Is this converted VW Beetle the world's cutest ute?
Search Driven for Volkswagen Beetle for sale
Here in New Zealand, we're proud of our utes, and these days, they seem to fit in the Goldilocks part of the scale, as they're bigger than the two-door ones we used to love, but smaller than those American-built behemoths.
Despite this mid-sized nature, the majority of New Zealand ute owners are set on making their double-cab "beast" as "tough" as possible, with massive lifts and mud tyres. But what if we stepped back for a second, and made things cuter.
There have been hundreds of ute conversions undertaken down here, from Toyota Land Cruisers to Nissan Silvias, but one that we haven't seen is the humble VW Beetle turned into a short-bed workhorse.
Hailing from America, this lime green masterpiece it a true work of art, and is better than the majority of replicas that we have seen emerge on eBay in recent months. It's clear that a lot of hard work has been put in here.
Dubbed a 'sports truck' by the seller, this Beetle can reportedly haul around 500kgs in the tray, and looks remarkably like the Chevrolet SSR — another strange American ute-based creation.
It turns out that this is actually a kit sold by Smyth Kit Cars, a company that offers a range of ute conversions for regular cars.
According to the seller, this Beetle has a range of modifications that extend a lot further than its new-found tray. New wheels, tyres, suspension, brakes, hoses, belts, ignition is just the start.
Obvious exterior modifications include the stark green and black colour scheme, a body kit featuring a big front bumper, side skirts, and rear spoiler.
Under the hood sits the factory 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, but comes with a few mods. An upgraded turbo and catback exhaust gives the lump a little more boost, and should push it over the 132kW factory figure.
The seller states that this is one of one in the listing, and we're not going to dispute that. It has a $31,000 price tag attached, which is a hefty price to pay for a Beetle, but isn't when you think of it as an exotic European ute.