The Longer Story on SEMA’s Ultra-Short Custom Volkswagen Bus

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The moment this trippy Volkswagen bus caught our eye on SEMA’s show floor, we knew right away it was bound for our Best of SEMA, Day One list. How could it not be? But whereas in those best-of lists we’ve got to share space with some of SEMA’s other glorious creations, in this space we can do the stubby VW long-form justice.

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-This custom van was fabricated nearly from scratch by Utah-based SKJ Customs; the only components sourced from an actual VW bus include the front suspension, rear transaxle, and the basics of its flat-four engine. Everything else, from the full-metal body to the interior to the rest of the chassis was dreamt up out of thin air. It’s all very impressive, and not least because the team behind it eschewed the implied ease of a custom VW by choosing not to retain the bus’s ubiquitous (and adaptable) floorpan.

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-Besides reshaping the notion of what a VW bus can look like even beyond the standard “shorty” custom thanks to the subtly curved body lines, SKJ also attacked traditional notions of ingress and egress. For example, the entire front end hinges open like that of a BMW Isetta, and there is but a single door on the passenger side of the van. (The tailgate opens, too.) Small flaps in the bodywork behind each rear wheel open to allow wheelie bars styled after wooden longboards to slide out. This enhances the safety, apparently, of hard launches, what with the tiny wheelbase and the supercharged VW engine still hanging way out back. Well, not exactly way, way out back. But you get the idea.





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-As you can probably imagine, the project took quite a long time to complete. We’re told it took SKJ and its partners about a year and a half to make the unrealistic bus a reality. We’re glad they took the time. Now, who’s up for a shorty custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter?2015 SEMA Show Full Coverage

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