Today we take a little trek back into history as we find out more about the time when people didn’t really take the Volkswagen Beetle out of the box…more ‘put the box on the Volkswagen Beetle’ instead.
Today we unearth – the Brubaker Box!
So what’s in the box exactly?
The chasis of a Volkswagen Beetle actually. The rest of it is a kit car that was designed by Curtis Brubaker in the 70’s who wanted to go into business with VW (which never eventuated) but instead bought some type one’s and then set about converting them into technically into the world’s first minivan. And so the Brubaker Box was born!
Of course it wasn’t just a case of insert tab A into slot B, there was a little bit of work involved. From Wikipedia: Due to the extended length of the body compared to that of a standard Volkswagen Beetle the foot pedal assembly was relocated forward and up from the standard position. For increased safety the fuel tank was moved from the front to the center of the vehicle.
That’s 13 inner and outer fibreglass panels joining together to create the ‘Wait wtf did I just drive past?’ look that the Brubaker Box prides itself on. The rear lights are from a Datsun truck, windscreen is the same as an AMC Javelin and various parts from a Ford Pinto were also included (although hopefully not the inherit fire risk that car came originally came with.)
(Not the back window though as people think, Curtis explained to Jalopnik that it was actually from an El Camino)
I especially loved reading about the comfort level in the back: a lounge-type seat was created for the rear of the vehicle. To add to the rear seating area a foot stool / cushion was added above the fuel tank. Comfy!
And up close it seriously looks like something out of a 70’s sci fi movie:
(It’s almost like that bumper was an afterthought – hmmm, we better put something there I guess..)
Okay, so I’m keen. How can I get my hands on a Brubaker box?
Good luck with that, there weren’t many made by Curtis back in the day (as the process wasn’t as profitable as he liked) which means the chance of you seeing one in the wild is pretty rare and having the chance to buy one even rarer.
However if you still have a VHS player and have a copy of the terrible Grid Runners movie from 1995, there’s one in the movie. By all reports it was the only enjoyable thing about it..
Maybe buy an old bug, mix up some fibreglass and have at it? Good luck!
(Further research has discovered a that Grid Runners actually made it to DVD! Time for Brubaker Box owners to truly celebrate!)