Baja Bug

The Baja Bug is a VW beetle for use on rough terrain ( deserts, sand dunes and beaches) was rebuilt. Other air-cooled Volkswagen are sometimes converted in this way.


The Baja Bug was originally from 1969 to 1975 in Southern California as an inexpensive answer to the successful VW Buggy from the mid -1960s, z. B. the Meyers Manx, built.

The first Baja Bug to have been produced by Gay Emory of Parts Obsolete the company about 1968. Have for the first time in any competition is to him Dave Deal, the famous Californian cartoonist, in the Mexican 1000 1968. The first fiberglass Baja (Bug Eye kit ) was introduced by the Miller - Havens Company in 1969.

Before the introduction of fiberglass parts enthusiasts and racers built just an old VW Beetle on the body and technology as to that he was suitable for use in rough terrain. The front fenders and side panels of the car were partially cut off, resulting in a higher ground clearance and a larger travel revealed. These cars were known as Cut Baja. A higher engine output was achieved through the use of cylinder heads with double intake and injection systems from VW Type 3

Why the Beetle?

The Beetle was popular because of its built-in rear, air-cooled engine, its flat underbody and its rugged torsion bar suspension in the less developed areas of the world. In fact, the contemporary advertising suggests that the beetle is so waterproof that it would float. These attributes predestined the beetle as a basis for an all-terrain vehicle, as 1000 proved the success of the car in the Baja then and now.


The basic conversion is simple. The front and rear fenders, and trunk lid, hood and side panels can be removed and replaced with fiberglass parts. The rear engine is not dressed in order to ensure better cooling. As a protection for passengers and motor a steel tube cage and one bumpers are mounted on front and back. The running boards are removed and instead GRP fenders and side reinforcing steel tubes attached. The rugged torsion bar suspension allows the beetle to brave the rough terrain and allows its owner, the ground clearance at the rear to lift something and to stiffen the chassis, so that the larger terrain wheels can be attached. Due to its relatively light vehicle front, the Beetle can compensate for the lack of all-wheel drive partially. The larger tires allow an even greater ground clearance and improved ride comfort on rocky terrain. The Aufsetzschutz can be removed to increase the suspension travel. Longer shock absorbers allow again a greater suspension travel and more damping performance and enhance vehicle performance. Some people even build from the torsion bar suspension and replace it with spring legs to reach an even wider range of spring.

The Baja Bug today

Although the Baja Bug, in recent years, replaced largely by extra- designed buggies with tubular frame, sand rails, as slowly run out of base vehicles of this type especially in the United States only a few beaches for public road transport remains a popular option in desert regions, allowed are. Many specimens are equipped with highly tuned VW engines and some specimens also get engines from the Ford Pinto, the Chevrolet Corvair, Porsche, Mazda and Subaru, as well as other water-cooled four-, six - or eight-cylinder engines. Tuned road versions of the Baja Bug are also very popular.


Baja California

Baja California

Rally Baja

Baja kit (bug -eye style)

Stark tuned Baja

Baja Bug in the Mojave Desert Race

Pictures of Baja Bug