This 1970s VW Boonie Bug Was Born From Plans On The Pages Of Popular Mechanics And Lives On Today

This 1970s VW Boonie Bug Was Born From Plans On The Pages Of Popular Mechanics And Lives On Today

There has never been a platform for automotive creativity like the old school VW Bug and Bus. The reality is that there never will be anything like those cars again. While many of the ideas and concepts that were applied to VW pans were terrible some were completely awesome and in our opinion, the Boonie Bug was definitely on the awesome side. This was not a kit car that you called someone and ordered up. Nope, this was a kit car that you built yourself from plans you got from Popular Mechanics Magazine. Can you imagine that there was a time that people were motivated to actually do things by themselves with some guidance from plans. The Boonie Bug is built on a VW Bus pan and looks kind of like a mix between a Brinks truck, a small camper, some sort of kids’ toy, and a baja racer.

This was the type of rig you could throw your stuff in the back of, bounce your way into the woods, the desert, or to the best hidden beach you knew about, and stay in it for the weekend. Who knows how many enterprising Popular Mechanics readers started on these projects and what tiny percentage of them actually got finished but this one sure did and as a testament to the care that this one has gotten and the skill of the builder it exists in fine fashion today. Powered with a fresh engine and bought from the original builder, this is something we’d love to cruise.

Here’s the text of the ad:

Ok dont lie to yourself you always wanted one of these. You will be the only one on your block with one, How often do you find a running complete car? Very rare and unique. Built from plans in Popular Mechanics. This was bought from the builders estate. I have his build notebook as well as pictures during build. I have current pink and tags, registered as a SPCNS, so no smog needed. I just installed a fresh 1835 ( less than 50 miles ) with a single weber and compufire ign. It is built on an early bus chassis, so it has a RGB trans, it shifts well. New rear brake shoes and wheel cylinders. Email with questions or if you need other pictures. Check short video on youtube at M4H03746 – YouTube. Car is in the San Diego area, pick up only. $7500, possible trade for a VW Thing, thanks.





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6 thoughts on “This 1970s VW Boonie Bug Was Born From Plans On The Pages Of Popular Mechanics And Lives On Today

  1. john

    I remember this from PM as a kid…so cool! The big problem today would be finding a VW van to cut up. They are collector gold.

  2. Whelk

    On MacTV’s “Full Custom Garage” this season the guy builds one of these from an old scrapped bus.

  3. BeaverMartin

    I typically like my VWs to look as they did when they left Wolfsburg, but this is cool. If I was going to do something similar I think I would do a Brubaker Box with a Wankel swap.

  4. Beagle

    Build book, pictures… classic. I almost want it bad enough to buy it – the golf car from hell!

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