It is the longest running, most produced car in the history of automobiles with more than 21 million being made. But in the 50’s it almost came to an end.The Beetle, a compact, strange-looking automobile that was manufactured in a plant built by the Nazis in Wolfsburg, Germany was a hard sell to most Americans. The Bug would have met its death in the 50’s if it weren’t for a Jewish ad agency named Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). They took the German car and it made it playful and fun. They convinced Volkswagen to have a sense of humor about their car. Along the way changing the nature of advertising and Volkswagen history. This gave the Bug a new life and it ultimately became the symbol of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s.
It was a perfect combination that resulted in huge sales.
Because there were so many cars produced there became an abundance of wrecked and unwanted cars. Which inspired Bruce Meyers to build his own fiberglass VW based dune buggy, the “Meyers Manx”. This changed the off-road world forever. It was light, nimble and had great traction off-road thanks to its rear engine design. Towards the end of the 60s a long desert rally started happening in Baja California, originally known as the Mexican 1000. The Meyers Manx dune buggy dominated the off-road racing scene but were a little difficult to get into for the average person.
In 1968 Gary Emory is credited with creating the first “Baja Bug”. These Baja bugs shared a lot of characteristics of the dune buggy‘s that conquered the off-road scene in the early 60’s but were easier and cheaper to build. Baja bug kits were soon made popular and they took off. With the large number of Volkswagen bugs, Baja bugs were the natural choice for an easy way to go off-road and have some fun or to start racing. For decades to come Baja Bugs dominated the off-road scene and became immensely popular with off-road enthusiasts. This is the story of the Baja Bug and the people that made/make the legend that it is.
Date & Time
Jul 9 - Aug 19, 2023