Archive for October, 2019


Dune Buggy Star Cars

Dune Buggies were a big hit in the 1960’s and TV noticed the interest, so naturally put them on TV! Dune buggies appeared in many shows and “beach” movies, but a few were customized to become unforgettable “Star Cars!” The main Star Cars that emerged were the “Bugaloos” buggy, Speed Buggy cartoon, and Wonderbug.

Bugaloos buggy and the original cast in the Macy’s Day parade

Here’s an excerpt from “Cars of the Stars” about the car:

1970s – A Barris Fun Buggy four-passenger fiberglass body was used as a base for the hockey stick silhouette design of the Bugaloos Buggy, featured on “The Bugaloos” television series. Since the concept of the show, starring Martha Raye and the four Bugaloos, showed the group with wings enabling them to fly, it was determined logical for the car to “fly” and to “ride” on water. The buggy was equipped with two large flapping butterfly wings, and twin screws installed under the rear body for high-powered water sporting. Oversized headlights looked like the eyes of a bug, while the taillights were tunneled portholes that illuminate at night. Wide oval Firestone tires were installed on Ansen one-piece sprint wheels. The interior was individualized for each Bugaloo – each star having his/her own telephone system and Muntz stereo tape system with individual earphones. The buggy was painted in a green, yellow and orange butterfly theme with orange and purple pinstripes. – Cars of the Stars, ©1974 .

Speed Buggy was never a real car, just a cartoon inspired by the 1968 Walt Disney Pictures film The Love Bug and the Speed Racer anime franchise. Only 16 episodes, but there were in heavy rotation in re-runs!

The cast of Wonderbug in the transformed version of the car.

Wonderbug was a segment of the first and second season of the Americantelevision seriesThe Krofft Supershow, from 1976 to 1978. A live action group of kids found a “talking car” and it would transform int Wonderbug!

Even Spiderman got into the action, and a Spidermobile was featured in several comics during the Dune Buggy Craze! A “real” version was built of this in 2015!

Built by Jack Orell in Georgia

There are other lesser known Dune Buggies, and many films and shows featured a stock buggy at the beach, but this short list are the most famous on screen versions of the fun open air “Kit Car” craze known as “Dune Buggies”!

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October 2019

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nate truman

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