+ Publish Ad FREE !
Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.

Turning a VW Beetle into a beach buggy for £1250 (Rs 61500)

7 May 2020 - autocar

Turning a VW Beetle into a beach buggy for £1250 (Rs 61500)

A beach buggy makes the world a happier place, and you don't need sand to enjoy one - just the chassis from a VW Beetle and the desire to tinker around

People who buy Lamborghini Aventadors and then drive them backwards and forwards outside Harrods are seeking attention.

Fine, but they've got it wrong. If you want to rack up a serious eyeball count, you need a beach buggy. Furthermore, if people are saying nice things about your choice of motor, you can't hear them in an Aventador.

You can in a beach buggy: I know because a lot of people have been complimenting me on my choice of wheels. And shirt.

Back in 1970, the Sprinkle family moved to the UK from the US and sent their two sons to the school I was at. Along with the boys, Mr and Mrs Sprinkle brought with them their daughter Susanne, who made a major impression on me, and their beach buggy.

I still have a vague memory of Susanne, but a very accurate mental picture of the buggy. Metalflake purple, big chrome roll-over bar, huge tyres and a loud exhaust. We all had Hot Wheels beach buggies but one in full size, in our school car park among Morris Minors and Ford Anglias, was unbelievable.

Beach buggies were big in California but we hadn't seen one in Woking. That would change within a year or so as these minimalist machines caught on in Britain. I don't know what make of beach buggy the Sprinkles owned but it's very similar to the one I'm driving now. This red metalflake marvel is owned by James May, who has had it restored after it was on the Grand Tour programme.

My working world these days is full of infotainment, smartphone mirroring and lots of technology to do with electric cars that I don't fully understand. It's going to give me a great deal of pleasure to describe to you the technical spec of May's buggy. Proper old-school stuff.

The glassfibre body is a Prowler, which is essentially a copy of a GP body, which, as all beach buggies have been, is a copy of the original Meyers Manx. The body is ultra simple, with no doors or openings, and literally bolts to a Volkswagen Beetle chassis. Unless you're building a long-wheelbase buggy, which doesn't look quite right, you have to cut and shut the floorpan.

This buggy was built using a brand-new body by a company in Birmingham called Kingfisher Kustoms, which is run by lifetime buggy enthusiast Dave Fisher. Built to stand abuse from motoring TV stars, it uses an independent rear suspension from a 1302 'Super Beetle', CV joints from a Type 2 van (they're stronger and allow more travel) and rear hubs from a VW Type 181 'Thing'. At the front, there are disc brakes from a standard Beetle but with four-to-five stud adaptors. The tyres are suitably podgy 215/60 R15s at the front and 275/50 R15s rear.

The engine is bored out to 1776cc, has big-valve twin-port heads, each of which wears a Weber 40 IDF carb, and breathes out through Supertapp mufflers. The cam is an Engle 110, the pistons by Mahle and the crankshaft standard VW. To top it off, the whole lot has been lightened and balanced. It hasn't been on the dyno but the output is guessed to be about 100bhp.

The car hasn't been on the scales, either, but I'd guess at no more than 650kg. It feels very light when you push it around and it feels light to drive. Now, I'm not claiming Lotus- Elise-like handling for the buggy but it feels fabulously light on its feet, with light and direct steering, a ride that's good by modern standards and acceleration that is probably lousy against a watch but feels very sprightly through the trousers. The motor is torquey, with great throttle response once it's warmed up.

But where's the beach? I haven't looked into it but I suspect that finding an expanse of sand on which the car could live up to its name is very difficult unless you live in Scotland or near Pendine Sands in Wales.

Churning up sand is not environmentally friendly. It's the same problem that owners of Ariel's Nomad must have: where to use it. Actually, the Nomad is rather like a modern beach buggy. Simple, minimalist, light and fun. Removed from modern, highly complex supercars that have performance that's unaccessible on the road.

Lack of sand isn't a problem. A beach buggy is fun anywhere, even in central London. Small, squat, nimble and easy to literally hop in and out of, it's the perfect urban transport. Especially if it's sunny.

Three famous buggy drivers:

Steve McQueen might be more famous for driving a Mustang in Bullitt, but don't forget The Thomas Crown Affair, in which McQueen thrashed around the dunes in a beach buggy with Faye Dunaway in the passenger seat.

The father of the beach buggy is Bruce Meyers, a surfer, engineer and artist who used his experience in building GRP boats to create the first Meyers Manx buggy in 1964. He's still going strong, aged 92.

Elvis Presley drove a Meyers Manx in his 1968 Live A Little, Love A Little film. Toy company AMT built a model of the car; just one of dozens of buggy models produced in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

News By Tags

2011 models2012 models3D printing458 italia6-series coupeA1A2abc motorsabu dhabiaccidentaccidentsaccordACIMacuraadidasADSUadvertisingafricaagalegaAIair pollutionairbagairbagsairbusairportAlan GanooAlbionalcotestalfaalfa romeoalgeriaalibabaAllemangeAllied MotorsAlmaalpineAmauryamazonamendesamphibiousandroidAnil BachooAnse-la-Raieappappleappointmentsappsapriliaarabiaargentinaarielarnold schwarzeneggerarsenalArtashok leylandasiaastonaston martinAston Martin ZagatoauctionaudiAudi E-TronAudi Q3Audi Q8audit reportaustraliaAustralian Grand Prixaustriaautoauto industryauto shanghaiauto showauto-écoleautonomous carautonomus carAutopilotautopont de Decaenautopont Decaenautoroute M1aventadorawardsAxessBABagatellebahrain grand prixBAIBaie-du-TombeaubajajBalaclavaBambousBangkok International Motor ShowBangkok Motor ShowBangladeshBarklybatmobilebatterybattlebeachbeachesBeau-BassinBeau-ChampBeau-VallonBeaux SongesBeaux-SongesbeetleBeijing Auto ShowBeijing Motor ShowBel-AirBel-EtangBel-Ombrebelgian grand prixBelgiumBell VillageBell-VillageBelle-MareBenellibentleyBentley Bentaygabernie ecclestonebetamaxbetamax casebicyclebicyclesbikebikesbiodieselBlackBerryBlue-BaybmwBMW 3 SeriesBMW 8 seriesBMW i8BMW ix3BMW M2BMW M3BMW M4bmw m5BMW X2bmw x3BMW X5BMW x6BMW x7BMW z4boatboatsboeingBogota Auto ShowBois-MarchandBois-Marchand accidentBois-PignoletBologna Motor ShowBon-Accueilbondboschboston dynamicsBPObrabusbrakesBramsthanbrazilbrexitbribebribesbridgebridgestonebrioBrisée-VerdièreBritish Grand PrixbudgetbugattiBugatti ChironBugatti La Voiture Noirebugatti veyronbuggybuickburnoutbusbusesbuyingbydcadillaccalebassescamaroCamp ChapelonCamp-ChapelonCamp-de-MasqueCamp-DiableCamp-LevieuxCanadacanadian grand prixCandosCanotCap-Malheureuxcaporal Chooluncarcar buying tipscar dealercar dealerscar firecar importcar industrycar loancar marketCar Of The Yearcar rentcar rentalcar salecar salescar servicecar sharingcar showcar theftcar washcarbon fibercarburantsCarlos GhosnCarPlaycarscartingcascavelleCaudanCCIDCCTVCEBcelebretiescelebritiescentre de fitnessCentres De Fitnesscertificat de fitnesscertificats de fitnessCESChamarelChamp de MarsChamp-de-MarsChebelChemin-GrenierChengdu Motor ShowcherychevroletChevrolet CamaroChevrolet CorvetteChicago Auto ShowchinaCHINESE GRAND PRIXChris EvanschryslerCité Vallijeecitroencivicclassicclassic carclassic carsclassicsClémenciacode de la routecollectioncommercialcomparisonconceptconceptsConfinementConstanceconsumer reportsContract buscontraventionsconvertiblecoromandelCoronaviruscorruptioncorvetteCottagecour suprêmeCourtCourtscouvre-feuCOVID-19CPBcr-vcrashcrash testcrash testsCristiano Ronaldocrossovercrowdfundingcruise shipCubaCupraCurepipecurfewcustom bikecustom carcustomsCUVCWACybertruckcyclonedaciadaihatsudaimlerdakardakar rallydartzdash camdashcamdatsunde tomasodealersdéconfinementdecongestion routiereDelhi Auto ExpodeloreandesignDetroitDetroit Auto Showdéviationdéviationsdéviations routièresdieseldiesel scandalDIYDLCdodgedodge demonDonald TrumpDPPdragdrag battledrag racedrag racingdriftdriftingdriver licensedriverless cardrivers licensedrivingdriving licensedriving schooldriving schoolsdriving testdriving tipsdronedronesdrug racedrugsdrunk drivingdsDubaiDubai Motor ShowducatiDysonD’EpinayearthquakeEbayebeneecoecologyeconomyEducationEICMAelecticelectionselectricelon muskemissionsEmmanuel Macronengen motor showengineenginesEOCethanoletios livaEUEuropeeveventsexamens de conduiteexcès de vitesseexpofacebookfailfakefake policeFast And Furiousfaux coupons de parkingfaux permisfaux permis de conduireFCAfeeder busfeeder busesfermetureFernando Alonsoferrariferrari romaferryFIAfiatfiestafilmsfinancesfinefinesfinlandFireFirefightersfiskerfitness centerFlacqFlic-en-FlacfloodFloodsFlorealflying carflying taxiFond-du-SacFootballForbachForbach accidentforce indiafordFord BroncoFord F-150ford fiestaford focusFord mustangFord Rangerforest-sideformula Eformula1forza motorsportFrancefrankfurtfrankfurt motor showfraudFSCfuelfuel economy scandalfuel pricefuel stationfuel stationsfunnyfutureGaikindo Indonesia International Auto ShowGaikindo Indonesia International Motor Showgamesgare de Rose-HillGare du Nordgare VictoriageargeelygenesisGeneva Auto Showgeneva motor showgerman grand prixGermanygirlsgmgodzillagolfgolf carGoodlandsgoodwoodgooglegoogle glassgoogle mapsGoProgovernmentgpsgran turismogrand tourgrand-baieGrand-BassinGrand-BoisGrand-GaubeGrande-RivièreGrande-Rivière-Nord-Ouestgreat wallgreecegreengreen energygrnoGros-BoisGros-CaillouxGRSE accidentGTAGymkhanahackershakershamannharley davidsonharley-davidsonHatchbackhealthcarehellcatHennesseyHenriettaHermitageherohertzhighlandshistoryhit and runhitachiholdenHollandHollywoodhondaHonda AccordHonda BrioHonda Cityhonda civicHonda Civic type rhonda cr-vHonda Ehonda fitHonda HR-Vhonda jazzHonda s2000Honda VezelHong Konghorsepower falsifyingHospitalhospitalshot rodhot wheelshotelhotelshoverbikehoverboardhow toHuayrahummerHummer H1Hummer H2humorhungarian grand prixhurricaneHusqvarnahybridhydrogenhypercarhyundaiHyundai CretaHyundai ElantraHyundai i20hyundai ioniqHyundai KonaHyundai Santa Cruzhyundai Santa Fehyundai sonataHyundai TucsonHyundai Velosteri3i40ICACiframacIIHSillegal racesillegal racingillegal rallyillegal taxiillegal transportIMCimportindiaIndia Auto ExpoIndian Motorcycleindian motorcyclesIndian OilindicaIndonesiaIndonesia International Motor Showindonesia motor showinfinitiInfinityinfotainmentinfrastructureinsuranceintelinteriorinteriorsiPadiphoneiranirelandIRPisraelisuzuIsuzu D-maxIsuzu MU-Xitaliaitalian grand prixItalyjaguarJaguar Land Roverjamesjames bondJames MayJan Palach stationjapanjapaneese carsjapanese carjapanese carsJapanese Grand PrixJawajazzJDMjeepJeep CherokeeJeep GladiatorJeep Grand CherokeeJeep Renegadejeep wranglerJeremy ClarksonjettaJin FeijobjobsJohn DeerekartkawasakiKawasaki Ninjakei carken blockKenyakhankiaKia CeedKia ForteKia NiroKia OptimaKia SorentoKia SportageKia Stingerkia TellurideKoenigseggkoreaKoshik ReesaulKTMKTM DukeLALA Auto ShowLa Brasseriela butteLa ChaumièreLa FloraLa GauletteLa MarieLa PrairieLa Tour KoenigLa VigieladaLallmatielamborghiniLamborghini Aventadorlamborghini gallardolamborghini huracanLamborghini SiánLamborghini UruslanciaLancia Stratoslandland cruiserland roverLand Rover DefenderLand Rover DiscoveryLarsen & ToubroLaventurelawlawslazarethLe HochetLe MornelealLebanonLeevy Frivetlegolewis hamiltonlexuslicenselight metrolimousinelincolnLionel MessiLockdownlondonLos Angeles Auto Showlotuslow cost carLRTluxuryluxury carluxury carsL’AventureL’EscalierM1m2m3macondemad maxMadagascarmaha shivaratreeMahebourgmahindramaintenancemalaysiamanmansorymanual transmissionmanufacturingMapoumapsMare d’AlbertMare-d’Albertmarketmarketingmartinmarutimaruti suzukiMaruti SwiftMaruti Wagon RmaseratiMatt LeBlancMauricioMauritiansmauritiusmaybachmazdamazda 3Mazda MiataMazda Mx-30Mazda Mx-5Mazda RX-7mazda3McLarenMcLaren 720smecedesMELmercedesMercedes AMGMercedes G-ClassMercedes G63Mercedes GLEMercedes X-classMercedes-MaybachMESmetroMetro Expressmexican grand prixmexicoMGmichael schumachermichelinMicrosoftMidlandsminimini cooperminivanMITDmitsubishiMitsubishi DelicaMitsubishi EclipseMitsubishi L200mitsubishi lancerMitsubishi MirageMitsubishi OutlanderMitsubishi PajeroMitsubishi TritonMitsubishi XpandermitsubushimitsuokaMMMMokamonacomonaco grand prixMont-ChoisyMont-RochesMontagne-BlancheMontagne-LonguemontebelloMontebello accidentmontereymoose testmoparmorganMoroccomotomoto-écoleMotoClub Racing TeammotorMotor Racing Clubmotor showMotor Vehicle LicenceMotor vehicle test centremotorcyclemotorcyclesmotorsportmotorsportsmotosportmoviemoviesMPAmpvMRAMRCmugenmuscle carMusicmustangmv agustamv augustaMVDANADA Auto ShowNandanee SoornackNando BodhananonascarNational Coast Guardnavigationnavigation systemnavigation systemsNavin RamgoolamNCGNDUNepalnetherlandsnew carnew york auto shownew zealandnfsNHTSANigerianikolanissanissanNissan 370ZNissan 400Znissan altimaNissan FrontierNissan GT-RNissan GT-R50Nissan JukeNissan KicksNissan LeafNissan Leaf NismoNissan MicraNissan navaraNissan NoteNissan PatrolNissan SentraNissan SkylineNissan TerraNissan TitanNissan X-trailNissan ZnorwayNouvelle-FranceNTANTCNTLANürburgringoff-roadoffroadOlympic GamesOnline Renewal of Motor Vehicle LicenceopelOpel Corsapaganipagani huayraPagani ZondaPaillesPakistanPalmarPamplemoussespanasonicpapamobileParisparis motor showparkingparliamentPebble Beachpenaltiespenalty pointsPereyberepermis de conduireperoduapetit raffrayPetit-RaffrayPetite-RivièrepetrolPetrol Retailers AssociationpeugeotPeugeot 2008Peugeot 208peugeot 508PhilippinesPhoenixPhœnixpickuppickupspininfarinapirelliPitonPlace de l’ImmigrationPlace D’ArmesPlaine MagnienPlaine-des-PapayesPlaine-des-RochesPlaine-LauzunPlaine-MagnienPlaine-VerteplayboyPNQPointe-aux-PimentsPointe-aux-SablespolandpolarispolestarpolicepoliticspollutionpompiersPomponettepontPont ColvillePont-BlancPont-FerpontiacpopemobilePor Louisporscheporsche 911Porsche CayennePorsche MacanPorsche TaycanporsheportPort LouisPort-LouisPoste-de-FlacqPoste-LafayettePoudre-d’Or-HamletPPCPPPprankPravind JugnauthpricepricespriusproguardprotestsprotonPSApublic transportpublict transportQ3qorosQuartier-MilitaireQuatre Bornesquatre-bornesr8Raceracingrainrallyrallyerallye illégalrallye motoramrangerange roverratingsRDArecallrecallsrecordrecordsred bullred bull car park driftreduitrenaultRenault ClioRenault Kwidrenault meganeRenault TwingorenderingRenewal of Motor Vehicle Licencerent a carrepairreplicaretroReunionRezvaniRHTRiambelRichard DuvalRichard HammondRiche TerreRiche-TerreRichelieurickshawrimacRimac C_TwoRing RoadrioRipaillesRiviere-des-AnguillesRivière-du-PosteRiviere-du-RempartRiviere-Noireroadroad accidentroad accidentsroad closedroad rules & regualtionsroad rules & regulationsroad safetyRoad TaxRoad Traffic (Amendment) BillRoad Traffic ActRoad Traffic Amendment ActRoad Traffic Amendment BillRoad Traffic Billroadsroads safetyrobberyrobotrobotsroche-boisRoche-TerreRodrigo DuterteRodriguesrolls-roycerolls-royce cullinanromeorond-point de Beau-BassinRose BelleRose Hillrose-belleRose-HillroverRoyal EinfieldRoyal EnfieldRoyal Enfield Continental GTRRSRSURuben RacingRue Jemmapesrue VandermeerschrumoursRussiaRussian Grand PrixrvsaabSafe Citysafetysafety ratingsafety ratingssafety testsafety testsSaint-PierreSainte-Croixsalesamsungsamusao paulo auto showSao Paulo Motor Showsaudisaudi arabiascamscandalscaniaschool busschool vanscooterscootersseatsebastian vettelSebastopolsecond hand carsecond hand carssecond hand cars importsécurité routièreself driving carself-drivingself-driving carself-driving carsSEMASEMA showSeoul Motor Showservice stationservice stationsShanghaishanghai motor showShehzad SooraballyshelbyShellshowsingaporeSingapore Grand PrixskodaSlovakiasmartSMFsnakeSobrinho caseSodnacSohail Sesungkursolar energySolitudesonysorezesoreze accidentSouillacsoulsound systemssouthsouth africasouth koreaspaceXspainSpanish Grand Prixspare partsspeed cameraspeed camerasspeed limitspeedboatspeedingsportSportscarspy shotsssang yongSsangYongssuSt-JeanSt-JulienSt-LouisSt-Paulst-pierrestar warsstartupstation-servicestations-servicestatisticsSTCste croixSte-Croixstreet racingstrikestudysubaruSubaru BRZSubaru ImprezaSudhir SesungkursudySunshine AutosupecarssupercarssuperyachtsuprcarssurveySUVsuzukiSuzuki BurgmanSuzuki ErtigaSuzuki HayabusaSuzuki IgnisSuzuki IntruderSuzuki JimnySuzuki S-CrossSuzuki Swiftsuzuki vitaraSuzuki Wagon RSuzuki XbeeSwedenswiftSwitzerlandTATaiwantakatatamarintankTanzaniaTarisa Resorttatatata motorstaxtax fraudtaxestaxiTBStechnlogytechnolgytechnologytenderTerre-RougeTerre-Rouge–Verdunteslatesla model 3tesla model stest drivetestsThai Motor ExpoThai Motor ShowthailandThailand International Motor ExpoThe Grand TourThe ValetheftThierry Henryticket pricetipstiresTMRSUtokyoTokyo Auto Salontokyo motor showtoptop geartotaltourismtourism authoritytoyotaToyota 86Toyota AlphardToyota Aygotoyota C-HRtoyota camryToyota Centurytoyota corollaToyota FortunerToyota HiaceToyota HighlanderToyota HiluxToyota Land CruiserToyota PriusToyota RAV4Toyota RushToyota Siennatoyota supraToyota TacomaToyota TJ Cruisertoyota yaristoystoytatractortrafficTraffic BranchtrailerTranquebartransformerstransporttransport policetrendsTrianontricksTriolettriumphTrois-BoutiquesTrou d’Eau DouceTrou-aux-BichesTrou-d'Eau-DouceTrou-d’Eau-DouceTrou-Fanfarontrucktruckstsunamitug of wartuningtuniningTurkeytvstyresUAEuberUBIWUBSukukraineunionsUnited StatesuomuralUrban TerminalUSUSAused carused car importused carsVacoasVacoas-PhoenixvalettaVallée-des-PrêtresVallee-PitotValtonvanvarma caseVeer Luchoomunvehicle inspectionVehiclesvelostervenezuelaVerdunVictoria Bus StationVictoria stationVictoria Urban TerminalvideoVienna Auto ShowvietnamVintagevintage carvintage carsVipervivo energyvolvolkswagenVolkswagen Golfvolvovwvw beetleVW Buggyvw golfVW ID.3VW JettaVW passatvw polovw t-crosswaymoWeatherwheelsWootonWork Access PermitWorldyachtyachtsyamahayariszagato
Sell Your Car