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Asking price

1973 1974 Volkswagen Beetle Baja Conversion For Sale

  • 1973
  • NET184M
  • Dealer
  • United Kingdom


Now for something completely different for RPS!

The iconic ‘Baja Bug’ can trace its roots to 1960s California, when many enterprising engineers and hot-rodders turned the humble Volkswagen Beetle – with its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine – into a highly effective desert racer. It really came into its own on the prestigious Mexican 1000 endurance race, which was first held in 1967 on the Baja California peninsula in north-west Mexico, and the event now features a dedicated class for them.

The example seen here was based on a 1973 Beetle Convertible that was very much in need of a complete restoration. It was commissioned by an experienced rally entrant who has competed all over the world – including the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge – and built by his old friend Charles McGowan, the highly respected Northumberland-based endurance-rally specialist who runs McGowan Engineering with his son Hector.

The enormous specification is testament to the effort that was put in by the McGowans during the build, and the car is now powered by a 2257cc, turbocharged Volkswagen petrol engine, which drives through a four-speed manual gearbox.

Inside, there is a GPS HUD speedometer, Brantz International Pro BR7 rally meter, a rev counter with a gearchange-assist function, and a NASA control panel featuring fuel flow, rpm, petrol, injection, coolant and turbo statistics. An automatic twin-canister fire-extinguisher system has been fitted, along with half-leather Corbeau rally seats and Sparco safety harnesses, plus internal front panel chargers.

There is a rear camera for improved visibility, a demist facility, a camouflaged ‘dead switch’ – plus a second dead switch based on oil feed – and an Odyssey race battery configuration. There’s even an MTX Bluetooth sound system positioned just behind the seats, while a spare wheel is sited on the rear deck, and there’s an integrated wheel jack.

The trademark ‘jacked up’ Baja look is complemented by a roof-mounted, eight-light LED cluster and a full roll-bar assembly. The rebuild took between 2019 and 2021, and since the car has been completed, the owner has added power steering and modified the exhaust system in order to make it quieter on the road. His original intention was to enter the car on a long-distance event through Africa, but instead it has been used sparingly nearer to home, both on- and off-road.

Now being offered for sale through Rally Preparation Services Ltd , this VW Beetle Baja conversion is described as intentionally being ‘magnificently over-engineered’. Built to the same exacting standards that McGowan has applied to the owner’s extremely reliable pre-war rally cars, it is superbly presented everywhere you look. With short gearing and plenty of power, it is also very quick, and this unique machine not only perfectly evokes those early days of West Coast desert racing in the 1960s and ’70s, it would also make a robust, entertaining choice of car for a wide variety of uses.

Our client is enthusiastic to find a new home for this marvellous machine so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to arrange to view.

The car is currently with Rally Preparation Services sister Company, the RPS storage facility and available for inspection. All viewings and test drives welcomed through direct contact with Rally Preparation Services.

All enquiries please contact us on using the button below or telephone +44(0)the details below

Images subject to copyright – Rally Preparation Services Ltd

VW air aspirated 2257cc turbo assisted petrol engine.
Custom performance wrapped exhaust.
MSD ignition.
Sound proofing.
Underbody protection.
GPS HUD speedometer
Rear camera
Internal front panel chargers
Brantz international pro BR7 rally meter
GuagePro twin master featuring calibration, twin time, twin master and speedpilot
Town air horn and Dixie air horns
NASA control panel comprising fuel flow, rpm, petrol, injection, coolant, and turbo statistics.
RPM including turbo, gear change assist.
Demist facility.
Camouflaged ignition kill switch, with second battery kill switch.
Twin canister automatic fire extinguisher system.
External fire extinguisher setting button.
Half leather rally seats by Corbeau.
Sparco Nascar style full harness’
Aluminium floor plates.
MTX Bluetooth sound system
Adjustable ride height dampers with remote cannisters.
Braided brake lines.
Alloy road wheels
Bf Goodrich mud and snow tyres
Full thermal sleeving
Full power steering
Integrated wheel jack
LED headlights
Roof mounted 8 light LED light cluster
KC rally lights
Full roll bar assembly
Nudge bars.
Odyssey race battery configuration
Anderson plug

Rally Preparation Services Limited

Rally Preparation Services Limited


Verified since 2011

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85 Listings since 2021

Vehicle location

Unit 8 Cotswold Business Park Range Road Witney Oxon
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Advert Details

Advert type:
For Sale
Classic Cars
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