The Largest Airshow In The World Uses A Fleet Of Chopped Volkswagen Beetles

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I really love seeing fleets of vintage cars in regular use not for nostalgic reasons, but just because they still do their jobs well. That seems to be the case with the fleet of chop-top Volkswagen Beetles used by the Experimental Aircraft Association for transport around their airfield.

EAA operates a fleet of 40 old Beetles, ranging from a ‘62 to a ‘74. Decades ago, there really weren’t good golf cart or four-wheeler options for driving around the airfields, shuttling people and equipment over roads and dirt and grass, so the Association bought some VW Beetles, had a local shop take their roofs and doors off, and found they did the job really well.

They made this charming video showing off their buzzy little fleet:

The chopped Bugs, in their bright colors and some sporting rakish stripes, are pretty delightful, and have become a sort of symbol of the AirVenture airshow, which is likely the biggest airshow of its kind, anywhere. During the airshow, the airport’s control tower is considered the busiest in the world.


Also notable in that video is this thing on the lift at 2:28:

What is that, exactly? I think it’s on a VW pan, but I’m not 100% sure, since all of the pan sheet metal seems to be covered by a flat panel of some kind. And that narrow front bodywork? Is this some kit car thing?


I love seeing fleets of working Beetles. This helps make up for the loss I felt when LA-area grocery-delivery company Pink Dot gave up their fleet of vintage Beetles wearing propeller hats in 1999, because their candy-ass customers wanted their condoms and Nutter Butters delivered “more low-profile.” Jerks.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this knowing I’d love it!)