I just got back from LA last night, and I was going through a few pictures from the huge Galpin Car Show, and this one caught my eye. It’s a Beetle convertible, I think a 1967, and while there were many, many other old air-cooled Volkswagens, many more interesting, this one caught my attention because I realized it’s outfitted in a way that I feel like I’ve seen before, but I’m not quite sure what to call it. It’s not a Baja Bug, but it shares some traits, it’s not quite a full rally Beetle, it’s not exactly prepped to race – what is going on here, exactly?
There’s some interesting details and traits here: the fenders are a bit cut down – not to the degree a dedicated off-road Beetle would be, but a bit. The spare tire is mounted on that carrier at the rear – an odd choice considering the already significant rear weight bias – there’s wider rear wheels, no running boards, a semaphore slot (unoccupied, and this car is way too late for semaphores, so not sure what’s going on there), a towing arm setup up front, and all on a convertible.
Strangely, it reminds me a bit of a noted and quite famous grouch’s Beetle:
I mean, yes, the one I saw is vastly better cared for and likely free of worms, but there’s a bit of an aesthetic parallel.
The look is like a rugged-and-ready kind of thing, but less specific than the other popular ruggedized VW looks.
What should we call this, if this look/subculture lacks a name? Utility Beetle? Rugged Bug? Survival Beetle?
I’m open to ideas!