Death Wish Bug? 1966 Volkswagen Beetle

There’s plenty of automotive trends I will never understand, but I can generally appreciate almost anything if it has wheels and an engine. Sadly, this shortened VW Beetle does not have a drivetrain at the moment, and it’s also one of the few customization jobs I will never quite grasp the intent behind. Shortened VW Buses and Beetles have long been popping up for sale as forgotten projects, which would seemingly indicate at least some level of regret on behalf of owners who have made their already semi-impractical car even more so. This customized Bug is listed here on craigslist, and while the seller will entertain trades, he doesn’t want your drugs or electronics.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. The seller is asking $2,000 for this curious oddball, which at least looks like it has an expensive paint job, or one meant to look expensive. The bodywork has obviously been extensively customized to facilitate the removal of the doors and most of the interior, along with creating a custom enclosure for subwoofers to thump directly into your brain. There’s no longer any roof, but that’s OK as you’ll likely be dead long before any concerns about needing skin grafts on your forehead arise. There are some roll hoops, but I’m pretty sure those started life as a set of pool noodles, and have only been marginally reinforced since then.

The interior features a radio and a steering wheel. That’s it. Literally, there’s nothing else. A close-up view of this area of the car would likely tell you whether the bodywork was done to a high degree, but I really can’t see someone hiring Chip Foose to chop their Beetle in half and weld it back together with half the floor removed. The seller notes the body is only resting on the chassis, so that combined with the missing engine and interior tells you that there’s a long way to go before this project is finished. Since the listing doesn’t mention the interior being included, and that converting the seats and carpet to work in the new shortened confines will require some work, I’m guessing you’re on your own for comfort.

The seller notes that while the belly pans are new, the heater channels are rusted. With no engine, the possibilities are endless for making this Beetle an even more reckless contraption than it already is. The seller had plans to throw a motorcycle engine from a Harley-Davidson inside here, but those never materialized. He suggests you could go “…completely off the rails” and install a small block Chevy, but I’m not sure how much fun that would be – staring death in the face every day, and all. This cut-up Beetle is more likely to live out its days as a static display piece than as a running driver, and honestly, that’s probably the best outcome for society as a whole. Would you drive it?

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  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Step 1 – add SBC.
    Step 2 – add chrome handles so your friends can carry you to your final resting place.

    Like 22
    • Daniel Wright

      Sir you lack creativity, 6-71 Detroit diesel.

      Like 4
      • Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

        true dat! just figured at some point we’ll be told that the ICE is as dead as us’n.

  2. Freddy

    or put it on a golf cart frame and be the buffoon of your country club that everyone complains about?

    Like 17
  3. DanaPointJohn

    There seems to be no plan or fore thought with this poor Beetle. It will be perfect as a curiosity art piece sitting in front of a bar in Key West or Las Vegas.

    Like 6
  4. Patrick Anderson

    I think the owner has enough drugs to his own.

    Like 10
  5. Mutt

    Here is the list of reasons why I want this car:

    Like 37
  6. Bill Shields

    Somewhere there is a merry go round missing its Volkswagen.

    Like 19

    Sure I would drive it! Every year in the fireman’s parade dressed like a clown playing fun music really loud (ear plugs) with the prom queen tossing candy to the kiddos. Every body wins.

    Like 13
  8. nycbjr Member

    No dice no dice something something no dice lol!

  9. sir_mike

    Were the dents in rear panel before or after it was painted??? Clown Car..

    • unclemymy Member

      Before the paint job – I rear-ended him and boy was he PO’d! It was a vertically challenged adult, and he came huffing up to me and screamed – “I am not happy!” I asked, “So, which one are you?” – that’s when the fight broke out.

  10. Jack M.

    Go to Princess Auto or Harbour Freight and buy a 20-25 hp air cooled engine for it and drive it in parades.

    Like 6
  11. eric monroe

    im interested send me a pm this will make a great lawn ornament

    Like 1
  12. Michael Shook

    Someone forget to add the quarter slot?
    Nice cabin for a retro gas roadster. Stretch a bit, add BB anything,and throw that “dub” nose out front as rad. cover. 👋 bye-bye.

    Like 2
  13. jeffro

    I’d drive it. I have 2 ex-wives so I’m use to living dangerously.

    Like 7
    • unclemymy Member

      I’ll bring the beer – I have three!!!

  14. Courtney

    Electric Golf Cart motor a mini bar set up under the front with small ice crusher. Tool on a back bumper with a bag Holder. Then sell it to the first idiot that comes along that wants it.

    Like 2
  15. JamieB1966 Member

    Hey, how about dropping in one of those NOS Eastern Bloc tank engines we saw here a few weeks back?

  16. Rick

    It’d be awesome for a parade clown.

  17. Moparman Member

    Looks like only a ‘little person’ would be able to comfortably fit inside and drive in the circus parade! :-)

    Like 1
  18. JoeBob

    I think it would be pretty cool with a 54″ mower deck installed under it. With the right power plant you’d win most neighbor hood lawn mower derbys. I have to agree with Patrick Anderson. I see why drugs won’t be considered in trade.

    Like 2
  19. BigBlocksRock

    no more drinking!

  20. deak E Stevens

    Looks like it should be on display at disneyland!!!

    Like 1
  21. deak E Stevens

    Or put it on one of those stands infront of a market,let kids pay .25 cents to ride .

    Like 1
  22. b-boy

    Maybe convert it to a meat smoker.

    Like 1
  23. Merle Miller

    Where is it located, and does the trailer go with it?

  24. Tom

    That is crazy, I am guessing a lot of pot was smoked during the design phase of this automotive wonder. I like the fact that all that work was done and the heater tubes weren’t done seeing as they are a structural support on vws. Of all of the ideas I think I am going golf cart as being the most obnoxious way of staying true to the original plans for this automotive marvel.

  25. Mullet Man

    tank tracks and a detroit 60

  26. David Myers

    oh ye of little vision drop a Porsche flat 6 in it !!!!!!!!!

  27. Jeff

    Write HotWheels on the sides fix a rocket engine in the back and give the driver some plastic wings and a small harp‼️😱😂😂😂

    Like 1
    • dave hunnicutt

      With that set-up, the driver will get the harp pretty soon!

  28. Tom

    Jeff you win… That is exactly what should be done with this freak show.

  29. Beel

    I wouldn’t get out of the electric chair to drive that car.

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