|How I Built a Dune Buggy Couch
(or another item from Something for Nothing Engineering)
By Bob Elliott - 2003
First, you need to find a pretty crappy body and preferably one not worthy of a complete restore. Any front-end wreck would be the best. This one
had no hood, had damage in the front, and was just a local Manx clone of no particular value, so it was a perfect candidate for the couch.
OK, I'll admit it, from time to time, I have more buggy bodies hanging around then the average person really needs. I also admit that I often have
more ideas than money or time, but I do like building stuff. The winters are long, the garage is cold and this is something I can do in the basement.
These fiberglass bodies seem to last forever, yes the gel coat fades something awful from the sun and the floors rust terribly around here.
Especially if the car is left outside, uncovered and allowed to fill in with leaves, rain and snow for years. Then after someone has let it go to crap,
some times they end up with someone like me, stacked like chord wood in the back yard. You never know, I just might need it someday? Usually these
can be picked up for cheap $, so don't break the bank on one of these.
Here are some photo's of the build-up that you should be able to follow. Every car is different, every couch will be different. I adapted mine to
match seat height and depths measured on a couple of couches in my house? All I have to do is find a place for it in the house?
Pic 1 - Find a junker body. Either of
these old Hawk bodies will do.
Pic 2 - A cut in front of the rear seat area
and viola! Leave a little spare to trim later.
Pic 3 - Here's another view of the cut..
Pic 4 - This is a wood filler shaped
to match the body lines. It covers
the raw glass edge and raises the
couch a little for good seating height.
Pic 8 - Plywood seat panels cut-to-fit
and provide something to staple the
cushion and vinyl covering to.
Pic 7 - A view of the T-nuts used to hold
the seat panels in place. 4 hold the seat
bottom and 2 hold the seat back.
Pic 5 - A backside view of the front
filler post. Front is 3/4 pine backed
with a post, screwed and glued in
Pic 6 - At this point, I decided to cover
the battery tray area, but you don't need
Pic 9 - For the rear support, I made a
shelf area out of 1 X 6 pine. You'll
notice that I cut away much of the
damaged rear apron, looks much
Pic 10 - Finished view of the rear, after
sanding and buffing. A couple of rear
lights from Wal-Mart and the CA plate
from a flea market finish it off.
Pic 11 - Front view. I also added drink
holders out of a boat catalog. Painting
the underside black seemed like the right
thing to do.
Pic 12 - Side view. Maybe a nice set
of wheels and tires at some? It's up
Pic 13 - Here's my couch
photo-shopped a bit courtesy of John
Pic 14 - Here's another example of a
buggy couch I've found on the Internet.
Not sure who owns it?