A shortened VW Noddy Beetle discovered recently in Qatar…
It’s certainly not unheard of for VW Beetles and Campers to have their shapes dramatically changed, from a cropped Beetle roof to give a sleeker, meaner look, to shortened squashed Volkswagen Campervans – or even rat-look campervan replicas on show in Japan that have been fake-aged (I think these used to use Mitsubishi donor vehicles). These fake Campers managed to look odd and cute all at the same time, but this shortened Beetle is really something else.
1320 Video is made up of a passionate bunch of folk who like to explore the varied and exciting world of streetcars around the globe. It was on one of their trips to Qatar to visit the Qatar Racing Club that they discovered this Noddy car of a Beetle. If they hadn’t spotted it, the quirky Beetle would surely have remained under the radar just quietly getting on with life in the Middle East.
The short Beetle is not just for garnering admiring looks; it’s a fully functional veedub – just with the middle bit missing. The rear-wheel drive flat-4 engine sits in the back where you’d expect it to be, but right up close behind the driver; let’s hope there’s some decent soundproofing inside. It seems the owner bought it on a bit of a whim from eBay not fully believing that what he had purchased was real until it arrived. There’s not really much more info about this vehicle other than that. From looking at the pictures it actually looks pretty standard (if you can call such a vehicle standard). One concession is a Moto style steering wheel to give a little bit more legroom. It looks like the driver has also worked out the little trick to getting air flowing into the cab on hot days too, by turning the quarter lights ‘inside out’ allowing them to scoop air in when driving.
Beetles are pretty notorious for not taking kindly to any deviation from the original design – even fitting a replacement front bonnet can cause some handling issues unless you manage to find a genuine heavy OEM German-built VW item. With that in mind and the drastic weight saving that such a project would bestow upon the final vehicle, it should certainly be a lively drive. If you can actually squeeze through those custom narrow width doors of course.
Viewed from the front or rear you’d be hard pressed to notice anything different about this bright yellow Beetle, but it reveals a whole new story from the side. It looks to me like the donor car was a regular left-hand drive 1300 Beetle circa 1972-3 which was a pretty common bug in its day, so unlikely that there will be too many hard-core purists finding such a transformation offensive. It makes you wonder; has there ever been any other car in history that has managed to put so many smiles on so many faces?
Image Credits: 1320video.com, uk.motor1.com