VW Bugfire: two classics in one

You can’t deny the fact that British classics from the ‘60s like the Triumph Spitfire have a certain amount of charm. Albeit of the slightly archaic, rusty and likely to break down quite soon variety. Well, someone’s taken the best bits of the topless British icon and melded them with a Beetle to produce, as they put it, ‘two classics in one’. And guess what, we spotted it for sale…

Aptly named the ‘Bugfire’ it’s a truly unique creation and basically features a modified Triumph Spitfire MkIV body mounted on a traditional Beetle chassis. From the front the bulbous late Beetle bonnet gives a clue as to its VW roots, while from the rear if you ignore those rounded louvres added to supply air to the air-cooled Bug engine at the back, it is almost indistinguishable from the original Triumph.

The seller, who put the car on www.bugnet.de (you can see the advert here) keenly points out that the bodywork has been modified and made to fit using carefully crafted sheet metal. In other words, they haven’t cut any corners and gone down the presumably much easier glass reinforced plastic (GRP) route. Impressively, it’s been made so that a conventional Triumph Spitfire hard top can be made to fit, which could indeed be handy during the wetter winter months. There’s even a tonneau cover to protect the interior when parked.

According to the blurb on the advert it was constructed in 1985 and features a modified steering rack, an adjustable front beam and sports shocks. The engine appears to be a relatively stock 1600cc affair, though it’s obviously been mated to a rather special four-pipe Sauer & Sohn exhaust system. Cleverly, the front section of bodywork can be flipped up for easy access (just like the original, therefore) and likewise the rear apron can be removed completely in order to get to the engine, mounted in its traditional VW position at the rear of course.

An aspect that the vendor seems eager to emphasise is the fact that despite being a totally custom build, all the necessary spares to keep it on the road are all readily availalble. That said, they advise that the Bugfire requires a ‘car expert’ or at least ‘an experienced Beetle owner’ to drive it which hints at the fact that it’s likely to take a bit of getting used to. In case you’re wondering, the red oxide colour paintwork is meant to look flat and faded in order to give it more of a period patina appearance.

It’s being sold, apparently, to fund other projects and finance a venture into Formula V. The seller is open to offers, but given the fact that it’s taken four years to build, warns people not to offer 50 euros, or 500 for that matter, so we’re not exactly sure what kind of sum they’re expecting. What do you think? Answers on a postcard, please.


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

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