If you’ve always wanted a first-generation Volkswagen New Beetle convertible, but wished that the styling was less clean and more complicated and convoluted and confusing, then boy are you in luck, because there’s a fake-wood paneled New Beetle convertible with a hood and grille from a PT Cruiser with your name on it. Hot damn.
The ad says this is a “RARE WOODY EDITION” as though this was actually a thing anywhere outside of the terrifying castle that Dr. Chrysenwagen used to re-animated the corpses of two unlucky early-2000s cars into this blighted chimera.
Someone clearly put a lot of time and effort into this, as the mating of the PT Cruiser hood and grille is really quite carefully done, and the fake wood has been applied with thought and care.
The choice of how faux-veneer on the rear was applied is a little strange, though, with that odd rectangular section around the beiged-out VW badge that screams “I don’t know how to cut a circle in this stick-on wood crap.”
I don’t know if the vision of whoever made this thing was actually realized, but I do know that there’s actually some historical precedence for things like this in the Beetle community.
Anyone who lived through the days when old air-cooled Beetles were plentiful and cheap must remember the many hood-replacement kits designed to sort of make your VW look like a ‘30s or ‘40s-era American car that took a glancing blow from a shrink-ray beam.
The most famous of these was likely the fake Rolls-Royce grille, but a close second were these old Ford/Plymouth-style grilles, at least one of which was called the Wunderbug hood:
I love so much about this ad. Like how it says “Looks like a new car,” when the whole point of this thing is to make your built-in-the-1970s-designed-in-the-1930s car look like a built-in-the-1930s car. Which is, of course, very not-new.
Also, the line in the ad copy that says “Makes expensive Mercedes-type sound when you close it” is absolute 100 percent deep-fried gold. Mercedes-type sound! You know, thunk, but more Mercedes-ish.
Still, at least replacement hoods like the Wunderbug actually offered some additional benefits, like what looks to be a pretty substantial increase in trunk room. This New Beetle/PT Cruiser thing? No benefits beyond some more and likely unwanted airflow to the engine and sympathy from onlookers.
Incredibly, companies that make these hoods still exist! Look at all these options for hoods!
I’ve forgotten completely about that Craigslist ad, now, and I’m firmly down the rabbit hole of aftermarket Beetle hoods. I kind of love that these exist, and still exist. What cars do we have now that are cheap and plentiful enough that people can have this kind of easy fun with them? You can’t get a replacement hood for your Versa that makes it look like a ridiculous Spyker, can you? I don’t think so.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on this CL freak, after all, then. At least it’s keeping a glorious tradition of madness alive, right?