BF Auction: 1922 Model T Dune Buggy Rat Rod

Bid to: $1,850View Result

It is widely acknowledged that the Dune Buggy craze reached its zenith during the 1960s and 1970s, although it is possible to buy a new one today. The most instantly recognizable is the Meyers Manx, although some owners elected to follow a different path to create a genuinely unique vehicle. That is the case with this classic, and with a title dated 1922, that could make it the “oldest” Dune Buggy in existence. It is a road-legal classic that the buyer can enjoy immediately, and it is exclusively offered here at Barn Finds Auctions.

The seller indicates this Dune Buggy was created in the 1970s atop a Volkswagen tube frame. Its builder utilized a 1922 Ford Model T Pickup body, which accounts for its Title. It has an authentic rat rod look, with dustings of surface corrosion but no penetrating rust. Like many rat rods, you need to look carefully to isolate the finer details that help these classics stand out. Apart from the Model T panels, the builder utilized 1954 bus headlamps, employing 1860s kerosene carriage lanterns for additional character. A beautiful silver ornament dominates the hood, adding a stunning spot of contrasting “bling” to the exterior. The Dune Buggy rolls on nicely painted 1960s wheels wrapped in bias-ply whitewall tires. Its creator fitted taillights into what would normally be the Model T’s tailboard, and like the headlamps, they are fully functioning. The vehicle is road-legal, which allows the new owner to experience instant enjoyment.

Apart from the drivetrain, one of the defining characteristics of a Dune Buggy is the elegantly simple interior. In most cases, this came as a matter of necessity. These vehicles offered little in the way of weatherproofing, meaning trim and interior features need to be immune to water and sand. This rat rod buggy continues that theme, with body-hugging low-back racing seats trimmed in Black padded vinyl. The dash houses a standard Volkswagen speedometer and a few switches, but there is also a slight nautical theme that reflects that many of these classics spent their lives by the beach. A wood-rimmed boat wheel tops the VW steering column, while the mirror also started life in a boat. There are no luxuries like a throbbing stereo or power accessories because a Dune Buggy is all about a pure and simple motoring experience.

One aspect of Dune Buggies that surprises many people is their performance. They almost exclusively utilize Volkswagen drivetrains, but thanks to the absence of the steel Beetle bodyshell, interior trim, and glass, they are significantly lighter than the donor vehicle. We all know that weight is the enemy of performance, which is why people like Colin Chapman subscribed to the approach of “simplify, then add lightness.” This classic probably does that better than most Dune Buggies because the Model T bodywork is perhaps even lighter than the fiberglass shell commonly seen on a Meyers Manx. Powering it is a Volkswagen 1600 twin-port air-cooled four-cylinder engine, the layout would suggest from a Type 3. It should produce around 65hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transaxle. The drivetrain means this rat rod shares one crucial characteristic with more traditional Dune Buggies because it will go anywhere. The seller indicates it is in sound mechanical health. They say it is a blast to drive, which is a claim I find easy to believe.

Dune Buggies don’t appeal to every taste, but that is true of any classic vehicle. They are cars designed to provide motoring enjoyment and to plaster a mile-wide smile on their owner’s face. This 1922 gem should achieve that goal, with the successful bidder spending nothing beyond the initial purchase price. Some potential buyers may have visions of a custom paint job or other upgrades, but it has so much character I would be inclined to pursue the preservation path. However, that is the essence of what made the Dune Buggy so popular; Every owner could tailor the vehicle to their personal taste. There are no rules to owning one, and people parking one in their garage are limited only by their imagination. Would you like to become this beauty’s new owner and indulge in that enjoyable experience?

  • Location: Portage Des Sioux, Missouri
  • Mileage: 20,000
  • Engine: Volkswagen 1600cc
  • Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
  • VIN: 6058676
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Auction

High Bid: $1,850 (Reserve Not Met)
Ended: Dec 9, 2022 2:00pm MDT
High Bidder: Roger Irvin
  • Avatar photo
    Roger Irvin
    bid $1,850.00  2022-12-09 05:52:25
  • Avatar photo
    Eddahead bid $1,750.00  2022-12-09 04:09:30
  • Avatar photo
    Roger Irvin bid $1,600.00  2022-12-08 15:24:48
  • Avatar photo
    Dave G
    bid $1,500.00  2022-12-08 10:47:07
  • Avatar photo
    Lusu bid $1,400.00  2022-12-08 09:32:10
  • Avatar photo
    Eddahead bid $1,300.00  2022-12-08 08:24:41
  • Avatar photo
    bid $1,200.00  2022-12-07 18:06:33
  • Avatar photo
    Projects bid $1,000.00  2022-12-05 11:52:36
  • Avatar photo
    Bigj59 bid $600.00  2022-12-03 21:35:52
  • Avatar photo
    bid $500.00  2022-12-03 17:35:37
  • Avatar photo
    meat bid $300.00  2022-12-02 18:06:31


  1. Avatar photo Melton Mooney

    Steering column right through the radiator! Cool!

    Like 7
  2. Avatar photo Jeremy Epstein

    “Road-legal” and “ratchet strap holding the fuel tank in place” are not generally terms that apply to the same vehicle.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Greg B

      You just gotta watch more RoadKill to get it

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Cowel lights are mid Model T years (and other cars). The early model T’s had brass and copper lights. Have had a pair of the type on this car since my junior year in college when my girl friend’s father gave them to me. Fully functional and really neat. Do notice the absence of anything to strap the folks in or survive a roll over. Not too good out on the dunes I’d say.

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo DON

    So basically its a VW Beetle with some pipes welded on and a few Model T Parts stuck on ? If Dune Buggies are registered /titled with the vin #s that the Beetle had ,why would this mostly VW be titled as a 1922 Ford ?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Johnny

      Because he had the body parts of a 1922 Ford. The article tells it.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo KKW

      It should be titled according to the VIN on the frame, which is VW

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo stan

    Cool as he’ll miss the buggy I had 3 years ago

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo Tom

    Having built and run both offroad and street legal “buggies”, this one is very interesting and shows a great deal of imagination. “Street legal” is a bit of a reach as the shortcomings are way too obvious. Plywood, two X fours and ratchet straps scream “soap box derby” not dune running. Hats off to the creator of this “Frankenstein” and if bought right… would be an affordable and fun foundation to build on. I’ve always been a sucker for odd balls and pigs with lipstick. Best of luck to the seller and buyer!

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Kenn

    Also, lack of fenders restricts road legal use in many states.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo stan

    Is it on a Missouri title

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo peter

    is titled as a 1922 model T? here in Colorado dune buggies are not street legal alowed so just want to make sure before bid. thanks in advance.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Dwight Batty

    No radiator on a VW 1600 😃

    Like 0

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