World War II gave us death and destruction. It also gave us two of the most iconic vehicles ever to set rubber on dirt.
Of course, the Jeep is the first one that comes to mind, but the Bug shouldn't be left out. The Bug wasn't conceived as a military vehicle. Instead, it was created to be a simple, reliable, and affordable car for German citizens. It's proven to be all that and more.
I've gained a lot of respect for Bugs and their derivative buggies over the years. Four-wheel independent suspension coupled with a rear-mounted engine ends up providing quite a bit of traction off-road. Another byproduct of the design is a flat belly pan. These things have got ground clearance for days!
While there's no front driven axle or transfer case, bugs and buggies still excel at off-road adventure in many situations.
This beautiful example was built by Jeff Digby of Hemet, California for his wife, Darla. It's powered by a GM Ecotec four-cylinder motor coupled to an 091 bus box transaxle. It's quick, light, and smooth.
If World War II was a cloud, the Jeep and the Bug are its silver lining.