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October 23, 2019
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The Dune Buggy Files

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Click here to watch author James Hale talk about his Dune Buggy books

The Dune Buggy Files

By James Hale
About the Author

Softback. 112 pages. 250 x 250mm. 165 colour pictures.

ISBN: 9781904788089

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The background to the buggy movement worldwide, through to current models and designs for tomorrow’s ‘concept car’ buggies.
Superb period Buggy photographs never before published, as well as photos of many of the best buggies on the scene today.
Colour photographs from the most influential era of the Dune Buggy, through to the present day, and beyond.
Covers Buggies in the USA, the UK, and Europe.
The only buggy book on the market to look at buggy history, buggies of today, and futuristic ‘concept car’ buggies of the future.
Many never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations of mainstream manufacturer buggy designs.
A wealth of information on the range of buggy designs throughout four decades.
Predominantly illustrated in colour, with superb photography throughout.
A rare chance to see how mainstream vehicle manufacturers view the buggy concept, with their futuristic styling exercise display buggy models.
Written by the world’s leading authority on Dune Buggies.


Dune Buggies have been around for over four decades. Here, you can relive their colourful history, and glimpse the future of these unique fun vehicles.


Dune Buggies have been around for over four decades. In this stunningly comprehensive volume you can relive their colourful history from crude off roaders developed in the 1960s, to the superb show vehicles of the 80s and 90s, and take a glimpse into the future of these unique fun vehicles.

Independent Reviews

Review by Nat Barnes for the Daily Express, May 2005

Maybe it’s a liking for the original Thomas Crown Affair but, despite their rather naff kit-car image, I descended upon James Hale’s new book ‘The Dune Buggy Files’ with eager glee – as has everyone else who has passed my desk. It’s a great insight into the past, present and future of the sand-kicking four-wheeled phenomenon.

Review from VolksWorld, Summer 2005

‘Dune Buggies have been around for over four decades and, in his new book, James Hale offers you the opportunity to relive their colourful history and take a glimpse at what the future may hold for these unique vehicles. The book contains superb period photographs, many never seen before, as well as photos of the best Buggies on the scene today from the USA, UK and Europe, and concept illustrations of mainstream manufacturer Buggy designs. This is a rare chance to see how major vehicle manufacturers view the Buggy concept and is a must for any Buggy fan.’

Review from Ultra VW

‘This book is without a doubt one of James’s best yet, and features many unique and exclusive pictures from the past through to the present – and even the concept and dream cars of the future!’

Review from Retro Cars, August 2005

Nobody likes the feel of sand between their toes, which is possibly why dune buggies are still so popular. If bug-eyed sand surfers are your kind of thing, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a new book available all about them. Called ‘The Dune Buggy Files’ and written by James Hale, it covers the history of the fibreglass Dune Buggy, starting with their origins in the’20s US through to the fibreglass Meyers Manx introduced in the’60s. The ‘70s customisation trend is covered as is the dune buggy’s ‘80s revival, and there’s a good look at the current crop of bug-eyed beach combers and suitably wacky future prototypes.

Review from Which Kit Car

‘Another well produced book, this one on beach/dune buggies – let’s face it, if you like the topic you’ll be interested in this book. Author James Hale certainly knows his stuff. He’s been writing about buggies for many years and, I should imagine, knows more about them than anyone else in Britain – and probably further afield. He’s also been heavily involved in manufacturing them via his GT Mouldings company.

Amongst this book’s 112 pages are loads of terrific colour photographs which do a fine job of capturing the cars’ outrageous looks, fun characters and serious intentions: But apart from the visual treat, there’s plenty of interesting text. Covering past, present and future, there are only three chapters but they’re well written and informative. Particularly fascinating is the look into the buggy’s future, which illustrates how involved many mass-production car companies have become with these extrovert fun machines. There’s the Ford Splash, Peugeot Touareg, Ford EX, Peugeot Hoggar, and Volkswagen Concept T, all pretty desirable in their different ways.

It’s quite simple: If you’re into buggies, buy this book. It’s a goodie’.

Review by Classics Monthly

This book comprehensively covers buggy history, including some great archive pictures from VW and Fiat. And it’s good to see so many of the cars are photographed in the UK. Of particular note is the final chapter on future buggy design. Lots of colour, informative text and great subject matter. Just be careful you might find yourself out in the driveway cutting up a Beetle before you know it!’

Review from Classic Cars

‘Hale has uncovered more on dune buggies here than you’d ever have believed possible. Largely in colour, there are cars from around the globe – and even from the future’.

Review from Practical Classics

‘If you’ve ever fancied a beach buggy but were too shy to talk about it, this book is the answer. It’s full of great pictures from the beard-and-flares heyday of the Volkswagen-based buggies, but it also covers their origins in sand racing and development into modern kits and even concept cars. The variety of buggies and colour schemes is dazzling…you’ll end up longing for a beach, a buggy and a couple of babes to keep you company. Great stuff’.

Review from Motoring & Leisure

‘The worldwide Dune Buggy movement is thriving, and author James Hale is the authority on these fun little cars. Covering 40 years of funky Dune Buggies, the book features glorious colour photos and posters of characters including Jimi Hendrix looking his happiest in his buggy!’

Review excerpt from Classic Car Weekly

This latest book contains many previously unpublished photographs and never-before-seen concept illustrations from US, British and European manufacturers. It also features a superb collection of period photographs, many of which were taken in the summer of love era that so many people associate these cars with. Although there are also plenty of contemporary pictures, depicting the modern offerings of today’s buggy manufacturers.

This book provides an excellent over-view of all the different types of buggy available to today’s driving enthusiast looking for a simple, low cost vehicle like no other. There has been such a bewildering assortment of buggies that it has become difficult for the unfamiliar to know exactly what kind of kit they are looking at, but they are all included here, from the fantastically named Bushwhacker to the highly desirable Empi Imp. In fact, we would say this latest offering is essential reading for anyone considering buying one of these fun cars or thinking of building one of their own. At 112 pages and with 165 colour images, this is a well-written, informative and good-looking book that would make a great addition to the bookshelf of any VW or kit car enthusiast.


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