Written by Matthew McMurray on October 25, 2016. Photography by Justin Simpson.
This 1974 Volkswagen Buggy is quite the Californian Cruiser! While it may appear younger, this body actually rests upon a 1961 Chassis, making for a unique character and a fine looking sand bouncer. The car has been converted from a 1200 CC motor that was numbers matching, to a beefed 1600 CC salvaged from the ruins of a Karmann Ghia. Wheels and tires were sanded and powder coated to match the thick Tangelo orange paint. The interior was completely remastered for a new look and an old touch of the 1970’s. This car, built over a HenJav Motorsports, was built by Javier & Henry themselves along with a co-worker Justin. All worked hard together to make an entire car that turned heads on any Californian Road. The American Dream is built in every bolt and nut of this perfected highway rider.
Before anything else was going to be painted or decorated, the motor was first priority. The numbers matching 1961 1200 CC was scrapped and replaced by a 1600 CC motor salvaged from the ruins of a Karmann Ghia. It was quickly rebuilt to fit and and make more power. The engine was buffed with a high performance distributor and a new cam. They also installed a electric fuel pump and temperature sensor. And of course, they checked the rest of the electrical system in the process, all the way down to the spark plugs. After all of the newly installed performance parts were out of the way, Henry and Javier decided to chrome the engine for perfected car show looks and feels. After the effort, it turned out a job well done, a project worth the while.
Now that the motor was completed and chromed, It was time to pay attention to the details of the exterior. The vehicle was painted a Tangelo Orange that gave the car a custom tint and provided a special, vibrant and peacemaking appearance that a hippie crowd could adore. To go with the body, the hubs on the wheels were painted the same color. Along with the repainting of the hubs, also came the repaint of the calipers on their front disc brakes and the drums of their rear drum brakes. The car was outfitted with a full fiberglass front end and hood. Lower parts of the body were painted black to provide an awesome, colorful secondary color to outcast the orange. The interior was refitted for perfected highway riding (plus electric start). Henry and Javier ordered custom leather JEGS bucket seats. JEGS also provided the workers with a set of gauges that showed oil pressure, oil temperature, and voltage. They also rewired the firewall so that the buggy had no old rusty copper pieces that wouldn’t conduct any electricity. The new and improved dash is seen below.
After the interior and exterior was put to proper positioning, it was time for touch ups. The motor is yet to be put in the vehicle, along with the stock transmission. The buggy sat upon a refurbished chassis that was assembled by the hard working associates at HenJav Motorsports. The dash and body work was completed shortly after the motor work, so it’s been done a while. Since the car originated in Michigan, but had the characteristics of a California cruiser, it would be quite the amazing show during the sweet summer in the Chicago area. As any car would be, this one has quite the potential to astonish any Volkswagen lover or Car Enthusiast.