Ur-Buggy – 1967 VW Empi Sportster

It’s not often you can feature a segment-creating car at the lower end of the market. But it’s possible to get lucky and find a gem if you’re willing to compromise on cosmetics, and frankly, the beauty of this car does not lie in things like shiny paint and perfect shutlines. Especially since it has no opening panels. The Empi Sportster pre-dated the famous Meyers Manx, allowing owners of clapped out Beetles to refresh their ride with some new body work, or to get the sporting allure of a dune buggy for not much money. Available in 2-seat and 4-seat configurations, today’s car is one of the shorter 2-seaters. Check out this 1967 VW Empi Sportster for sale for $3995 in Danville, CA.

1967 VW Empi Sportster right front

Nice little car – the faded red paint is just right for this, though a touch up on the wheels, or perhaps a set of stock VW hubcaps, might give it just enough sparkle. Nevada plates are curious on a car listed about 5 hours from the CA/NV border, but it’s not worth dismissing the car out of hand. In spite of the model year, which may date from when the conversion was done, it’s said to be a pre-1960 pan with later style front brakes and a 1965 or older transmission. The fresh 1600 dual port engine and Pertronix with Bosch 009 distributor. The latter might not be ideal – internet lore suggests that while it’s a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s prone to flat spots and other issues.

1967 VW Empi Sportster left rear

Either way, this is probably as close as you’ll get to a Lotus 7 with VW power – a powertrain that’s simple as a rock, styling in the same spirit, light weight, and no doors, windows, or roof to get in the way of the driving experience. New tires, wheel bearings, flexible brake lines, brake shoes, wheel cylinders, wiring kit, lights and clutch mean the seller has helped the car along to being a fun, reliable runner. Now help the seller out of the hole he’s dug himself with a drunken eBay purchase and buy this car!


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