On Sunday, July 2, 2006 Hagerty donned the hat of Car Show promoter, as we…
Volkspod minibikes are a surprise hit for Indiana VW craftsman
Brent Walter didn’t really plan on creating a viral sensation with his Volkspod minibikes, it happened by accident. Now there are buyers lining up to get a pint-sized car show cruiser. Walter had a set of Volkswagen Bug fenders laying around his shop in Hunting, Indiana, and needed material to practice butt-welding light gauge sheetmetal. The skill will be necessary when it comes time to install a ragtop on his ever-evolving VW Beetle.
Playing around with the fenders, he discovered that by melding two front fenders and two rear fenders, an interesting shape revealed itself: a cycloptic arthropod with obvious Beetle lineage, yet character all its own.
That first creation was used for the body shell of a 79cc minibike that served as car show transportation. Walter’s Instagram followers loved it. When photos of that crazy contraption found their way to American Pickers’ Robbie Wolfe, he contacted Walter to commission one of his own. That second Volkspod—the name was inspired by Randy Grubb’s bare-aluminum Decopods—was built for Wolf with taller tires and a peppier 212cc engine.
Walter told us that the taller tire and added clearance of the more powerful Volkspod helps it tackle riding on lawns, and that it has “quite a bit of power” compared to the original, which struggles on grass and “barely gets out of its own way.” In that regard, the original is true to its VW Beetle roots.
After his minibike creations went viral, Walter, a former tool & die maker who currently works in medical equipment manufacturing, was inundated with requests for Volkspods. He has two more started, but as it’s a part-time venture on evenings and weekends, each build can take a few months. If you’ve just gotta have one, you’d better drop Walter a note and get in line.