Brubaker Box at Carlislse ’06

Along with the Laser 49er, the Brubaker Box (which debutted in 1972 and was made on an off by various companies until the mid/late seventies, and even briefly re-entered “production” dreams in the late nineties — these days, the molds are sadly decaying and few originals exist) is arguably the true birthplace of the mini-van. Inspired by dune buggies and surf culture, and a car-designer with no interest in joining a big corporation, it had features like the sliding door (to say nothing of the general “mini-van” concept) long before the big players ever considered building them.

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Oh, and ironically, it was largely resistance from the car companies (VW in this case) that killed off the original company…. but I’ll tell that story in more detail as I find time to write the Encyclopedia entry on it.

12 Responses

  1. ChopperMark says:

    Thanks for the link. The birthplace of the minivan is Germany 1954 : the first year of the VW Deluxe Microbus.

  2. Trevor says:

    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a updated, re-interpreted version of the Brubaker not appear in the last couple of years.. Would be fun !

  3. John Lloyd says:

    I agree with Mark on the Germany origin, but many other firms produced small minivans in europe in the fifties and sixties, and then in Britain. By 1972, dozens of such makes were already in the history books. Lloyd, Goliath, Tempo, Commer, DKW, Gogomobil, FIAT, Alfa Romeo….

  4. Tom says:

    Thanks for the info!

    I would love to see more info on this.

    I found the Brubaker Box interesting because it’s the car that was remodeled for an old kids show called Ark II. It became the smaller vehicle called the Roamer.

  5. jonny rocket says:

    “””Thanks for the link. The birthplace of the minivan is Germany 1954 : the first year of the VW Deluxe Microbus.

    Posted by ChopperMark on August 26th, 2006 at 1:41 am”””
    ====================================================

    WRONG!!!

  6. kyle says:

    now that is a great looking car! every line is just perfect

  7. Neil says:

    How cool is that? Awesome van.

  8. Scott says:

    I have a chance to purchase a 1971 Brubaker Box Van. Does anyone have an idea of the value? The van has been sitting for many years undriven. I have not actually seen van but am told it is great overall condition. Any help would be appreciated.

  9. tony wells says:

    WHEN I WAS RESEARCHING KIT CARS BEFORE I BOUGHT MY 79′ AXTEC KIT, I READ ABOUT AN AMPHIBIOUS VERSION OF THE BRUBAKER BOX IN KIT CAR MAGAZINE, OR KIT CAR ANNUAL, IT WAS MADE FROM PLYWOOD AND LAMINATED STYROFOAM SANDWICH WITH A VW OR MOTORCYCLE POWER TRAIN. GRAET WEBSITE BY THE WAY

  10. Marshall says:

    Fun to read about the “Bru” Thanks. I bought mine in 1980. Have had tons of fun and some frustration. It mostly sits now. It’s got 1835cc.,dual del oro’s,Recaro drivers seat. Wonder how many are out there?

    • Tim Hantula says:

      Do you still have your Brubaker Box? We’re putting together an exhibit about the 70’s and I’d love to put a ‘Box in it… but our museum is in Omaha Nebraska… I have no idea where you are… would you have any interest in something like this?

      • Donnie says:

        Hey Tim,

        There is a Brubaker box facebook group. Just search brubaker box on facebook. There are a few owners of them on their and they are even in contact with the creator of the Box.

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