I don’t pretend to understand the capricious whims of Arpanettia, goddess of the Internet, or how she decides to elevate certain things at various times, but at this moment Brent Walter’s lovingly-built and devastatingly charming Beetle-fender scooters have been chosen. I’ve been sent links to these things so many times over the past few days, so I figured I should do my part as well. Let’s talk about some Beetle-fender scooters.
Brent Walter is a skilled craftsman and metalworker, and appears to have a real family legacy when it comes to small motor scooters, as his Instagram includes pictures of a home-built scooter from 1958 that was built by his grandfather for his father, which Brent restored:
It’s clean and simple and appealing, sort of like an old Cushman or Allstate scooter of the era, and the same simple aesthetic seems to carry over into Walter’s Volkspods, the name he’s given to his VW fender scooters.
I don’t actually think he’s the very first to think to do this, and there are some other examples of similar fender-scooters online, like this one from Brazil:
Still, Walter’s might be among the nicest. They’re more complex to build than you may originally think; while they feel like a single fender, if you think for a moment you realise pretty quickly they can’t be, as the actual fenders are flattened on one side where they bolt to the rest of the body with 10 bolts.
In order to get the smooth look for these scooters and the proper slope for the rear, it actually takes all four fenders from the car, quartered and re-welded together. The front half is made from the quarters of the front fenders, and the rear half from the rear two quarters. You can see the seams in this pic here from March, when Walter was building his first one:
The simple round headlight ring fits perfectly, and the slope of the rear allows a standard 1962 to 1967 taillight assembly to fit just fine. This walkaround really shows all the sections clearly:
The inner frame is pretty simple and straightforward, with a small 79cc motor and little chonky wheels.
I also like how he takes the time to dress up the engines a bit, like here with an old VW gas cap and a Beetle turn indicator standing in for the air cleaner housing:
I think the other one has a Beetle valve cover stuck on there, to give the illusion that maybe there’s half a Beetle engine driving the thing.
These are really delightful things, and with 20 million Beetles built, I think there’s fenders to spare, and, even better, you can still buy new fenders if you’re squeamish about someone cutting up original Beetle parts. I don’t think any plans to build these in quantity have been mentioned, but it sure as hell seems like there’s demand out there.
I mean, it’s like riding on a cyclopean robo-snail! Who wouldn’t want that?