1968 VW Country Buggy from Australia
One of our past projects.
NOTE...these photos were taken in 2003
right after the completion of the restoration.
Bet you've never seen one of these before!
This strange little vehicle is called a "Country Buggy"
Based on a Type 1 floor pan and built in limited numbers by Volkswagen of Australia.
These were designed for use on cattle ranches and farming in the rugged Australian Outback
and very few survive today. Built for just two years, total production numbers were
roughly 800 units, and this is one of only three known to exist in the US.
We imported it directly from Australia where it had served all it's years since 1968
in the use of a Cattle ranch in Toowoomba Australia.
When we first imported the car it was unrestored but in entirely original condition.
We have photos below of the restoration process so you can see what we started with.
Plain and simple is the theme with this one...absolutley no frills.
Type 1 style headlights, but Australian built ones with plastic inner parts and fluted glass lenses
with Australian markings.
The New South Wales plate with the prefix "VW" was located on Ebay and seemed the perfect accessory.
Here is a detail of the headlight and turn signal lens.
The turn signals were NOS and were located by a contact in Australia.
Type 1 style hood emblem, but in black and a locking hood latch.
Type 1 gas tank, but with no sending unit for a gas gauge (as there is none).
Very simple and clean trunk.
Here's the original gas cap, made of aluminum, it features the VW logo flanked by Kangaroos
How cool is that?
Stowed in the front trunk is the crank start handle for the engine.
Speaking of the engine, here it is!
This is the original 1300cc engine that came with the car and is still 6 volt electrics as new.
The engine has been very nicely detailed and has been tuned.
It has a few miles on it I am sure, but it runs fairly well.
The car was built for exhibition and display so we didnt spend a whole lot of time
rebuilding mechanicals (with the exception of the brakes...stopping is good).
The engine has a very fresh factory appearance to it and is very correct and true to the original appearance.
Here you can see the engine crank in place just under the bumper...turn on the ignition and give her a crank
it's suprisingly easy, especially when the engine is warm.
The taillights are the originals and cleaned up beautifully, the license plate light is an NOS unit that was again
sourced from Australia (the fellow that sold the car to us was very helpful with these things)
Here's an under engine shot showing the very cool steel case guard...
The original mufflers were history so we enlisted the help of another fellow in Australia that had just finished a restoration on
a Country Buggy. He had a stainless steel replacement exhaust made for his car using the originals as patterns
and was helpful enough to have another set made for our restoration.
The exhaust exits high through holes in the body just above the bumper.
You can just barely make out the writing on the taillight lens in this photo
HELLA (of course), and Made in Australia
The black Volkswagen script and simple number plate light.
Note the cooling louvers on the top of the engine lid.
The top was re-created using original photos and came out great.
It is very simple in design and folds down very flat.
The windshield can be folded flat as well for clearing under low trees and such.
The seats are very interesting, using standard type 1 bases and a special back with a thin
pad and nifty grab handle at the top.
These were nicely re-upholstered and are firm and comfortable.
Unfortunately there is a little hole in the side of this passenger seat down by the latch
(the latch caught the upholstery and poked a hole...bummer)
The rear deck area is flat ans sturdy and we fabricated a nice heavy rubber mat to cover the surface.
This panel flips up to reveal the battery below and a little storage space.
There are also small storage cubby holes at the sides here.
We also fabricated some heavey rubber floor mats for the front floors.
The right hand drive pedal assembly was rebuilt as well.
Here's the body tag in the driver's compartment under the dash.
It is made of a very light aluminum but the info is still very clear.
Very simple dashboard... standard three spoke steering wheel like in the old split windows.
The externally mounted wiper motor is not working but polished up great.
Note the type 1 style speedometer.
Here's a shot of the pedals...
When we got the car the cas pedal had been replaced by a bent up gate hinge
We fixed that and located a very cool NOS rubber pedal pad with a star at the top.
The fender wells were painted and the suspension and floorpan has been painted black as well so all looks factory.
Here is a copy of the original merchandising manual that was sent to the Australian VW dealers
to teach them what the car was and how to sell it. This and a suprising stack of literature was
provided to us by "Country Buggy Bill" in Australia...amazing reading.
Here is a color copy of the original sales brochure as well!
Below are photos of the car as we received it and during the restoration.
Its come a long way and we are quite pleased with the results....
Here's the C-Buggy as we got it direct from Australia
It was in completely original condition, showing a bit of it's age but with a little
clean up it should look much better.
This must be the most bare-bones vehicle VW ever built
It makes a Thing look like a Cadillac.
Extremely boxy design, almost as if the design model was built from plywood.
This car was the 273rd Country Buggy off the production line.
Right hand drive, very simple controls and instrumentation.
Original 1300cc engine, 6 volt electrics and a hand crank starter for those dead battery days.
(ever try to get a jump start from a kangaroo?)
The photos above are of the car fresh from the docks.
Our plan is to give it a full authentic restoration.
A very odd VW...just the way we like em!
Here she is all stripped down and the bodywork started.
More bodyshop photos.
Fresh from the paint shop.
Amazing what a coat of paint can do.