VW Beetle Classic... questions pre-acquisition


I dont want to rent a trailer since I am in the mountains, which would mean renting one, bringing the car up here and having to drive it back down somewhere... at that point I would just make my trailer work. But the ease of the hitch things seem nice and inexpensive.

How about the Baja versions. Are those just kits that people put on after or something that came from the factory. And what suspension changes do those have. Could I get one of those and put back on the normal fenders, bumpers and rear engine cover or is that just going to be a pain. Or is that just a generic term people use after they lift/fiberglass one.
The Bajas I had where kits. Mine where the fiberglass kits. 4 fenders,hood,nose piece plus tube front bumper and engine cage. You have to do alot of cutting so no going back to original if you go that route. I prefer the class 11 style. They are really fun offroad.


Jason McDaniel
The Baja style allows much easier, and better customizing of the suspension and body protection that a Class-11 style car. If you are willing to go that style, you can build a MUCH more capable car with fewer restraints on the tire selection and suspension.
I guess I would add, if you buy somebody else's Baja bug, you will save a lot of time and money - so long as you make sure whoever converted it did a good job. It's gotten to the point where Baja bugs are even being converted back into normal beetles because they're usually priced less than standard cars. A lot of beetles were converted back when the cars had reached their value slump, and turning the old VW into a Baja bug seemed like a risk-free project for a car that was only worth $200-$400 anyway. But that also means the quality of the kit and worksmanship varies greatly depending on who was doing it and what their goal was.

With older conversions as well, you probably won't find the running gear modified very much, the main point of the kits was just to provide less overhang and more room for bigger tires. Suspension/engine often didn't get any attention.


Jason McDaniel
Along those lines, if you want a Baja, buying one already converted at a lower price than a standard Bug is still a good deal, even if the conversion wasn't done well. If you can't salvage the body conversion parts, most Baja body parts can still be bought new, and the likelyhood for rust or accident damage exists on both Bajas and Bugs.


Jason McDaniel
This one struck my eye a few years ago. If I was building one, this is the style I'd aim for with maybe the addition of an engine skid plate, rear bar and nerf bars. Those look like 3x3 rear arms (3" inches longer and 3" wider than stock).

Nothing worthwhile to add, other than so far as kits go, I've always liked the early "bug eye" variety...

And it's a genuine old-school conversion of an oval window, even better. :eek:
I prefer the bug eye, or narrow eye, ones myself... But check your local laws. I haven't confirmed this, but my old boss at Bugformance said they're not legal in California. Headlights are too close.
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I prefer the bug eye, or narrow eye, ones myself... But check your local laws. I haven't confirmed this, but my old boss at Bugformance said they're not legal in California. Headlights are too close.
I'd never heard of that before. If it's true, think it would be dependent on what year the car was made. I don't think the distance between headlights was mandated until 1968, that's when Land Rover had to start mounting them in the fenders. Since these kits appeared c. 1969 it probably wasn't a concern to them then, since nobody was going to chop up a new car at that time.
I would think it should be too. But remember we're dealing with an aftermarket kit. Not an OEM design. So many year designated laws wouldn't apply because the vehicle is not "as originally equipped".

The bottom line though is always how badly a cop wants to write you a ticket. There are TONS of technically illegal parts on hunderds of millions of cars all through the country. (Heck, I used to sell them!) So in reality, it's not a big deal. But i know that is for some, and they like to avoid anything even marginally non-compliant. Personally, I'm just the type who likes to know before hand what laws i'm skirting.

Let's me keep in mind how righteously indignant, or respectfully compliant, to an officer I truly can be at any given moment. ;)

I actually have a bug eye kit right now, for a future rock crawler project concept. :D


Figured the Baja kits would vary if it's an owner mod so I'll keep that in mind. I don't plan on actually racing it or needing to stick to standards, just wanted to keep the stock look of the body. The baja style does give more options with less clearance issues but not really the style i want. I would be fine with some trimming fenders but don't want to rip them off


Still keeping an eye out for a 69/70.

Also currently building my house, so not on a rush for another car project.

Emailed and text about a good looking prospect but got no response..as usual.