Dune Buggy

Dune buggy

Former Border Patrol dune buggy

A custom Dune Buggy/Sand Rail

A dune buggy is a recreational sandrails.

A similar, more recent generation of off-road vehicle, often similar in appearance to a sandrail but designed for different use, is the "off road go-kart". The difference may be little more than fitting all-terrain tires instead of sand tires and the much smaller size of the engine.


[edit] Design

Dune buggies are usually created using one of three methods.

The first involves alteration of an existing vehicle, most notably the original car or chassis, often a transaxle.

The second method involves construction of a vehicle frame from scratch; formed and welded using steel tubing. The advantage of this method is that the fabricator can change fundamental parts of the vehicle (usually the suspension and addition of a built-in roll cage). Buggies of this type are called sandrails because of the rail frame. Sandrails, as with the VW Bug, often have the engine located behind the driver. Sizes can vary from a small-engine one-seat size to four-seat vehicles with eight or more cylinders. Sandrails can have panels or custom-shaped body coverings over frame, though many are left bare.

The third method represents a mix of the above two design philosophies, typically constructed from a converted vehicle that has sustained damage from age, hard use, or accidents. This type of creation is called The Boston-Murphy style.

[edit] Function

Initially dune buggies were designed for navigating desert or beaches (hence use of the word "dune" or "beach"). However, dune buggies have become more diversified in terms of the terrain they can handle and are being built for more generic off road tasks, such as CORR / SCORE indoor track racing. Some are even built for and used as on-road vehicles. Typically the function is determined before the buggy is created in order to maximize the comfort or abilities of the vehicle.

Although dune buggies can be bought (as a kit), many drivers make their own. This is done by separately buying chassis, engine, tires, steering wheel, and axles. Some builders make their own chassis, which creates a special, customized vehicle.

A 1961 or later VW Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4 do not make good donor cars: however, the engine, transaxle, wheels, and instruments can be used from these models.

Other parts that can be salvaged from a donor VW for use in a Dune Buggy include the front axle and suspension, frame, pedal assembly, shock absorbers, seats, battery, fuel tank (1961 or later), steering column, brakes, instruments and switches, windshield wiper, horn and emergency flasher unit.

[edit] Driverless cars

Driverless buggy

Some driverless cars have also been made based on a buggy.

[edit] Military buggies

Because of the obvious advantages a buggy can afford on some terrain, they are also used by the military. The buggies built for the US military used to be called Navy Seals, the SAS, and other forces.

In the United Kingdom, the SAS have always used cut-down, light-weight all terrian vehicles for secret special operations "behind the lines" since early in World War II. The SAS and other elite UK forces call them "Pink Panthers".

LSVs are built by Chenowth Racing Products Inc., a San Diego–based company that sells them solely to the government.[citation needed] The newest version is the ALSV or Chenowth Advanced Light Strike Vehicle.[1]

[edit] Tube-framed buggies

The most common form of non-racing buggy consists of a purpose-built tube frame chassis, which is sturdy and simple to construct and repair. Steel tubing is preferred to pipe (pipe is rolled and welded, whereas tubing is mandrel drawn, giving it consistent wall thickness and superior strength.

Engine size varies depending on the suspension, frame strength and performance needs. Engine size has varied from 50 cc for small light buggies to 7-liter engines and up, designed for professional racing. Dune buggies use both automatic and manual transmissions, sometimes based on application and engine power, but often based simply on personal choice.

[edit] Fiberglass dune buggies

Dune buggies with Speed Buggy. These types of dune buggies are known as "clones".

Bugre II, a Brazilian buggy made in the early 70's

A few varieties of the earliest "kit cars" have been vehicles that use the dune buggy philosophy of substituting significant amounts of a car with custom parts to resemble production, modified, or Lamborghini Cheetah.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Janq Designs. "Advanced Light Strike Vehicle". Specialoperations.com. http://www.specialoperations.com/Equipment/Vehicles/default.html. Retrieved 2011-03-20.

Source: Wikipedia