Brubaker Box: a type of VW kitcar

Brubaker Box
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The Brubaker Box. We had never heard of it. But through the digital tamtam we got some spots from a reader ... Yes, from what actually? And what it looked like? It didn't seem like anything.

But there was another story behind this too

The Brubaker Box - also produced under the name Automecca Sports Van - was a vehicle that, like so many kitcars of that time, was built on a VW Beetle chassis. The Box, however, was not really a kit car, because there was no question of self-activity with the buyer. A Brubaker Box bought you ready-made. That was only possible for a short while, but still ...

The Brubaker Box was conceived by Curtis Box Brubaker, when he saw a lot of old, worn-out VW buses roaming around during a trip to Newport Beach. They were the favorite transportation for the local surfing community and Brubaker saw an opportunity to do something beautiful here.

Brubaker also had the knowledge and the possibilities for that

He studied at the Art Center in Pasadena (one of the best car design schools in the world), helped design the iconic Lear jet and worked in GM's Advanced Research Group. The moment he thought about old VW buses, he had his own design company.

He made sketches and a model and asked what people would come to look at. Those people were enthusiastic and wanted to put money into the idea of ​​making a moving prototype. Brubaker was smart at shopping for parts, such as using a Pinto Wagon's rear window and Datsun's rear lights.

They presented the car at the Los Angeles International Motorsports Show and received so many happy reactions that Brubaker decided to build the cars completely, instead of offering them as a kit. That was a step too high. The problem was that he couldn't make a deal with VW to only sell complete chassis. So he was always stuck buying whole Beetles and selling the unnecessary parts, which was not very efficient from a technical point of view. By selling the cars for $ 3995, he actually only turned sales, not profits.

Few have been made

Eventually the design of the Box was sold to Automecca, who sold it as the Sports Van, although not many were sold. All in all, a maximum of about fifty of them must be made. But there are also sources that keep it on 25 copies. And that wooden front bumper? Wood is sustainable.

And currently there is a rumor that the Brubaker Box, or let it be the Sports Van, could come back. On the platform of a Tesla ...


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