Volksrod Buggy

1 Buggy before

This is the mk3 Volksrod buggy we acquired on ebay as an in-house project.

Although rough as hell in almost every department, the important bit (the body) proved to be in a very solid condition, possibly due to the strong design and good quality fibreglass used to mould these shells; No cracking, spidering or any noteable deterioration was evident on the body parts, so this looked to be a good starter for a bit of a project.

The engine was a basic 1300s/p, which we pulled & put on the shelf for a rainy day.

The chassis… Yukk. When we lifted the body off, the already nasty-looking article was ten times worse than expected. Needless to say it had to be completely reworked; New ‘pans, napoleon’s hat, etc. It was also 2″ too long to fit the ‘shell properly, which necessitated re-shortening the tunnel before fitting the newly-shortened ‘pans. For the Mk3 Golf seats to fit, a bit of re-shaping on the rear of the tunnel was also necessary. A pair of IRS brackets were welded into the frame-horns too, in such a position as to give the rear end a good dollop of negative camber once the ‘box and suspension went in. The floor was finished in a black basecoat & oodles of lacquer & the tunnel was painted in body-colour (Lotus pearlescent orange base, orange prism (rainbow effect) micro-metalflake, then countless coats of clear lacquer to bury the flakes, flatted to a mirror finish.

4 Buggy engine

We used a 1300 IRS gearbox, stripped and machine-polished. The motor we built was a mild 1600t/p with a few toys; 1.25:1 ratio rockers, weber 40 twin-choke carb, chrome buggy-canon exhausts -not mush else except for detailing. Lots of detailing. This provided plenty of punch & felt pretty quick in a motorised bath-tub!

3 Buggy painted

The ‘shell had nasty late beetle ‘football’ lights at the rear, so the holes were ‘glassed up & re-cut to fit US-spec splitty rears, wired in the uk fashion and separate ‘bike indicator units were fitted all-round. The headlamp choice is limited ‘cos of their small size. Fiat 600 Carello lamps did the trick, and looked bang-on. We later re-designed the rear cowl completely for a different look, and to create space for the tall carb & filter setup. The dash was smoothed, with all the holes ‘glassed in, leaving just the one hole for the Speedo (split apart & detailed with the orange metalflake). The windscreen was ditched for a custom-built polished ally frame we knocked up, with a removeable top-bar and a new laminated & much shorter than original windscreen. The wipers also had to be shortened to 5″ to fit the ‘screen.

Buggy 23

The interior was outsourced. The guys at Bromsgrove Auto-Trimmers did a fantastic job of building a rear pad, side-cards, and the diamond-stitched patent orange and black trim. We ordered a Mooneyes orange metalflake & chrome ‘wheel to match. An Empi short-shifter & a chrome handbrake finished off the inside.

All the boring important bits like brakes, fuel lines, cables, wiring harness, washers etc. were renewed. Wheels are old renovated Revolutions; 4 1/2″ VW fitment up-front with low-profile Yoko’s, and Chevy-patterned 9″ rears shod with 235/70/15 General (muscle-car tyres) on re-drilled hubs from Machine7.

After a few test-drives, and a lot of buggering about with carb-jetting and fuel pump changes we were confident enough to put her on the road; taking it to a washed-out Diva Dubs & Rods on a trailer where she sat under a cover most of the weekend (typical!). The skies were more friendly at VW Action later in the year, where we drove her there & back -much more fun!

Buggy at Action 2