Every thing is an adventure if you drive this street-legal dune buggy

Owning a dune buggy sounds like a lot of fun. You have a vehicle that can be beaten up, tossed around, and it always seems like it wears a smile on its face. The problem is that you can’t drive it every day. You need to plan your off-road adventures accordingly. That can be a bit of a bummer, but I’ve found a solution. Buy an already street-legal dune buggy.

Like this one I just found on Craigslist. It’s listed for sale in Orange, California and the asking price is on the better side of $10k. According to the seller, this dune buggy registered and insured as a 1964 VW Baja Bug.

It’s clearly no longer a Bug though, as the entire chassis has been swapped out. Now we have a buggy with room for five people and a hefty heaping of suspension travel. In fact, the front can dish out 12 inches while the rear can handle 15 inches of travel.

street legal dune buggy engine

Powering this adventure machine is a rear-mounted 3.5-liter V6 from a Honda. The engine is fed by a 10-gallon aluminum fuel tank, which should be plenty because this vehicle can’t weigh too much. You also have headlights, taillights, and turn signals, because this is, after all, street legal.

There are plenty of street legal vehicles that play off-road pretend games. This one is the real deal. You’ll never be having more fun doing the most mundane daily tasks. Bring kiddo to school. Go grab those groceries. Run to CVS to refill a prescription. But do it in this dune buggy, and smile every time you fire it up.

Check out the full ad here.

20 Comments

  1. I think I would have saved some weight in hinges, because those doors are useless. I’d just Bo Duke it. Cool car, though!

  2. Looks like it still has the VW trailing arm front suspension? I’d also be thinking just because you can drive it on the street doesn’t mean you should, very much anyway. Too many idiots out there for zero crash protection.

    1. I used to think the same thing when I drove a VW bus…one layer of sheet metal and a piece of cardboard between my legs and the car in front of me.

    2. If you’ve ever watched crash test videos of cars in the 1960s, you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of them again, either.

        1. Ha! I agree. I almost excluded Volvo from that statement and added a picture of a Volvo Amazon. In fact the 122 is high on my “must-have” list of cars, and I’ve tried to use the safety argument on my wife in order to get one.

          1. Safety in relative terms… is an Amazon safe compared to anything built in the last 15 years? No. However, if you had to crash a car from that period, you’d have by far the best chance of not dying in a Volvo (or Mercedes).

          2. My experience in arguing for this kind of thing in the household council is pretty clear on “relative terms” being a too convoluted approach. 🤪

          3. Is that a pallet or something I see under the…I’m assuming that’s a 740?…on the bottom? I was trying to figure out how its front suspension was still at a reasonable height (and the rear isn’t compressed much, either, considering), but now I’m thinking there’s something under the frame keeping it from bottoming out…

      1. I’ve found the trick is to choose sufficiently obscure cars that either there is no crash-test footage or at the very least any such footage is not readily available. The peace of mind is priceless.

      2. At least they were starting to think about crash safety for cars in the 1960s, and a production car generally has a decent structure to it. There are degrees of danger, and I think this thing would fold like an open shoebox. The Beetle body has been removed and effectively nothing added to replace it other than lots of straight tubes and simple joints that aren’t going to resist collapse too well.

      3. Indeed. My son and I really enjoyed our Father-Son 1968 Ford Mustang project. I must admit however, that after seeing crash test videos using cars from that era, I became MUCH less enthusiastic about him using it as a daily driver. Yes, we retrofitted shoulder belts, but I am fairly certain such retrofit hardware has not been crash tested….nor would those shoulder belts protect from an A-Pillar that all of a sudden occupies the same space as the driver’s head.

    3. If everyone thought like you did no one would ride motorcycles… and that’s a sad world I never want to think of

      1. I’m not saying don’t drive it, just be selective. Same for bikes, avoid large concentrations of drones and idiots, and ride defensively in traffic.

      1. True, but I wouldn’t ride a bike in every situation here. Known too many people who have been taken out in traffic through no fault of their own, even disregarding the kamikazees.

  3. The ten gallon is definitely enough. That’s probably all the Accord that engine came out of probably had anyway. (My civic had a 10 gallon tank and it would last a week daily driving)

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