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Collecting in aid of

Pier Pressure 2016

Chad and his DOON

Chad’s enthusiasm for buggies borders on obsession. Having been into classic VW’s since the mid 1980’s he built his first beach buggy in 1992 using a second hand RAT bodyshell from the 1970’s and a chassis from his old next door neighbour.

Chad used his RAT as his only car for a number of years and in 1998, along with 4 others, began the Midland Buggy Club. The club is still going strong and is the oldest surviving buggy club in the UK.

In 2000, not content with building buggies Chad and his good friend Rich set about designing and building their own beach buggy bodyshell, ultimately trying to modernise the classic idea whilst retaining the ethos of fun and ease of build.

By 2001 the DOON Buggy was born. Chad’s own turquoise example (the second Doon body ever made), was built by him entirely from new and reconditioned parts to help promote the business.

Chad’s Doon is based on a 1971 VW Beetle chassis and has a 2000cc modified aircooled beetle engine, Porsche 944 rear suspension, Porsche boxster wheels, VW Golf MK4 steering column and custom made gauges.

The Doon kit is still available in the UK, now under license from Volksmagic in Oldbury, West Midlands.

Chad’s Doon is used regularly and has been to Europe on a number of occasions, making it as far as the Nurburgring in Germany. It has made a number of TV appearances on shows such as For the Love of Cars and Kingdom with Stephen Fry.

The buggy is enjoyed by the whole family with Chad, Ruth and Alex (in his specially designed custom rear central seat) attending many buggy events and weekends away, even towing a trailer tent behind them.

What is a beach buggy ? Other than a vehicle that simply makes everyone who sees them smile, a beach buggy (dune buggy in USA) is generally considered a kit car and requires the alteration of an existing vehicle, most often a Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle chassis and mechanicals are perfect for the job and are used as a base for a new fibreglass body. They come in either short wheel base (SWB) 2 seater or long wheel base (LWB) 4 seater form.

Originally designed in 1965 by Bruce Meyers, the concept is still going strong and there are many different types of styles and kits still available today. Buggies can be bought ready built although many are built from scratch or re-built by their owners. Beach buggy ownership is currently undergoing the greatest popularity rise in years and there are now a number of UK based specialist suppliers, enthusiast clubs and forums.

Even when you love driving your buggy, 10 days of continual long distance driving will be a real challenge in an open top, hand built car with no heating, stereo, power steering or mod cons.

Our Beach Buggies

George and his FF

George came into the world of beach buggies via an ex girlfriend, having been (and still being) a Land Rover nut . He took over the custody of his ex’s FF (Fibre Fab) buggy around 1998 and at the time it was in need of some real TLC.

George is one of the longest serving members of the Midland Buggy Club, being part of the furniture almost from it’s very beginning.

George’s FF is the same model of buggy as used famously by Anneka Rice in the challenge Anneka TV programme of the late 1980’s. The moulds for the FF Buggy have recently been brought back into production, offering new FF kits in the UK for the first time in a number of years.

Originally based on a 1972 VW Beetle, after an attack of the dreaded tin worm George manufactured his own custom chassis from scratch to mimic the original VW base.

The gearbox and suspension have been fully refurbished and upgraded whilst The FF currently runs a standard beetle 1600cc engine. Hopefully by the time the challenge takes place George will have completed the build of his brand new hi performance 1776cc custom aircooled engine.

Once the engine is complete, George will finish his long term love affair with the FF and treat it to a complete make over of the 25 year old bodywork.

The FF is used regularly through the summer months for work and pleasure and has been to Europe on a couple of occasions, making it as far as the Nurburgring in Germany alongside Chad in his Doon.  

Never shy of taking on a good challenge George jumped at the chance of taking on Pier Pressure with Chad and Ruth to help support the work of the brilliant charities of Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Care and the Gerogina Oncology Unit.

Our Other Buggy Friends

Although Chad, Ruth, George and their 2 buggies will be taking on the whole challenge it is hoped they will be joined all along parts their journey by other buggy nuts from the Midland Buggy Club Southern Dune Buggy Club, Beachbuggy.info, Beachbuggyclub.com and the South West Buggy Club, who will be adding their support to the challenge and helping promote the wonderful work the chosen charities do.