A custom designed, from the factory surf van – sounds good to us. That was the plan by Curtis Brubaker who apparently saw the number of surf kids using battered vans in 1960s southern California and figured it might sound good to them too. Throw into that the next decade’s fascination with funky vans and you’d think this was a dead cert for success. But the Brubaker Box was not.
Based on a VW Beetle, the van with sliding side door and room in the back to get changed (presumably) was a short-lived dream that saw very small numbers produced. Problems with getting parts from manufacturers is cited in numerous places as the reason for the van’s demise. One company later bought the molds for the body and produced quite a number of kits, but the number of fully complete Boxes on the road is unlikely to ever be a number the world will ever know. That would make seeing one even more exciting.
They do seem to have appeared in some strange places over the year;
And were even used as the basis for a vehicle called the Ark Roamer in a 70s TV series about a group of scientists trying to revive the future in a post-apocalyptic world, Ark II;
If we happened upon one as a project, we may well be tempted to drop the Beetle engine and wedge a nice WRX boxer engine in instead. That rare and retro surf van style mated to some more modern power…that’s some thinking outside of the box we could be down with.