YouTuber This Old Jalopy presents Project Frankenwagon: A 1967 VW Type 3 Squareback with a 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata drivetrain donor inside in this start-to-finish chassis swap.
Editor’s Note: The three main stages of the build: 1) Stretching the Miata Wheelbase, 2) The Chassis Swap, and 3) Getting it Roadworthy, are included below in PlayList format with detailed videos of each step.
It took 17 months to get the swap done and make the resulting car roadworthy — it is now a classic (looking) Volkswagen with all of the safety and reliability of a modern passenger car.
The ’67 Volkswagen Squareback was found rotting away in a field — Nothing on the car worked, it was in awful shape — but now it’s a daily driver.
However, using the Type 3 Squareback body was not the original plan. In the beginning, a different VW body shell entirely was going to be used: a ’73 Super Beetle. Here’s how it all went down…
Stage 1: Stretching the Miata Wheelbase
5 videos ~ Last updated on Jan 24, 2019
- Cutting a Miata in half
- Setting the Wheelbase on the Miata
- Adding frame rails to a Miata
- Putting the stretched Miata back together
- Driving a Miata Deathkart
Stage 2: The VW/Miata MX-5 Chassis Swap
12 videos ~ Last updated on Mar 4, 2020
- Meetle the Super Beetle is out, Frenchy the Frankenwagon is in.
- Gutting the VW Type 3 interior & Miata exterior
- Polishing & oiling the patina
- VW Type 3 body going onto Miata chassis
- VW Type 3 body swapped onto a Miata
- Setting the stance and ride height
- Welding the body to the chassis and building custom rocker panels
- Custom door sills
- Putting the “car” back together
- Assembling the Frankenwagon
- Final Assembly
- Test Drive
Stage 3: Getting Frankenwagon Roadworthy
5 videos ~ Last updated on Mar 19, 2020
- Pinstripes and radiator grill
- Frabricobbling the windshield wipers
- Building a custom dashboard
- Windshields and donuts
- DIY Fender Flares (the final episode of the build)