How It Started: VW Based 1600 Off-Road Sand Rail (My Buggy)

How It Started: VW Based 1600 Off-Road Sand Rail (My Buggy)

I got started with sand rails in 2016 after moving from Alaska to Arizona. We needed a second vehicle but also wanted some kind of ATV for off-road fun.

Immediately after moving to Arizona with my wife, we noticed all types of ATV's out and about on the roads. Because the road laws here allowed for a street-legal rail, we thought "Why not buy something that could be used for both ON and OFF road"?

I began looking into various types of rails and buggys' for a few months and eventually decided to jump on the opportunity to buy somewhat of a fixer-upper rail that would serve as a good base for customizing things exactly as we want them.

Prior Sand Rail and Buggy Experience

While I have many years of prior experience with traditional ATVs, Side by Sides, and snowmobiles, I never put my hands on anything Volkswagen based. This was most definitely all new territory for me.

Luckily, I had experience building a highly customized Fiero GT a few years ago from the ground up so I was at least comfortable with engine work in-general and all workings of drivetrain, suspension and more.

The Project Goals and Expectations

The primary goal with the buggy is to have an extremely reliable second vehicle that I can use as a daily driver but also tough enough to take some severe punishment off road.