Bug with Back: Custom VW Vandetta

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

I imagine one of the common complaints about a small car like the original VW Beetle could be lack of storage space, or not enough room for hauling home large items. Well, if you happen to know how to covert your Beetle into a “Vandetta,” you’ll solve those problems with ease. Check out this custom Bug here on eBay where bidding is active but the reserve remains unmet. 

Right off the bat, the bodywork looks fairly sound. While we’re looking at it from a computer monitor far, far away, the body gaps look pretty even and the doors don’t appear askew as a result of chopping off the rear end. I’m not sure how the conversion was carried out, but the motor certainly hasn’t moved, despite the rear seats being removed.

That appears to be a set of tail lights lifted from a Corvette, and the custom rear bumper hugs the all-too-perfect license plate nicely. The barn doors certainly will make it easy to load and unload motors, mulch and whatever else the rear suspension will support. The dual exhaust seems aggressive for a car of this displacement, but I’m totally fine with the staggered rear wheels sporting huge dish.

Although these period wheels are included in the sale, I don’t think I’d swap off the awesome steel wheels that the Bug currently rides on. The seller has included a video in the eBay listing that appears to show a neat interior and smooth-running motor. Although the devil is in the details when it comes to conversions like these, from a distance, I like what I see. Do you?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    I have a new old brochure on the Vandetta and the Brubaker Box. Almost bought a Vandetta in CA a year ago or so. I think these are cool.

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  2. boxdin

    Probably gone by now but it looked pretty good. High price too.

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    • Jason

      nearly a week left in the auction…

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  3. Rick

    One of my favorite conversions. Though, I’d be cautious. He states it has a full wrap on it.. which could be hiding a myriad of sins. Not bonded correctly, the fiberglass shell generally starts to delaminate from the sheetmetal on the roof and leads to the obvious leaks and rust issues. The only way to tell for sure is to remove the interior wall coverings… or look for water marks. He pushes for how well the thing runs, but not what state the sheet metal is in…

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  4. Bob

    Interesting that one photo shows a Type 3 engine installed. I am curious how the Type 3 was installed. I understand it provides more space. Just want to know how it was accomplished in this vehicle.

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  5. Rick

    @ Bob. A T3 engine is no different than a standard Beetle engine other than the fan and cooling tin arrangement. It will bolt right in with no issues.

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  6. Danno

    I like, big, Bugs and I cannot lie….

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  7. RoneBee

    i like it

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  8. Nova Scotian

    The original Kia Soul?

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  9. jaygryph

    If anyone really wants one of these, there has been a partly finished one that shows up to the Portland Oregon PIR race track swap meet in April. It’s been for sale out there about 4 years in a row at this point, I imagine it will be back again this coming April.

    They’re pretty quirky lookin’ in person. I dig it.

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  10. hans grafftenberg

    In the photo of the shop receipts you can see that they put spark plugs in it every time they work on it. Why would a vehicle that only gets driven occasionally in nice weather go through that many plugs? I think this garage is taking this guy for a ride.

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  11. Leon

    is that overspray on the left rear light lens ? I hate paint jobs where they can’t take time to removed the exterior trim and lights

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  12. boxdin

    Just took pics of my Vandetta brochure and my Brubaker Box brochure.

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  13. boxdin

    more

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  14. boxdin

    one more

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  15. boxdin

    I wanted the Brubaker Box more but the Vandetta was much more practical, cheaper and seemingly easier to build. I also hated sliding doors.
    Ended up buying a new 73 short Dodge B200 van.

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  16. Steve H

    Too weird and quirky for my taste, no thanks. If I wanted a vehicle like this I’d get a nice, used Chevy HHR SS.

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  17. Ck

    It looks really kool from the back,and unfinished from the front .Why in the world would this company go through all the trouble to design just the back half .Why not design a fiberglass body that replaces the V Dub body ?Like a Dune Bugy does.If this had a front end that looked like an old truck from the 30’s or 40’s it would be Baaad Ace. Please all you VW guys don’t take this the wrong way,I love old V DUBS this thing on the other hand is not doing it for me.

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  18. Brad

    Driver included, I’m in….

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  19. tugdoc

    Another company used to advertise in the back of auto magazines a 40 Willys panel, I thought looked much better. Times have changed who would cut up a bug now!

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  20. kenzo

    I would seriously consider it if the chauffeur in pic #2 comes with it, but then again it is an interesting custom but like previously mentioned, bonding can be a huge problem if done by real back yard warriors. with a torch and a 24…

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  21. Jim Norman

    CK, there are many VW Beetle hood replacements that would finish out this conversion very nicely. For instance, follow this link and take a look at the ’40 Ford style. http://www.bgwspectre.com/hoods.html

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    • Ck

      Verry kool link Jim,There are quite a few hoods that would finish off the vandetta very nicely. Still the way its bonded to the bug itself kinda turns me off,Ijust think a bolt on body would have been a better idea.That being said some of those hoods are pretty cool
      I do remember the one that looks like the front of a Rolls on quite a few bugs when I was a kid in the 70’s

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  22. CarNut from Winnipeg

    Close the front of the box, then put on a fromt clip from a Thing or a Manx.

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