Unique Custom Built 1963 VW Type 2 Bus Flat-Bed Truck
Well the Volkswagen Museum of Puerto Rico is committed to include all possible original or custom made versions of the Volkswagen. The unit we present to you in this report certainly falls in the custom made category and proclaims the creativity of VW fanatics.
The vehicle started life as a 1963 Type 2 Bus, complete with safari windshield; it was cut, stretched, welded and hand formed into a flat-bed service truck, road certified, meeting DMV standards and capable of hauling light vehicles. Oh, and it does all of that in great style!
The vehicle was hand-built in Puerto Rico by a gentleman we will identify as Remy, built for the sole purpose of transporting his super special clinically restored 1965 VW Beetle to and from auto shows. Remy was so picky with his Beetle, that he didn't want it to touch the road, so the truck was built following the same criteria used to restore the Beetle. End result, a flat-truck to haul his Beetle that was so nice and unique, that would require another flat-bed to carry the flat-bed. It got so confusing that Remy decided to sell the vehicles to Dr. Norman, for exhibition at the Volkswagen Museum of Puerto Rico.
Just by looking at the photos included in this report, you will agree that if you owned either of them, you would not want to risk the finish over any road, for any purpose, so I guess it was a good marriage for all.
The Type 2 bus required special work in the geometry to keep the unit straight after lengthening the frame, work that required the use of a frame platform to achieve mathematical correctness in all measurements. The suspension also needed extra reinforcement as the payload capacity of the truck would increase significantly carrying the weight of the mechanical equipment necessary for the flat-bed conversion, and eventually the weight of another vehicle.
Coil-over shocks and stiffer bars and suspension springs were added, and spec correct sway bars installed to guarantee a straight and safe ride. The actual platform is finished in wood, varnished and polished to a high gloss. Polished aluminum and chrome was added to complete the custom truck look.
The completed unit went to the paint booth and finished in the same light green and white two-tone combination of the '65 Beetle it was to carry. It was an awesome look and a sight that turned many heads on the highway.
When the unit was purchased by Dr. Norman, he decided to build a shorter, lighter version of a VW Beetle for the truck and car combination, literally taking a load of the payload weight. The Beetle we call "Shorty" was hand-formed and built at the Volkswagen Foundation shops in Lajas, Puerto Rico. The body was made of metal and hand shaped to conform to the original Beetle look.
There was no need for doors, so the sides were sealed shut, to lessen the weight and at the same time add rigidity to the body and frame. A peppy engine was added and Dr. Norman had built another winner.
The truck and car combination is one of the favorite of visitors of the museum, and certainly adds a new dimension to the typical Volkswagen characteristic personality as a utilitarian vehicle. If you wish to read more about the original 1965 Beetle built by Remy