The Volkswagen Beetle earned a reputation over the years for being a small, quirky German car nicknamed the Bug. This particular Bug, built in Jefferson Iowa, is certainly quirky, but it's far from small. In fact, it's a 1.5 scale VW Beetle, and its chassis was taken from an old airport fire truck.
Say hello to "Big Red," the supersized Bug that towers over Iowan traffic.
Kirk Strawn, Big Red's creator along with his brother Erik, owned a VW Beetle as his first car at age 16. Perhaps succumbing to the modern American motto that 'bigger remains better,' Strawn, with help from a local teenage welder, created a Beetle, named after its fire truck underpinnings, that stands nine-feet tall, a whopping twenty-three feet long and eight-feet wide.
In the town of Jefferson, it overshadows everything in its path.
It also makes a tremendous racket; sounding - and driving - much like a "tractor." Perhaps that's because under the hood sits an actual diesel tractor engine. Said engine links to a Ford transmission and a Chevy differential, adding to the bizarreness that is Big Red. Top speed remains a rather meager 40 mph, although, if I'm honest, I'm not sure I'd want to go much faster.
"It's definitely a party machine," says Strawn.
That it is; LED lights lining the car's edges sync (and blink) to playing music.
"Life's really short," says Strawn. "So why not try to do something like this if you have the idea?"
Touché. And this isn't the first idea the brothers have had, either. They also own Walter (pictured below), the "world's largest" VW bus, towering thirteen-feet tall and sporting 57 inch tires--the greatest hippie-mobile in the world. We can only guess what the Strawn brothers will supersize next.