"Here in the grimy morning of a London January, it ain't surprising one dreams of other places and spaces. And there's no automotive element of a dream more exotic, for someone from these latitudes, than the old Dune Buggy. Locked "
In the early summer thoughts turn to Dune Bug
We Know. Forgive us. At the first sniff of sunshine our thoughts turn to the classic Dune Bug
Think about it. You like motorbikes. But either you don’t have a road licence or you’re scared you’ll kill yourself. You love the idea of the wind in your hair in the summertime. You love the idea of automotive simplicity. Mechanicity you can touch, feel, experience with the soul. The Dune Bug seems to be the ideal solution.
And Dune Bug classics don’t come as crisp or classic as this one. It’s a rare early example approved for legal road use by TÜV (the German Technical Inspection Association) – the German version of the MOT.
According to the RM auctions site this Dune Bug boasts 53 bhp from a 1,500 cc VW OHV air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission. It comes with front torsion bar suspension, trailing arm rear suspension and four-wheel brakes.
According to many sources the Dune Bug was the brainchild of one Bruce Meyers, who developed the combination of a fibreglass body and shortened Volkswagen Beetle chassis in 1964 after realising the design’s potential for thrashing around on beaches, dunes and other off road areas.
Meyers’s design soon set record-breaking victories in the Baja Desert and in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. Elvis drove one in one of his films and of course Steve McQueen thrashed around the dunes at the helm of a Meyers Bug with Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair.
The best-quality example produced in Europe was one of these babies: The HAZ (or Hazard) Buggy, manufactured by Autohaus G. Kühn.
It’s currently on the lot list for the RM auction in Monaco – and they reckon it’s on at between €15-20000.
Not a bad price to draw a crowd at the summer’s Bug meets.
All images Tom Gidden ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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