Tastes great, less filling, peace without compromise, there's plenty of have-it-all maxims. And for today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe, you can add the Bugus to that list.
What, you might ask, is the Bugus? Well, let's start with what the Bugus is not: It isn't a mobile version of a Roach Motel, it's not a cast member of Pixar's Cars, and it's definitely not air-cooled.
It is, however, a 1963 Beetle with the elongated roofline of a Type 2 bus grafted assward, creating a sort of hot rod shooting brake (using the German appellation there, as it seems appropriate). Under that bus-ted backend resides not the stock Type 1 four, but an equally flat and eminently more powerful Subaru EJ mill. The seller doesn't provide the engine's displacement or power, but even at its smallest size the Subie puts out a healthy 96 ponies.
From the front, the Bugus looks like most hot-rodded VW beetles, having had all the badges and trim removed for a full Brazilian look. The doors have also been shaved of handles, requiring poppers to open instead. Aft of those doors is where things start to go daft. Instead of the Beetle's curved back, the roofline continues for what seems like a whole ‘nother car-length as the Bugus transitions from Type 1 to Type 2 right before your eyes. The side glass under that roofline matches that of the Beetle door's for height, but in length it seems to be excessively John Holmesian.
On the later Type 2 Busses a band ran around the beltline, and provided a track for the sliding door's third mount. Here, that bump remains across the back, but fades quickly under the air intakes immediately behind the windows. Overall, the Bugus appears both appropriate and awkward, depending on the angle at which it is viewed. Then again, perhaps pictures don't do it justice.
Justice was provided inside where the interior looks complete and professionally done. A trio of chrome-rimmed gauges reside next to the speedo and the trigger-pull shifter masks the fact there's a Subaru five speed on its other end. In case you like to listen to something more than just NPR, there's a 1,000-watt stereo clogging up the front trunk, and possibly providing the opportunity to power the Bugus down the street solely through sonic reverberations.
For those of you who can't decide between Beetle and Bus, the Bugus gives you the best of both worlds, throwing in a no-fuss drivetrain to boot, which in fact happens to be in the boot. Problems? Well, there's some cracking and rust at the joint of the two sections above the driver's side driprail, and then there's fact that, despite seemingly generous dimensions, the Bugus has been compromised to being only a two-seater.
That may not be a problem if you're kind of a hermit, although there's no doubt the Bugus would generate a crowd no matter where it goes. For it to go into somebody else's garage will take $12,500. Assuredly, there's no way to replicate this chimeric beast for anywhere near that without actually crashing a Bus into the back end of a Beetle, and even then the results would be less satisfying than here. But the question remains, is the Bugus (and yes, California buyers get to keep the vanity plates) satisfying enough to command $12,500 in trade? What do you think, is that a price that might get you on the Bugus? Or, does that make you think the seller missed his stop?
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