53 Cool Concepts… Part LIII, Buggin’ Out
Wow… 53 parts, and this is the last one. I already wrote about my plans for my Jeepster project, so I can’t do that one again. But I did have an idea, one that is very different from where I thought I would be when I got here.
For the last part, I don’t have the most impressive, wild or unique idea… in fact, it is a “retro” ride. It is a fairly classic Volkswagen Beetle. Ok, it does have a few slight differences…
Instead of basing it on the “classic” rear engine Beetle, I thought it might be nice to use one of the New Beetle bodies. But, drop that engine into the back and make it rear wheel drive like the older version of the car. That will require a lot of surgery to fit, but the engine/transmission package is fairly compact, has some of the attaching points for the suspension and would get a lot of the engineering done at the same time. That would leave us to concentrate on the front suspension… which might source nicely from a later model rear engine Porsche.
I haven’t made any measurements, but I would guess that the area behind the seats would need to be stretched a little to allow the power-train and suspension to easily fit… but one of the things that VW Bug Hot Rodders would often do it make new hinges that let the bonnet (engine cover) sit off of the back of the car a bit. This was done to facilitate more airflow to the air-cooled engine. The concept wouldn’t be air cooled (the radiator would still be up front), but going with that look would build a couple of extra inches into the car for space.
This wouldn’t be a production test… it would be a toy. Toss in some racing seats and trick out the interior. Dump the A/C and the stereo. Lighten it. Simplify it.
And for grins, it could be outfitted with a cloth sunroof and a roof rack, like a classic stock Beetle… or (I think even cooler) it could be “Baja’d-out” to look like the Baja Bugs of the 70s. I’d drive that…