Empi IMP

I always said if I was going to own a Dune Buggy, it would have to be an early Empi IMP. Unlike the more popular Myers Manx that had been produced and copied by the thousands, the IMP was relatively rare with only an estimated 3,000 produced. I figured I’d never find one on the East Coast.

Completely by chance, we ran into Amy’s cousin at a local cruise-in. Of course, we were driving one of our VW’s and her cousin mentioned that she still owned an old VW Dune Buggy. When she said it was an “I M P” buggy, I was suddenly very interested. I asked if she would want to sell it, but she said it wasn’t for sale. However, a few weeks later, we got a phone call and the car was ours!

The car is currently in storage awaiting its turn at restoration. The plan is for traditional heavy metal flake paint and period correct wheels…


                             White Oval

This car is a ’57 sunroof model with a cool story. It starts over 20 years ago when I was working at a small VW shop. A man towed in two ’57 sunroof Beetles and the shop bought them for parts. Being the oval fanatic that I am, I asked to buy them. My boss said $500 each. It took me a few weeks to come up with the first $500 to buy the Coral ’57 (this car turned into Charles). By the time I’d saved up the second $500, another shop employee, Dan, bought the car out from under me!

I pestered Dan to sell the car to me, but he refused. The car sat outside for a few years until he finally tore it apart and put the body on a ’72 pan. After many questionable repairs and a really bad backyard paint job, the car was ready for the road, with the exception of an engine. Dan called me asking if I had an engine to sell. He told me what he had done with the car and we ended up trading a good 1600 dual port engine for the complete oval pan from the ’57. I again offered to buy the body as well, but the answer was still “no.”

Years go by and I lost track of the car. I had done a great deal of rust repair to a neighbor friend (Gary’s) ’71 Bus and was delivering the finished job to his house when a familiar car caught my eye. Sitting next to Gary’s house, partially covered by a blue tarp was the lost ’57 body! Gary had bought it a few days earlier, but then realized it was in pretty bad shape. Apparently, the car had changed hands at least three times since I’d seen it last. I immediately offered Gary a deal, the oval body in payment for the Bus repairs.

So, now, after all these years and owners – despite being separated from its original pan, the ’57 is complete and in my possession. I have had a few offers to buy this car, but the story makes it too hard to part with!


                           Green Oval

This car is a ’56 Deluxe sedan and although it may look in bad shape, it will be an “easy” project. It still wears its original Diamond Green paint and is complete except for its rear fenders, engine, and front seats. A friend of mine got this car as a package deal with two VW Things. He called and described the car to me and I bought it site unseen – I was not disappointed (Thanks, John!).

Restoration plans are for a bone stock resto, but lowered on wide-5 Empi Sprint Stars – it will return to its correct Diamond Green color!


                               Baja Bug

Back when my brother and I were in school, we started building a Baja bug for him. We had all the rust work done and the Baja body pieces installed, all ready for paint. We even had the engine and trans built. But time and money was tight, especially when he left for college…so the car was sold.

A few years ago, when I was offered a wrecked ’65 Bug body and a ’73 Thing pan, the seed was planted for another Baja project.

It may take a “few” more years to get to, but I will eventually finish the Baja I started building for my brother.


                               Hot Rod

This was the car that started it all! When I was 15 years old and ready for my driver’s license, the only thing on my mind was a car. All of my friends had pickup trucks and Camaros, but for some strange reason, I wanted this VW Bug. It sat just off the square in Smithsburg with a “For Sale” sign on it. I still remember riding my bike up to it when it first caught my eye. $1500, I didn’t have enough money, but Mom & Dad agreed to buy it for me if I cleaned out the barn.

Our family farm was run down and neglected when we moved in. Cleaning out the barn consisted of shoveling two feet of cow crap for most of the hot summer. In hindsight, the car was a hack job that was in bad shape (definitely not worth the summer of crap), but I loved it.

After driving it for many years, the rust was getting too bad. My VW obsession was well under way and I had other cars to drive, so I pulled it off the road and stored it away. Amazingly, if I had to give up my entire car collection, this would be the one I’d keep. The structural rust damage on this car is extensive, making a correct restoration out of the question, which is fine – I won’t build this car stock anyway. This car will be a direct extension of me – a Volksrod – built by me, for me and its next, so look out!