Fun Stuff

Find of the Week: 1966 Volkswagen Short Bus (Short & Nasty)

Sean Turkington's two young boys know how to pick out a car. Being the son of a dealership owner has a few privileges, and while LA Motors mostly sells Chryslers, Fords, and Hondas, the kids had other ideas about what to stick in the showroom.

“They send me the [auction] catalog and I showed the boys this, and they really liked it. It caught my fancy a bit, but it caught their fancy even more and next thing I thought, boy, I guess I'm buying this thing.”

“This thing” is a 1966 VW Type 2 pickup with 42 inches cut out of the centre section. Yep. It's got flared nostrils, hairy eyebrows, airhorns, and Yosemite Sam totin' his six-shooters out back. According to the sign on the door, she's called Short n' Nasty, and the built-up air-cooled flat-four out back is ready to snarl.

What we have here is essentially a full-sized Hot Wheels, a stumpy, aggressively raked, pugnacious little pickup that's ten pounds of attitude in a five-pound bag. And, because it's a bench seat up front, that means three can ride.

“You wouldn't believe the attention it gets, people waving, yelling at you.” Oh, we'd believe it. This is the best thing ever.

Shortened VeeDubs like this are always custom jobs, although the mechanics of it aren't particularly complex. Because the Type 2 is rear-engined and rear-wheel-drive, cutting a section out of the middle to create something the size of a Smart car is relatively straightforward.

Short & Nasty's probably not the best thing for attempting land-speed records at the Bonneville salt flats, but air-cooled VW engines are easy to maintain, so it should be good, clean, reliable fun. Plus it looks like a hoot, and is the perfect thing for puttering around town on a Sunday morning, laughing at all the double-takes you get. It’d be like the a Sunday morning cartoon come to life.

While Turkington's dealership had a '57 Beetle some time back, this custom rig is really more a gift to his kids than part of a regular business. Like everything on the lot, it's for sale. Maybe we'll just say it followed us home – can we keep it?