If you’ve got a Volkswagen New Beetle, then you might want to consider this adorable pickup truck conversion kit.
The Volkswagen Beetle is an iconic car, the longest manufactured vehicle on the planet, and the most numerous single-model vehicle ever made. The New Beetle, which came out in 1998, wasn’t quite so successful. While it certainly made a splash at its introduction, the quirky New Beetle soon saw its sales decline after the initial excitement died down. It managed to spawn a second generation, once again called the Volkswagen Beetle (rather than the New New Beetle), but VW recently announced the final car will roll off the assembly line this July.
Bad news for the Beetle, but great news for those looking for a new project car. And by project car, we mean a conversion from subcompact coupe to subcompact pickup truck.
Smyth Performance now has a conversion kit available that turns a 1998-2010 model year VW Beetle into a ute. That’s right: rather than a trunk or a rear seat, the Beetle will instead sport a tailgate and a bed.
This is not exactly a simple conversion, although it’s certainly not the toughest job we’ve ever seen. Installing the kit will involve some cutting of the body and a tiny bit of the frame (for which Smyth offers some instructional videos), but most of the rear section of the car is bolted on and is easily removed. Still, this is definitely a job for an experienced gearhead.
The kit comes with an aluminum bed and aluminum tailgate which will prevent rusting, while the bodywork and those adorably plump fenders are made of fiberglass. It also comes with a rear panel and windshield to install along with the bed. Everything is functional, and once completed you’ll have the most adorable pickup on the block.
Best of all, everything is dirt cheap. The kit itself sells for $2,990, although Smyth is only offering 100 kits at this time and after that we expect the price to go up slightly. Old New Beetles (which is a delightful phrase) can be snapped up on the cheap on the used market since they're not exactly the most popular set of wheels on the road. Smyth reveals in his video that he picked up a Turbo S model for just $1,500 bucks, making the whole car cost just $4,500 and a few dozen hours of garage work.
You can head on over to Smyth Performance to order your kit and then to whatever used car website you want to find a New Beetle. Then you’re just a garage project away from the compact ute of your dreams.