OK, not the first Baja Bug to grace these pages, but certainly (IMHO) a pretty one. This example, which looks to have been constructed from a late-’60s Beetle, was spotted in heavy traffic on US 59 in downtown Houston on a warm mid-May Saturday. Next stop, Galveston?
One has to imagine the classic Baja Bug is gradually fading away, given the amount of time that the Type 1 Beetle has been out of production. Now, as seen below…
…a few maniacs apparently are trying to make Baja Bugs out of New Beetles, but if you ask me, they just don’t have the je ne sais quoi of the originals, not to mention all the effort necessary to turn a front-engine machine into one with a motor at the rear.
Getting back to the cute-as-a-button red Bug, I imagine the riders will appreciate the flip-out rear windows now that the temps are getting into the usual low 90s. The surfboard may be more decorative than anything else, but hey, it fits. Also, it was fun to watch the all the wheels and belts on the engine spinning around, almost as if it had a clockwork motor, as it trundled down the road.
It is funny that they put some nerf bars, braced to the body to replace the running boards, and a front bumper, but no rear bumper/engine cage to protect the exhaust and engine.
Surely that “modern” Baja Bug has nothing left of its NW Beetle hardware sans a tiny bit of body shell, with doors that may not even open and close. I’d be much more impressed if someone modified a New Beetle to just drive backwards.
I’m more of a purist when it comes to vintage VWs, but this one really looks sharp, and probably saved an otherwise too-far-gone bug from the crusher.
I love bajas. However, in Houston (not to sound like a broken record) a water cooled rear engine such as Pinto Beans is necessary if you want AC. I know, I’ve seen AC’s on the type one engine but it owns the engine and gives very little to going forward.
I dunno. Don’t think I can get behind the new beetle with the rear engine. Would be better just jacking it up with wrong wheel drive. Add clearance to already adequate traction and you could have something. A standard baja is high on the list of cars I like a lot but don’t want to drive anymore. Guam weather changed all that. Houston summers keep it changed.
Hey fellow Houstonian, did you see “Big Red,” winner of the Art Car Parade? Now THAT’S how you do water-cooled rear-engined!
Hard to believe. Two to one scale. I think if I were going to a baja bug it would have to be an original.
Those balloon-tired, ~50hp Baja Bugs must be among the most un-wheelspinnable cars ever made.
And kudos to the builder of the New Beetle custom. Paint it olive drab and you’ve got yourself a real-life Halo Warthog.
I haven’t seen a picture of a Baja Bug in years and years so this was a nice sight to see. I appreciate the work that goes into building one of these and with that surfboard on top, it’s like the cherry on top of the sundae. Great find!
I’m curious of what the wheels are that you are using, like the looks of them!