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California company wants to bring back the ‘Brubaker Box’

The Brubaker Box may take surfers to the waves once again, if a pair of California entrepreneurs can make it happen.

They’re planning on reproducing the boxy fiberglass vehicle, which briefly went on sale in the 1970s. Dale Davis and Tomo Bullum, who sell collector cars through their company Driven, recently acquired two of the ultra-rare original cars, which were mostly sold as do-it-yourself kits.

The pair originally thought they’d replicate a few parts for collectors, but now think they’ll recreate the entire vehicle, reports Hemmings.

The Box was created in 1972 by auto designer Curtis Brubaker, who lived in Los Angeles and thought it would be perfect for surfers to get their boards to the beach. To maintain structural integrity, it had only one sliding door on the passenger side, plus a removable roof panel.

Brubaker intended to sell it as a complete vehicle, sitting on a Volkswagen chassis, but the German automaker wouldn’t sell to him because of liability worries. Brubaker built three on chassis from cars he bought, before giving up on the project.

One of his investors, Mike Hansen, later organized a company and sold the vehicle as the Roamer SportsVan. That prompted Brubaker to put out his original Box as a kit car. Exactly how many vehicles were made depends on who you ask; the estimate range for Roamer sales stretches from 25 to as many as 1,500.

We’d love to get our hands on one if Driven puts one together, but despite their optimism, that might still be up in the air. Davis and Bullum say both Brubaker and Hansen are “100 per cent behind the project,” but Hansen’s daughter says that’s “not true” of her father.

Five years ago, in an interview with Jalopnik, Brubaker said he was working on a “revolutionary” technology and that the Box would make a “perfect platform” to showcase it, but he hasn’t seemed to do anything with it since.


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