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Motorbiscuit Freak Show Friday: Beetle Mania

The beloved Volkswagen Beetle. It is a cornerstone of the aftermarket. Even before the gazillion dune buggies of the 1960s, they were being modded and rodded either for looks or performance. Maybe even both. They’re easy to get really crazy with and that means some dive into Freak Show Friday territory. We have nine examples of builders that went too far and crossed into the realm of Beetle mania-Freak Show Friday-style.

This Beetle is a bit lumpy here and there

Let’s start off with a bang. Surprisingly cohesive is this high boy delivery Beetle. It’s a bit lumpy here and there but whoever beat out the body did a good job. It’s got details and flourishes that make it seem like it could have been made this way by Volkswagen. But we know it wasn’t. While most of these converted Beetles lack an engine cover, this one went that extra step to help integrate the body. It might have also been to hide an ugly engine.  

A Beetle/Subaru cross we never expected, nor wanted to ever see

A cross we never expected, nor wanted to ever see is this mashup between a Beetle and a mid-1980s Subaru. Unfortunately, we have no idea if this freak utilizes both the VW engine in the back and Subaru power up front. If so

this is a simple way of getting more power. Stitch a front-wheel-drive Sube to the back of a bug, tie the throttles together, and hang on. Aesthetically, we’d rather not comment, but at least is it painted the same color which makes this a deluxe freak.

This is an all-function type of build-we just can’t imagine what the function is

This one is confusing since we don’t know why the body was raised. But just by the fact that there is no rationale for doing it means it’s a mess. If it’s for the dunes or mud bog there might be a reason in there somewhere. But with the engine still in the stock location without a way for the carb to breathe in those situations, we’d recommend not trying either. This is an all-function type of build-we just can’t imagine what the function is.

To show the Beetle’s versatility here’s two completely different tasks on the same theme

To show the Beetle’s versatility here’s two completely different tasks on the same theme. One chose one way and one the other. One uses the motorcycle for power while the other chooses the VW flat-four power. If the builders worked in unison this freak show might have taken just one Bug and one

motorcycle to create these two nightmares. As we’ve said many times a lot of these creations look to have used parts lying around the side yard for inspiration. In all, we like how these two are so much the same yet so different.

Just as catfish are bottom feeders so too are most Freak Show features

Even new Beetles are getting into the Freak Show mode. Yes, this is a novelty catfish conversion. The faded gray to white paint is a nice added touch as are the fins and whiskers. With those headlights and pouty front, you know what it is supposed to be representing. We’d love to see this heap from the back but alas, this is all we could find. Just as catfish are bottom feeders so too are most Freak Show features.

We can’t say this is an improvement

We can’t say this is an improvement but at least it’s a serious attempt to combine a Pontiac front end to a Beetle. It almost looks like it was made this way. We would never have thought we could say that about any car in Freak Show Friday but there are always first times. For as much thought as there was putting these two disparate pieces together all that innovative drive was gone once it got to the rollbar. It is clearly detracting from what is a distracting front end. 

RELATED: Freak Show Friday: Ghia To Microbus Slick Pickup

As easy as Beetles are to shorten, they’re just as easy to lengthen

Of all of the freakish VWs, we have here this is the one that comes off looking like a factory vehicle the most. We wouldn’t change anything except the name on the pink. As easy as Beetles are to shorten for dune buggy conversions, they’re just as easy to lengthen to make a tasty hauler. There has been a multitude of VW pickup conversions done over the decades but we’ve never seen one that stretches the body. We like this.

If anything defines a freak this is it

If anything defines a freak this is it. Every modification you see leaves you asking “why?” Even the side view mirror and taillights just don’t come close to looking right. And then there’s the door. We’d love to see anyone get in and out of this thing. Obviously it is driven, but how you climb into it looks to be painful at best. Being painted with matching wheels makes this a rather “uptown” freak. Come back next week for more Freak Show Friday horror shows.