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Dune Time: 1969 Shalako


Listed here on craigslist Reno is a rare ’69 Shalako dune buggy priced at $2,500 OBO. Most of us, I believe, have never seen one of these that is unless you saw Josh’s post Name that Car: Mystery Microcar. These were only produced for two years and are quite rare. This is one of the many designs that Mr. Dick Dean produced. He worked with Mattel toys and then the famous George Barris. Dick was asked by Barris to run the Barris Kustom City in 1964. While there they worked on many television show cars including the Munster Koach, Dragula for “The Munsters” and cars for “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Mannix” and others. The first Shalako Mr. Dean created had an aluminum body, the production models were built with fiberglass.

This example runs, but the owner says it needs a tune-up.  It comes with a title and looks to be ready for both street and offroad use. The owner is willing to trade this kit and would be interested in a VW or a 4×4. Given the lack of information, I would want to have a look at this oddball. They are quite simple, so I wouldn’t be too worried about fixing it up, but I would still want to make sure the VW floorpan is solid and that the fiberglass body is sound. If you just have to have a Shalako, but lack the room or the time to fix this one up, you could always track down a scale model kit and build one to display! So will you be hitting the dunes in this buggy?







  1. Patrick McC.

    Looks like a type 4 engine. No idea why anyone would need more power in a fiberglass dune buggy than just a stock VW 1600. My mom’s dune buggy has a stock, single port, single carburetor engine and it has more than what I would just call pep!

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  2. Jeff Staff

    That looks like all kinds of dangerous fun.

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  3. Rick

    Cool little car. A buddy of mine had one on Long Island for a while (until he got married.. ‘nuf said). Exquisitely tiny inside – at 5’11” and 210 I could just about get behind the wheel. Never mind about getting out. Still, an attention getter at VW shows!

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  4. Pat Housel

    This is an hour from me…

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  5. stiffler4444

    Love it. Love the price too.

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  6. biobug Member

    Well, she is sitting in my shop now and will be rebuilt somewhat for a trip to Arizona in January. No, extra power is not necessary but I have a new 1915 and Rancho transmission that I was going to put onto my “Thing”. So at my age I think I won’t be too crazy like I used to be. My last glass buggy had a 215 Aluminum Buick V-8 hanging on the back. After looking her over I will say the gentleman that built her spent some big bucks . He did not cut corners. Wiring looks very clean, gauges are quality, He did a fine job. It is sad he died before he got a chance to enjoy her.

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  7. Robert Member


    That’s great you purchased the car and will be going on an adventure in her next year! Any images you wish to share please do.


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  8. biobug Member

    Old engine out, new engine (1915) and Rancho tranny in. Lots of little things to do but really not too bad. The Beard seats are nice but make it very cramped.

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  9. biobug Member

    I made a side pod for turn brakes on the driver side . The center has no room.

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  10. biobug Member

    Got her up and running today.

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  11. biobug Member

    Lots of wiring to do .I put a storage locker in the right pod.

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    • Robert Member

      Way to go! Thanks for the updates.

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  12. John Alley Member

    I have her done and will probably sell it now

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  13. John Alley Member

    It is done.

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