Wild Frankenstein conversion: half VW bucket, half Nissan GT-R

Wild Frankenstein conversion: half VW bucket, half Nissan GT-R


700 instead of 48 hp! This is probably the most powerful VW bucket in the world. The chassis including the drivetrain comes from the 2017 Nissan GT-R. Sound crazy? It is. That’s the story of the Zebra Bucket!

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Tim Schmidt from Ontario (Canada) is a car freak with a very unusual taste. On it Instagram account “hapyhip_tim” he shows his many treasures.
In a large hall between the old petrol pumps and vending machines, car attractions such as the VW Beetle Dragster are parked alongside numerous muscle cars, snowmobiles and unusual cars such as the Bugatti Chiron and McLaren P1. Tim buys what he likes; and what cannot be bought he has built.

Nissan GT-R goes up in flames

This is the case with the VW bucket. However, the background of the story is not good. In May 2019, a fire broke out in Tim’s second garage, destroying several of his vehicles.

In addition to the increased dimensions, experts note GT-R parts such as the rims and the exhaust system.


But then the story takes a turn for the better, at least in part. During the cleanup, one of the firefighters managed to start the burning GT-R, much to Tim’s surprise.

On the spur of the moment, he makes the decision to buy another GT-R. A few phone calls later, he agreed with the insurance company in the amount of 20,000 US dollars (equivalent to around 19,500 euros).

Tim’s plan: Frankenstein’s amazing operation

At this point, Tim already knows that he wants to transplant the work force from the GT-R to another car. Finally, he develops a crazy plan to cross a VW Type 181 (known in the USA as the VW Thing and here as a bucket) which is also parked in his garage with a GT-R chassis and executes a true Frankenstein. operation.

A GT-R bucket in the early conversion stage without the interesting zebra design.


To do this, he turns to the fireplace-/mouse-stick forger “Oddball Customs”, who accepts a special order. What may seem simple in theory turns out to be a huge undertaking. To describe the entire conversion process step by step would certainly go beyond the scope; so only important conversions come here.

First, the chassis of the GT-R is shortened by 40 cm. Then the body of the bucket should be expanded with steel – after all, the bucket with a length of 1.64 meters is about 25 cm narrower than the modern Nissan GT-R.

Some interior parts (steering wheel, speedometer and center console) are taken one-to-one from the GT-R, but have to be converted to VW by hand.

Due to the problems of space and air supply, the cooler is removed without more worries and sits more or less unprotected behind the metal bumper.

Kübel now has 700 hp instead of 48 hp

After more than a year of conversion work, the bucket is now almost complete. Instead of the original Beetle’s 44 and later 48 hp engine, there is now a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 with about 700 hp under the angular hood, which sends its power to all four wheels via a six-speed clutch. transmission.

And as if that wasn’t crazy enough, Tim chose an interesting zebra pattern. As I said, the Tim is not a run-of-the-mill type of car.