The Torchinsky Files: Check Out These Amazing Brubaker Box Promo Materials

I’m astoundingly fortunate. I’ve worked hard to get here, but I’m now in a place where my ridiculous automotive obsessions are literally my job, and part of that job means that, sometimes, I get to actually interact with some automotive heroes that I never thought I would. One of those is car designer Curtis Brubaker, the man behind the Brubaker Box. Curtis sent me some really great early ‘70s Box promo materials, and now I want to share them with you. Because you know how I feel about you. Don’t make me say it.

Illustration for article titled The Torchinsky Files: Check Out These Amazing Brubaker Box Promo Materials

I’ve written about the Brubaker Box before, but, in case you don’t want to click that link or watch the video until you know damn well what this is about, the Box was an extensively re-bodied Volkswagen Beetle, more than a kit car but not quite a production car.

It had a dramatic-looking one-box design, sort of like a sportscar-van. It was a clean, very modern design, with one door on the side and a lot of room inside, a car targeted at anyone with the ability to, ironically, think outside the box enough to realize what a good idea driving a box was.


Not many Boxes were actually built, as Volkswagen wouldn’t sell Brubaker bare chassis to convert.

In the video, I mention that competition with VW’s own Thing was part of the problem, but really I should have been more clear that Volkswagen never really sold any bare chassis to anyone, even though of almost any other carmaker, they would have had ample demand for them thanks to the multitude of kit cars and dune buggies and other specialty vehicles that relied on the basic Beetle mechanicals.

Anyway, Curtis was a real peach to send me these fantastic things, and I think you’ll enjoy seeing them, too, so just watch the damn video, already.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

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Anyone remember Ark II from 1976? Brubaker built the Roamer for the show.