1973 Volkswagen Super Bugger Camper!

The seller is asking all the money for this “Super Bugger” Volkswagen Beetle R/V, but not many are left in anything approaching this condition. These oddball conversions were seemingly all the rage back in the 1970s when anything went, but to find one today that somehow can even still roll under its own power is a find, much less one that appears to have been mildly restored. The seller doesn’t offer much in the way of details, and while the pictures can indeed do the talking, it’d be nice to know if this one has simply been preserved or if it was completely redone. Find it here on eBay with a listed price of $39,900.

The Super Bugger was never intended to be the kind of R/V you could live in; in fact, R/V may even be too generous of a description. It was really intended just to be a campground accessory, something to take shelter in while you still otherwise pitched a tent and slept on the cold ground and fended off the elements. In that regard, it’s sort of pointless, but it’s absolutely meaningful as a conversation piece. I can almost see the justification for the conversion being entirely wrapped up in being able to drive to the local air-cooled show and have all the die-hards drool over this oddball – or those nicely preserved front bucket seats with armrests on both sides.

The interior featured a card table and some small bench seats, making it a perfect spot to have a meal or get some work done while traveling the open road. In that regard, it may actually make some sense in a COVID economy where more workers are finding it possible to connect remotely to their day job – this is a perfect table for a lap top. The builder didn’t exactly go above and beyond with the camper shell, as I’ve seen other examples with far nicer cabinetry and other details, like a full stove, integrated behind where the television sits. This is definitely a disappointment considering the asking price, and fans of these vintage R/Vs are usually looking for drop-dead gorgeous interiors.

The engine bay presents well, certainly nice enough to believe this Super Bugger did benefit from a modest restoration and overhaul at one point in time. Other details include gorgeous paint and fake wood paneling on the shell itself, along with excellent chrome and original steel wheels with hub caps. The interior also features a period-correct radio, bamboo-style parcel shelf, tidy aftermarket steering wheel, and other thoughtful details. The price here would be fair if the lounging area had been properly finished at the same time as the rest of the Super Bugger; hopefully, the next owner will give it the treatment it deserves.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Gotta admit it’s a cute little rig! It would be really cool to park this in the driveway of your mini house with micro cars in the same driveway. Just sayin.

    Like 16
  2. IkeyHeyman Member

    This has what, something like 46 horsepower? I can’t imagine loading this thing up for a road trip and then having to crawl up over Colorado mountain passes.

    Like 25
    • Howard A Member

      “Slow ride,,,take it easy”,,other day, I saw’r a VW bus going up one of the grades, sounded like it was wound out in 3rd, big line of cars behind them.

      Like 17
      • Skorzeny

        Howard, I recently was stuck behind a VW bus in the mountains of western Montana. I was PISSED. Not a vehicle to drive anywhere near a mountain.

        Like 13
      • Al

        Pity
        This vehicle can climb hills like any other car, simply put it in reverse. VW`s always are faster in reverse, at least that is my experience.

        Like 9
  3. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Corvair flat-six swap candidate?

    Like 5
    • grant

      Porsche flat six swap!

      Like 6
      • Doyler

        Honda Goldwing flat 6. Keep the price down :)

        Like 9
      • Bill McCoskey

        Air-cooled TATRA 2.5L V8 swap. [It bolts up to the V/W or Porsche transaxle!]

        Like 3
      • Patrick Farmer

        A blown LSX 427 candidate right in the middle of the kitchen floor. Nobody and I mean nobody would see it coming. In fact they would all laugh at a stop light challenge. Especially if you keep the VW engine, not as a means of locomotion but as a magic trick as you revit it up at the stop light making them think that they just got beat by a VW powered motorhome. If you can make this happen, whoever you beat would be pulling their engine to see where the power drop off was.

        Like 1
    • K. R. V.

      That’s the only way this contraption could ever go from coast to coast at the speed limits, maintaining the speed limits!

      Like 2
    • Twinstick

      Nah. Early model Porsche flat 6 would be a bolt on swap.

  4. Turbo

    Wow, this would be such a slug that it would be dangerous in a cross wind or going up any hill. This would go airborne if you tried to drive it across the Texas panhandle. Cute, but count me out.

    Like 10
  5. Bear

    I have to wonder if that “bed” area above the front windshield is actually meant to be used for sleeping?!?
    …MAYBE for a small child?
    I’d love to see this shown in “sleeping mode” with actual people showing their sleeping positions.
    ….
    Back in my college days I used to drive a ’68 Bus with a tired 1600cc engine, single port heads, & a 1 barrel carb. It wasn’t fast, but it certainly was slow. …ummmm, I meant to say but it got there (eventually). I can remember “white knuckles” whenever a semi passed me. …both from the “wake” that came off the semi’s cab (& worked to push me off the road), & from the dirty looks because I wasn’t exactly setting any speed records on those CA highways. FORTUNATELY the max speed limt was 55mph back then, so there were some conditions (down hill, tail wind, gas pedal floored) where I could actually almost keep up!! LOL! :-P

    Like 13
    • christopher swift

      I know that feeling. I can’t get too interested in any of the VWs appearing here. Cute to look at, but I was really tired of rowing that shifter and still not getting anywhere. Good thing it was fairly noisy, it created a feeling of progress.

      Like 6
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      They’ve got that one in the right place Mike. Off the highway.
      God bless America

      Like 7
    • Patrick Farmer

      Drove right past it and did not see it. I was to busy thinking about a thick grilled cheese and a malt made with their Malt Shop ice cream. Tillamook is good stuff.

      Like 1
  6. Phlathead Phil

    Krazy idea, Krazy price. It’s like putting an outboard motor on a U.S. Navy destroyer.

    Like 8
  7. Arby

    Just looking for the punchbowl….

    Like 2
    • Patrick Farmer

      Looking around for the punchbowl, Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

      I just replied thinking it needed a big bowl of candy. Your funny or we are both weird. Either way, I got a kick out of your comment.

  8. Ben T.Spanner

    We are having a conversion conversation. This is even slower than a Toyota pickup RV. I vote for a Cadillac hearse RV conversion. I am biased, as my daily driver in the late 1960’s was a 1953 Cadillac hearse. At that time and through the 1970’s Vaughn motors in Columbus, Ohio sold hearses with RV conversions.

    Like 1
  9. Rodney - GSM

    The original Bed Bug.

    Like 1
  10. DON

    Some of the British guys on this site will get a chuckle out of the campers name. “Bugger” means something very different over there !

    Like 13
    • Chris Londish Member

      In Australia and New Zealand too

      Like 1
    • TC Oz.

      It has the same meaning in Australia too.
      If you break something it’s definitely ‘buggered’ and as you break it you say ‘Oh bugger’, or if you’re polite you say ‘damn’, or ‘damn and blast it’!
      I’m not that refined so I just say sh.t, they all mean the same thing at the end of the day.

      Like 2
      • ken tilly UK

        Bugger in the UK doesn’t mean sh.t. Sod o my is nearer it’s true meaning.

        Like 3
    • Patrick Farmer

      You would get a chuckle out of it if it was named the Sorry Bu%t Trucker. You get the drift.

  11. Sid Cannon Sid Member

    A few years ago my wife and I took our 1958 Panama yellow fuel injected Corvette to the good guys event in Washington. One day we happen to park right next to one of these. It was like our Corvette was invisible. Everybody that walked by was fixated by this VW and never even noticed our Corvette.Go figure. These VW’s are really cool. What an attention getter.

    Like 1
  12. RallyAce

    $40K for this or $50K for a nice 32 foot class A motorhome with real living capabilities within. The motorhome will also tow this up and over mountain passes without pissing off everyone behind you.

    Like 6
    • Doyler

      I think it’s safe to say that you’re actually just buying a novelty factor.

      Like 4
      • A kelly

        Not much of a novelty! A company built these for around $6000 US and they must have made quite a few because I see them on a regular basis

        Like 1
    • Patrick Farmer

      It would be cool to see this rig being towed behind a big new motorhome.

  13. K. R. V.

    This would be a big hit on The Little People Show!

    Like 4
  14. Comet

    That little dog with antlers tied to his head toting that huge sack up the snowy hillside for the Grinch comes to mind.

    Like 4
    • Phil Ethier

      Max.

  15. steve

    As an old hippy,I never saw one of these rigs till now, made many a trip to California from Florida on biz. would always take the northern route back to Florida….I would drive my 62 single cab, with a twin Solex,010 distributor, and a mild cam, would pull almost 80 on the flats with a little extra air in the tires…This rig would blow over when the first tractor trailer blew past you in North Dakota…..This is a new-made ride.I would doubt that you could use 4th gear much even on the flat land of Oklahoma what a waste of a BUG The passes at 10500 ft in Montana, Wyoming, you couldn’t get 50 ft up the grade…..this is a P. T. Barnum rig for a new born sucker at the price. More junk

    Like 5
  16. Chris Londish Member

    Wind is thyne enemy and don’t be in a hurry, could do with an up grade in the horses department, but handy on long trips for that power nap and there would be many of those

    Like 1
  17. Russell C
    • ken tilly UK

      Nice looking but it would still need a decent engine to pull the weight, and lack of wind cheating design of this one.

  18. James Lantz

    What about brakes once you got up to speed & headed downhii???

    • Patrick Farmer

      Well it will come to a stop after it plows into someone.

  19. Michael J Walter

    “When I grow up, I wanna be a Chevy Silverado Camper Special!”

    Like 1
  20. Michael J Walter

    A Volkswagen with an identity crisis.

  21. Patrick Farmer

    God Almighty. I remember the wholesale raping of the VW Beetle back in the 1970’s, but Holy Christmas. It seems like everyone was talking about the floor pan of there Bug. How cool it was to cut the rest of the body away and build a dune buggy in an area where the sand dunes are 4 feet tall. I am glad I didn’t fall into the Dune Buggy craze. I also remember how crappy the kit cars where in their infancy. This to ate up a lot of beetles. These activities are why the price of the VW Beetle is so high for a complete one. It’s like the Fiero. I have never seen such a creepy looking thing as this. All this car needs is a big bowl of candy and a dash compass to complete it’s child molester look. Their were some really great things from the 1970’s and then their were some terrible things from the 1970’s. Guess which one this Bugger fits?

    Like 1

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