetle"). They were succeeded by the massively successful Golf/Rabbit and Dasher/Passat.


1971 Volkswagen 411LE.

The Type 4 introduced many firsts to the Volkswagen range. These included: unibody construction, MacPherson strut front suspension, rear suspension with coil springs and trailing wishbones, a hydraulic clutch (for models equipped with a manual transmission), and one of the first fully automatic transmissions (the first was in the 1969 Type 3 models) in a Volkswagen. (Previous cars had used an automatic (vacuum-actuated) clutch, but gears still had to be changed manually.) The Type 4 was also Volkswagen's first 4-door car. The MacPherson strut front suspension was later successfully employed in the 1302/1303 ("Super Beetle").

The Type 4's battery was located under the driver's seat. In the rear of the car was located a gasoline-operated heater (an Eberspächer BA4) that was fired by a glow plug accessible from a hidden rear window deck plate.


1968 Volkswagen 411 4 door saloon. 1968 models, without fuel injected motors, are distinguished by their unusually shaped single headlamp covers.

The Type 4 was marketed as the Volkswagen 411, produced from 1968 to 1972, and, modestly improved, as the 412 from 1972 till 1974. Both ranges included a fastback saloon and an estate version. The car at launch came with a 1679 cc twin carburettor engine: just one year later, in 1969, this was replaced with a fuel injected unit, increasing claimed power output from 68 to 80 bhp (60 kW), and making this one of the first mass production vehicles to include the feature — along with the Volkswagen Type 3, which also had received electronic fuel injection in 1968. Fuel injection was indicated by the suffix letter 'E' (for Einspritzung) in the model's name: the 411E's 80 bhp (60 kW) engine was shared with the mid-engined Porsche 914 also launched in 1969. The most obvious visual change in 1969 was the replacement of single rectangular headlights, behind windcheating covers, with uncovered twin headlights

1974 Volkswagen 412 estate.

Towards the end of 1973 the Volkswagen 412, featuring a slightly larger, 1795 cc engine, replaced the 411. Fuel feed reverted to a twin carburettor system. The 412's headlight surround was reshaped and the nose panels were redesigned, to give the car a slightly less bland look.

The design of the Volkswagen 412 Variant was followed when the Volkswagen Brasilia was produced in Brazil, primarily for the Latin American markets.

Sales and marketing

Even after five years of disappointing sales, no attempt was made to have the car compete on price, suggesting that the Type 4 was probably not particularly cheap to produce. In February 1974 on the domestic market the 4-door 412L was priced at DM 10,995 (DM 11,145 for the 412 LS). The price setter in the sector was probably the Opel Rekord which was offered in 1700 cc guise for DM 10,823, itself fractionally undercut by the Ford Consul 1700 at DM 10,740. The West German government was at this time cultivating currency stability, and from across the Upper Rhine the 1800 cc Peugeot 504 L was offered at a challenging DM 10,195. Unfortunately, however, even in its home country, the verdict of the market place did not support Volkswagen's evident belief that the 412 deserved to command a price premium on account of its Volkswagen qualities.

During a six year production span, just 367,728 Type 4s were produced. That was better than the 210,082 achieved by the contemporary Volkswagen K70 (which effectively had only a four year model life). Nevertheless, Type 4 sales levels must have been disappointing when set against the volumes achieved by the Type 1 (Beetle) and Type 3 models. The domestic market dominance of GM's Opel Rekord, its production running at about 300,000 cars annually, was not seriously threatened by Volkswagen's 411/412 in the family sedan sector.

In the United States, where the Type 4 was on sale for four seasons, it was regarded as too underpowered. The Type 4 was in fact a sales disaster in the U.S., selling only 117,110 units over a four-year-period.

Popular perception

In contemporary German vernacular, the 411 was called "Nasenbär" ("coati") or "Vier Türen elf Jahre zu spät", meaning "four doors coming eleven years too late" because it was Volkswagen's first 4-door sedan. (The Opel Rekord had been offered with four doors only since 1959 while its Vauxhall counterparts were always four-door-only, and starting in 1957 Auto Union had offered a four door version of their small family sedan.)

The powerplant lived on

While the Type 4 was discontinued in 1974 when sales dropped, its engine became the power plant for Volkswagen Type 2's ("Kombis") produced from 1972 to 1979: it continued in modified form in the later "Vanagon" which was air-cooled from 1980 until mid-1983. The engine that superseded the Type 4 engine in late 1983 retained Volkswagen Type 1 architecture, yet featured water-cooled cylinder heads and cylinder jackets. The Wasserboxer, VW speak for a water-cooled, opposed-cylinder (flat or boxer engine), did not enjoy the reputation for longevity that the original air-cooled design had forged. From the very start, the engine suffered cylinder-to-head sealing problems, mostly due to galvanic corrosion, often a result of slack maintenance schedules. Volkswagen discontinued the engine in 1992, upon the introduction of the Eurovan.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dune buggy

Dune buggy

George W. Bush in a dune buggy

A dune buggy is a recreational vehicle with large wheels, and wide tires, designed for use on sand dunes or beaches. The design is usually a modified vehicle with a modified engine mounted on an open chassis. The modifications usually attempt to increase the power to weight ratio by either lightening the vehicle or increasing engine power or both. Those with an open frame chassis are called sandrails.

A similar, more recent generation of off road vehicle, often similar in appearance to a sand rail but designed for different use, is the "off road go kart". The difference between a dune buggy or go kart and an "off road" buggy or kart is sometimes nothing more than the type of tires fitted -sand tires or all terrain tires - but "off road" go karts and buggies are a rapidly developing category of their own.


Dune buggies are usually created using one of two to three different methods.

The first involves alteration of an existing vehicle, most notably the older Volkswagen Type One (Beetle, or Bug). The Beetle is preferred for a variety of reasons. Most significant is the position of the rear mounted Volkswagen engine, which with removal of bodywork transfers a high proportion of the weight to the rear driven wheels for extra traction. The engine is air cooled, simplifying engine modification, and the absence of a radiator eliminates a source of failure. The low price; robustness of the front suspension; and the sizable quantity of spare parts from other VW Beetles and Type 2 buses are a further advantage. Corvair engines are also a popular way to upgrade to 6 cylinders and sometimes vehicles are fitted with turbochargers to provide as much as 180 horsepower (130 kW). For example, one such conversion was a 1970 Manx 2 on a 1961 VW chassis. It was fitted with a 180 hp (130 kW) turbocharged Corvair engine, with reverse rotation, mated to a VW transaxle.

The second method involves construction of a vehicle frame from steel tubing formed and welded together. The advantage of this method is that the fabricator can change fundamental parts of the vehicle (usually the suspension and addition of a built-in roll cage). Buggies of this type are called sandrails because of the rail frame. Sandrails, as with the VW Bug, often have the engine located behind the driver. Sizes can vary from a small engined one seat size to 4 seat, 8+ cylinder vehicles. Sandrails can have panels or custom shaped body coverings over the rails and tubing that comprise the vehicle, though many are left bare.

The third is only a temporary fix. These dune buggies represent mixes of the above two design philosophies, typically after a converted vehicle sustains damage from age, hard use, or accidents and spare parts are not available or affordable. This type of creation is called The Boston-Murphy style.


Initially dune buggies were designed for navigating desert or beaches (hence the word "dune"). However, dune buggies have become more diversified in terms of the terrain they can handle and are being built for more generic off road tasks, such as CORR / SCORE indoor track racing. Some are even built for and used as on-road vehicles. Typically the function is determined before the buggy is created in order to maximize the comfort or abilities of the vehicle.

Although dune buggies can be bought (as a kit), many drivers make their own. This is done by separately buying chassis, engine, tires, steering wheel, and axles. Some builders make their own chassis, which creates a special, customized vehicle.

A 1961 or later Volkswagen sedan is the preferred donor to create a Dune Buggy. The VW Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4 do not make good donor cars, however the engine, transaxle, wheels, and instruments can be used from these models.

Other parts that can be salvaged from a donor VW for use in a Dune Buggy include the front axle and suspension, frame, pedal assembly, shock absorbers, seats, battery, fuel tank (1961 or later), steering column, brakes, instruments and switches, windshield wiper, horn and emergency flasher unit.

Driverless cars

Driverless buggy

Some driverless cars have also been made based on a buggy.

Military buggies

Because of the obvious advantages a buggy can afford on some terrain, they are also used by the military. The buggies built for the US military used to be called Desert Patrol Vehicles (DPV) or Fast Attack Vehicles (FAV), yet have changed name to Light Strike Vehicles. They are used by US Navy Seals, SAS, ... The LSVs are built by Chenowth Racing Products Inc., a San Diego based company. As with most military material, they are not sold outside the government. The newest version is the ALSV or Advanced Light Strike Vehicle

Tube framed buggies

Over time Buggies have been altered to allow maximum recreational use. They are now available in varying sizes.

The most common form of non-racing buggy consists of a 'tube frame' which is simple to construct and sturdy. If the frame bends or breaks it is simple to fix. Steel tubing is preferred to "pipe" as pipe is rolled and welded, tubing is mandrel drawn, making it stronger and with consistent wall thickness.

Engine size varies depending on the suspension, frame strength and performance needs. Engine size has varied from 50 cc for small light buggies to 7+ liter engines designed for professional racing. Dune buggies use both automatic or manual transmissions, sometimes based on application and engine power, but often based simply on personal choice.

Fiberglass dune buggies

Dune buggies with glass-reinforced plastic (fiberglass) bodies come in many shapes and sizes. Many companies worldwide have attempted to copy the original fiberglass dune buggy, the "Meyers Manx" built by Bruce Meyers. They can be seen on TV shows such as Wonderbug and Speed Buggy. These types of dune buggies are known as "clones".

Bruce Meyers behind the wheel of the first Manx

Kit cars are a variant that use the dune buggy philosophy of substituting significant amounts of a car with custom parts to resemble production, modified, or prototype cars. For instance: American Fiberglass Product’s “Humbug” has similar features to a classic Corvette, Berry’s “Mini-T” was a nod to the Ford Model T, or BMB Automotive’s “Surviver” is a scaled down version of the Lamborghini Cheetah.

External links:

Beach Buggy VW Dune Buggy A site about Beach Buggy based on VW A Site dedicated to the restoration of an orange Beach Buggy

The BuggyBoys Club

A Short NPR Radio Piece About Dune Buggying in California

Dune Buggy Archives A site that catalogs the many different types of dune buggies manufactured

Volkswagen Country Buggy

In 1967 Volkswagen Australasia Ltd. started with a project vehicle designed for Australia's rough conditions. This vehicle, designated Country Buggy or Type 197, was designed by project head Volkswagen Australasia's Managing Director Rudi Herzmer and VW Engineer Cyril Harcourt in VW Australia's Clayton Factory.

The Country Buggy was based on an Australian made Type 1 platform with engine, gearbox, and front axle from the Type 1. The rear swing axles had reduction gears from a 1st generation Volkswagen Transporter (1950-1967).

Volkswagen Transporter

Originally, the idea was to make the Country Buggy an amphibious vehicle, however directives from VW Germany curtailed this vision.

The Country Buggy started production in July 1967, with exports to the Philippines sold as the Sakbayan ("Sakbayan" is a combination of the Tagalog words "Sakay," "Ride;" and "Bayan," "Nation"), Singapore, New Zealand & some other small Pacific nations. In the Pam Grier film Black Mama, White Mama, several Country Buggies were seen as police vehicles (the Country Buggies are in fact the locally-produced Sakbayans).

VW Australasia's Country Buggy also caught the attention of the chief heads in Wolfsburg, and one or two were sent to Wolfsburg for evaluation. In reality, VW was developing their own Country Buggy competitor, the Volkswagen 181.

Volkswagen 181

A Country Buggy with a canvas awning style roof can be seen very clearly in an Australian Coca Cola commercial from 1969 featuring an Australian band called "The Executives"

The Country Buggy was not a big success. It had some early reliability problems which doomed it, as well as it being ahead of the market trend of the day.

Production ended in 1969 with only 1956 units built. Very few Country Buggies survive today, but Sakbayans are being revived in the Philippines following increasing interest in the original Volkswagen Beetle.

External links:

Full Country Buggy History

Original Brochures