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This 1970 Shala-Vette Is Searching For A New Home

By Elizabeth Puckett Apr 03, 2019
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By Elizabeth Puckett Apr 03, 2019
Based on a Volkswagen buggy, the 1970 Shala Vette comes from the mind of movie car builder

If you’re wondering what the heck a ‘Shala Vette’ is, you’re certainly not alone. This is a custom-built car by Dick Dean, a customizer who worked for worked for George Baris; the mastermind behind various iconic vehicles for movies and TV. This car was made to stand out, as it represents a car used in a wild B-movie.

Dick worked with Bill Hines and George Barris to produces the Muster Koach, Dragula, Surf Woody, Black Beauty, and many other famous and crazy looking cars. This Shala Vette is a VW buggy that looks like a miniature Corvette, and is powered by a Volkswagen engine.

The first Shala-Vet made was used in the original Death Race 2000 and driven by David Carradine as Frankenstein. Dick would go on to build some other full Shala Vette cars, and made many other kits to add to VWs. The ad indicates that 12-15 were created, which is an unverifiable number, but there’s likely only a few still in existence regardless. 

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The one currently for sale on eBay is a complete example of one of the originals built by Dick Dean. It is noted as being a show car, and only has 5000 miles on the clock. It’s engine is a 1835cc with dual 44 Dellortors and 110 Eagle camshaft. Backing the engine is a four-speed transmission - and while not specified, we’re assuming it's a manual.

The interior comes curtesy of Willie Custom Upholstery, and the convertible top is from Uribas Upholstery. A surprising touch is the Porsche 914 seats with four-point harness, and push start ignition. As with most buggy builds, this has a complete roll cage.

In the ad, the paint color is noted simply as being ‘1970’s Green’, and is covering a fully fiberglass body rolls on staggered Parnelli Jones wheels/tires, and the original stock suspension. 


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