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1- The very early Here comes da bug days  |    2- The Here comes da bug  |    3- The top chopped Here comes da bug (later...)  |   


I like compiling facts & infos regarding old VW Gassers... But finding the real behind the scene story is the real deal... I had that chance with the Anderson brothers, as both Rick & Ron took time to remember the very very early days of the Andersons... Read on the full story on the right column!

But if you read this, you like old VW gassers... So below is the Here Comes Da bug complete story, with never seen before pictures, as usual on this lil' corner... Now, have a cup of coffee (tea for Keith...) and enjoy your reading my friends!

I'm sure you all knows of that little blue gasser, but how many knews that a very first Here Comes Da bug was built and painted black, how many knows the story behind the gasser name?

Very early garage pic (around 1968/1969). Is it another cool picture or what? Note the blue plexiglas tinted window all around and the rader rims...

Yes, the very first Here comes da bug was black. In fact, it was a spray can primer black... Yes, spray cans... Ron did all the lettering with white shoe polish and bodywork.

Rick recalls buying this little '56 oval car for just 50$ from a lady coming to the VW shop he was apprentice for a blown engine she coundn't afford to fix it. The car was in great shape inside and out but Rick already had other plan and wanted it to be his "weekend warrior"...

Dashboard picture... When less is more... Ron recalls : "Now in todayís world you can go out and buy a new dash cover door panels and so on. Back then we just did it all ourselves. You make mistakes and do a lot of do over to make it right." Rick recalls that when thinking back about the safety factor of the car, he wouldn't run it today : "The way the two gallon tank was only strapped in with hose clamps where the spare tire would sit and there was nothing between the driver and the engine. It was wide open. The car was basically a pan, body, engine, one fiberglass seat and no windows. Just enough to run it down the track."

By this time Rick had built my street motor up to a 1600cc with twin Zeniths. He would pull his motor out of his street car and put it the race car on weekends when he raced. He would take off all the sheet metal on the engine, and run the split case trans too. "Needless to say, it wasn't very fast but it was fun to bracket race on Saturday nights. Ron was there helping me along the way and we were both learning as we went."

Rick didn't remember what engine combinations they ran or when in the early days because there were so many variations we were trying. The one engine we ran for a year or two was the 2000cc. 82 roller crank by 88mm Empi aluminum barrels with the vertex mag and the 48IDA carbs. I think that was the most common set-up at the time.

Very very cool family picture showing the Anderson family at Easter 1958 or 1959. Rick stands on the left and Ron at right! Rick recalls "The 56' bug in the background was my dads. That is the bug I started working on about that time. Would you let your kid that age work on your car? I think not! But I did. Weird to say the least."

This blue '66 bug running on chrome wheels car was Rick street car at that time... This bug was Ricks dad car that he bought new and gave him in 1967 for its graduation... Talk about a very lucky guy... Rick put Goodyear Blue streaks wet/dry tires, heavy duty sway bars and Koni shocks on for handling. He remember calling that bug his "pregnant roller skate"... lol. But it did pretty good for its time... Rick started racing this street bug at Lions drag strip in 1966-67, when he was a senior in high school on Sundays. "No pressure, just to see what The car was capable of. Most of my friends at that time all had muscle cars. But never the less I had a desire to race. And it was pretty cheep to run" he recalls.

This is the 1600cc engine that was in the car....

... but Rick was running another engine : a Super 90 1600cc Porsche engine. He thought he'd throw that in there while he had a chance. "Hot on the street and strip" he recalls...

Inside picture. Note the rear view mirror...

No one made dash panels yet so Rick has to made his own and installed the gauges and switches. Switches were for the fog lights, electric fuel pump and sound system. He removed the glove box and installed the tape deck there. .

Copyright © 2012 El Dub - All rights reserved.

E-mail : eldub@cal-look.com



Below are some words that Ron ANDERSON himself put down on paper... He was kind enough to allow me to post some of them here... That is very very cool as those words really help to capture the "behind the scene". Thanks Ron!


This is the upgraded shoe polish lettering Here comes da bug! Note the Cyclone sponsors stickers.

"One day at Rickís work they had posted an advertisement on the wall about a BUG Ė IN at Orange County Raceway. Sounds good to Rick but what is it? Checking into it more and we donít need to tell all you folks what it is. Rick and Ron talk it over and we have an old bug with no motor, no windows, just a shell on a frame on wheels. Our custom paint job that ended up to be FLAT BLACK spray can special. Now our transmission was the stock 36 hp. Crash Box Trans. Rick and Ron look at each other and says ďit has to work for a little while, ITíS GOT TO. Put the 1600cc motor in the little car, wire it all up and you now have a so called RACE CAR. With No windows or lettering on it JUST FLAT BLACK EVERYWHERE."

As far as I know, this is the very first advert showing the Anderson bros gasser! This one appeared in the adverts pages of Dune Buggies magazine (later Hot VWs...) from January 1970. Sponsor was Norris Cams and the ad insist on the Here comes da Bug defeated Dirty Dave Renfree sponsored I/G at Bug-in 3!

"Now we did notice that all the real race cars have a name to them. We had seen names like SUPER PICKLE, many other strange names. Our little car is small like a peanut. Hay why not SUPER PEANUT? Ron takes white shoe polish and letters the doors. This name was on the car for a while or so and it just didnít hit the spot for a name anymore. Then there was a song on the radio called HERE COMES THE JUDGE. Someone while working on the car said HERE COMES da BUG. WE all looked up and said thatís it HERE COMES da BUG. Next day Ron sands down the doors and repaints them with our very high class spray can special FLAT BLACK paint. Ron draws it out on paper to see how to lay it all out. We wanted our name in there also. Now Ron has it all laid out. THE ANDERSON BROTHERS HERE COMES da BUG in White shoe polish again on the doors before Rick gets home from work that day. Rick sees it and replies HAY THAT LOOKS and SOUNDS GOOD Ron."

Here comes da bug at speed at Bug-in 3! Note the "Sponsor wanted" sign on the roof!

Another picture at full speed at Lions dragstrip! Color pictures of that very early days are rare...

"October 1969 Bug-in 3 came along. Now we have a 2000cc motor a Race transmission with chicterslicks.I think our times were in the low 13 second area or a real high 12 second area. Looking at all the big boys out there we still had a lot of work to do. We had made a few runs and the car stayed all together for us. We got in a line where the Lightning bug was at. Got up in the burn out area and the Lightning Bug was going to make his pass. We watched the Lightnin bug. Yes it was fast, then near the end of the run. The Lightning bug started moving around and went left and onto the guardrail. The little blue car rolled, rolled and hopped along the guardrail for a long time. From the looks of things from the starting line there wasnít much left of the little blue car. It looked like the whole top was gone. Rick got out of our car, and was wondering what happened to the driver? Is he okay? Racing was down for a while to clean up the track. This scared Rick a lot, so much that Rick didnít want to make another run. Found out that the driver was alive with a cut on his arm and a few other bumps here and there. Rick was okay with that, we will still make another pass. By the end of the day, Here comes da bug got to be in the final for over all winners. Here comes da bug got its first victory that day. Now if that little blue car didnít go over on its top I would say that little blue car would have taken the whole thing that day. Here comes da bug just got lucky that day."

The very first Cyclone ad appeared in April 1970 issue of Dune Buggies & Hot VWs! Image is a thumbnail, click for more details...