Live Auctions

Dune Buggy Project: 1961 Volkswagen Concept 1

When I went to do some quick research on the history of this so-called “Concept 1” dune buggy, I only found one source: myself. Yes, the other reference to one of these obscure Volkswagen-based kit cars was written by yours truly a few years back and I can’t say that any major revelations have materialized since that time about what sets one dune buggy apart from another. This example has been in storage for a few decades and has plenty of rough edges to smooth, along with needing its missing engine replaced. Find it here on eBay with bids to $4,250 and no reserve.

A few years ago, I sold another version of the famous Meyers Manx kit, yet another replica in an ocean filled with them. It’s amazing to realize that all these years later, there are still plenty of dune buggy fans out there who can spot the differences between each version from a mile away. The differences can be slight or significant, but no matter what, those distinctions are critical in assigning value. You may feel like you have the rarest VW dune buggy of them all, but if it’s not a favorite son of the sand rail and dune buggy crowd, it’ll be kicked aside like yesterday’s newspaper.

There’s been some new buzz around the re-imagined Meyers Manx kit, now in electrified form, which I suppose was bound to happen. Call me old school, but I just need to see one of these with a built flat-four out back and huge pipes poking out from behind each rear wheel. When I imagine a VW dune buggy, I immediately recall the video of Steve McQueen hurtling one across the dunes with a lady friend in the front seat and thinking, “That man has got life all figured out.” I imagine this one could help you relive that experience in real-time, albeit after the drivetrain has been sourced, the rust fixed, and the paint job re-done. Oh, and you’ll need to find a passenger seat, too.

It’s no surprise the engine has gone missing; after all, VW mills of this generation were pretty much swapped daily once they failed on a regular Beetle or Microbus. The fat tires is a classic dune buggy look, and I imagine you could cram even bigger rubber back there if you wanted to. The seller notes it does come with a transmission, gas tank, oil cooler, and disc brakes, which is a nice upgrade. What motor would you source for this dune buggy build and what color would you paint it? Personally, orange with white stripes would get my vote along with a performance engine build from the likes of Darryl’s VW shop in Missouri.


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    If it were mine, I would do a color change to Tree Frog Green.

    Like 9
    • Troy

      Well it can be yours if the price is right

      Like 1
  2. Rick

    Just gotta dig a little deeper Jeff: are the original sales slicks. The molds were for sale in N. Florida some years ago.. might still be around. This one has the engine dog house and the front valance that are so often missing. I think the one reason these never really took off is they are almost impossible to get in and out of. Many had owner added side steps.

    Like 7
  3. scott macdonald

    64 polara taillights…cool.

  4. Howie

    Pretty cool, ends today.

  5. Mike B

    Great Tonka vibe.

    Like 2
  6. Lap Dog

    Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway and a Corvair flat 6 engine in the earlier Thomas Crown Affair.

    Like 1
  7. Ken

    I bet with enough ponies out back, this thing does wheelies like a mofo.

  8. Howie

    Ended $5,200, 41 bids. Sold.

    Like 2
  9. Russell

    Just for giggles … “the boys” of “The Grand Tour” did a tribute special to the dune buggy … by each driving one around Namibia. Not their best but still a giggle … I loved that country but there is a lot … a lot … a lot of space between here and anywhere else.
    BTW, best “game park” in Africa is there … Etosha National park

  10. cchrlsful

    Namibia is where the desert meets the ocean. No wonder our hurricanes start there (correct?).
    Easy ta get in: go up backwards, park butt on ‘shoulder’, get up on tip toes, push in. Butt on seat? spin around to place feet on peddels.

    More rarely used toys (unless living somewhere else than me – NE usa). Not worth regs$, license$, insur$, etc, etc fees (to me). Already gota 750 KZ.

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