Vehicles | April 10, 2017 9:00 am

Yes, They Used to Turn VW Bugs Into Campers

And if you know where to look, you can still find one

At first glance, the Super Bugger Camper looks like the bastard offspring of an RV and a clown car.

But it’s no joke. In fact, the highly conspicuous VW Bug conversions were once a car-camping staple in California. It all began in the late ’60s, when a Costa Mesa outfit called Super Bugger started retrofitting 1968 VW Beetle chassis with a kitchenette, dining table and fold-out queen-sized bed. In 1977, they were advertised in Mechanix Illustrated for the price of $5,995 — about $27,000 these days, adjusting for inflation.

super bugger camper (6 images)

They were light enough to garner 23 miles per gallon but had a top speed of just 55 miles per hour, making them a bit sluggish for today’s freeways. (Maybe you could take one to Zelectric Motors in San Diego, pros at bringing dated VWs up to green-speed.) Still, they packed all the enterprising outdoorsman needed: mobility, sleepability and a roof over his head.

Just add some surfboard racks and the Pacific Coast Highway is all yours.