Some things naturally fit so well; you wonder why no one came up with the idea sooner. This Frankensteined Volkswagen Beetle pickup mashup on a BMW E46 chassis isn’t one of them. Yet there is something oddly very appealing about it.
According to Jo, the owner of Jo’s Fab Lab, this is what a Beetle pickup would look like if Volkswagen built it. The idea isn’t that far-fetched because Volkswagen produced several pickup trucks, including a variant of the Type 2 and a truck version of the original VW Rabbit.
For Jo, however, the Volkswagen Beetle pickup was an opportunity to build something out of two wrecked cars. He owned a BMW E46 wagon which he wrecked, smashing the front suspension. The Beetle was his wife’s car. One day he was driving it to work and “cooked” the engine thanks to a bad thermostat.
He’d always wanted to do a modern Beetle pickup truck but thought the wheelbase was too short to make it work. The BMW E46 wagon’s longer wheelbase was a better fit proportionally. Inspired, he started by stripping the two cars.
Jo cut the Beetle in half and gutted the BMW, keeping the chassis, dashboard, and instrument panel. It’s strange to see a VW Beetle steering wheel perched on a BMW dashboard, but it works. Certainly, it’s no weirder than popping the Beetle’s hood and seeing a BMW inline-six-cylinder engine.
The truck’s bed is inspired by a Ford F-150. In fact, the taillights are from a tenth-generation F-150 and the rear fenders look a bit like an F-150 Styleside. Jo liked the flow of the Ford truck and fabricated the Beetle’s truck bed after it.
From there, the Beetle pickup truck becomes a mashup of other vehicles. The roof, with its panoramic sunroof, is from a Peugeot 206. The lower part of the front bumper is from a 2014 Porsche Cayman S. However, the finished product somehow works from a design perspective.
The Beetle Pickup Truck is not a garage queen. Jo uses it every day to haul stuff and has driven it from England to Wales and Scotland several times. When asked if he would do anything differently on his VW Beetle truck, Jo answered that he would have kept the cruise control since it would come in handy on those long trips.