Mazda design director Derek Jenkins lives and breathes design. Jenkins shares flicks of his after-work, weekend passion— a vintage-future VW dune buggy that he constructed in his garage. Jenkins, an Orange County native, grew up on the beach, surfing and tinkering with these sort of sand crawlers. He took on his first project at 14. He saved up $1000 from an odd job repairing surfboards to buy his first project car, a Volkswagen Thing, and spent the next two years getting it road ready.
California car culture of the 1980s was on the threshold of the tuner explosion — Volkswagen GTIs, Honda Civics and Mazdas. But a further stipulation meant that for Jenkins, a surfboard had to fit in the back or on top. “In Huntington Beach your car of choice has to be appropriate to surfing.” While Jenkins has moved on to considerably more advanced design studio, he remains devoted to his garage and surfboards in his spare time.
He captured these flicks in Mojave desert near china lake. “Sooooo cool,” he tells us. Specs x flicks follow:
1970 Volkswagen chassis parts with custom tube chassis Meyers Manx 2009 on the title.
Engine: 1776cc air cooled VW scat motor Drivetrain: Type 1 four speed/ performance clutch Brakes: Karman Ghia disc brakes, drilled rotors, stainless lines
Suspension: VW Torsion bar ball joint front end, front sway bars, VW Ttorsion bar IRS rear, custom Bilstein racing shocks all around
Wheels & Tires: Forged SSR wheels, Redline BFG Scorcher TA tires Front: 16×7 205/40/16 Rear: 17×8.5 245/55/17
Exterior color: Lamborghini Grigio Telesto
Interior: Auto Meter gauges: Tach, speedo, fuel, oil temp. Alpine Amp. Pioneer 6×9 speakers, Ipod connection Sparco seatbelts CNC pedals Momo steering wheel and shift knob BTI Shifter 550 Spyder replica seats carbon floor and rubber trim
Thanks: Bob Wake, David Barrett, Dennis Hart, Eddie Palmer, My Wife