We all need a good VW shop now & again. Sometimes it's not just how to do the job, but how to make it better, and who would know better than the people who supply these parts for a living?
So Please, if you know of a good VW shop for the baja fanatic, Email the SandLizrd and let everyone know! It's one of the most popular requests here at the Baja Page. Please include name, location (at least what city it's in), and phone number or address if you can. If you can't, well, the baja-crazed lunatic looking for parts can figure it out....
And, most important, say something about why they deserve a recommendation. Some places know their business. Others have good prices. Another might have the selection or hours you approve of. Get the idea?
And, just like anywhere on the Internet, use this info at your own risk. My only guarantee is that someone had to go to the effort to send Email.
Here's the quick-reference by locale...
BC , CN
ALABAMAS & S Buggy
They are pretty much the only buggy shop around there, but it sounds like they're lucky to have 'em. Theyhave a very nice and knowledgeable staff. They are usually very well stocked in all kinds of parts ranging all the way from cosmetics of the car to the engine and if they don't have it they can usually get it in in a week. James & Gilbert have had a few engines rebuilt there and the word is, they are great!
Of course, I gotta get my own recommendations in here, and I dwell in the Grand Canyon State (not talking about the state of our EX-governor's legal woes).
Karl's Custom VW
This is the SandLizrd's favorite shop! I recommend them in every possible way - the people are knowledgeable and helpful, the selection is excellent, the prices are good, their service department must have ESP for VW's or something, the list goes on and on. Something I appreciate even more is that one can bounce any crazy idea off of these guys and expect an honest response - I've earned a few of those "you must be stupid" looks, and yeah, I was being stupid, and I'm better for it. Furthermore, their service department isn't afraid to "customize". I pass emissions every year, yet my baja runs well 364 days a year, if you get my meaning.
BAP has the selection and the store hours that have helped me out many times. I could recommend their skill, but with several locations and a fair amount of staff, it's hit & miss based on who you talk to, just like most auto parts stores. BAP sells a fair motor, too. It's a bit conservative, not a lot of power in stock form, but durn it's durable!
CHIRCO VW Super Centre
CHIRCO is the mail-order shop I recommend. They have a totally incredibly complete parts catalog, and their average turnaround time on orders is next day, so convert that to one-week shipping in the continental US. Anyone who's waited 4-6 weeks for parts can truly appreciate this. I visited their shop, and it is a beautiful sight to behold. In addition, these guys know their business - they don't hire high-school girls as order-takers, the guys & gals who take the orders really know the VW business. Plus, their prices are right! Order up a catalog & see for yourself.
NEWS FLASH: The CHIRCO webpage will soon hit a new level! I've seen a layout of what it's going to be, and believe you me, it's likely to be the premier VW site on the web! The same is true for their catalog - the new one is in the works. In the meantime, they're shipping the BugPack catalog, which isn't a bad shake, itself.
Off-Road Buggy Supply
I haven't worked with these guys in several years, but they won my heart & mind to the VW way. I was just an anklebiter who lived next door to their shop, but I sure did learn from 'em. They've campaigned several race cars over the years, too. Being as how I'm a bit out of contact with 'em, it's hard to be too specific, but if you're in Yuma and need VW help, this is definitely the place to go!
"Don't know address but they do great work for your custom welding odds and ends. Roof Racks, guards and othe odds and ends. This is not your ordinary welding shop." - Eric, the other desert dweller
Jade Exclusive Products
Jon and his partner have just recently started a new custom VW and Porsche parts business. They carry billet aluminum, drag racing and offroad heavy-duty axles, alarms, power locks, and a wide selection of used VW parts. Check 'em out at http://www.flash.net/~jlegrand/jade.html .
Ozark Parts and Service
No info given, just a recommend.
Way Out Salvage
Flush informs me they have 300+ VW's there.
Roy Rodgers Forgeign Car Parts
Roy Rodgers also has stores in Forth Smith and other towns. You'd have to ask them about the other stores and how to contact them.
Vintage Vee-Dub Supplies
"Not Baja only, cater to all VW's. Good advice & service. Spares and workshop, mail order any where."
editor's note: Thanks, Lance! I know that most of these shops aren't baja-only, there isn't enough money in strictly-baja, but at least these referrals are for shops that know what a baja is.
Manx Buggies (Aust) PTY LTD
"Parts and service, many years of off road experience."
Bow-Wow Auto Parts of BC Ltd
Bow-Wow Auto Parts of BC Ltd
McBryan says, "The staff are awesome and the parts are very good. The Bow Wow parts store is a chain in B.C. " They have an electronic catalog! Very Cool! The roots of this business were in fiberglass-bodied buggies - sounds like a good reference to me!
Another reader in Everett, WA area says the local Bow-Wow shop has limited selection, outside of the basic parts. So check 'em out & make your own call.
The word on this shop is, it's always done right! BajaMike tells me that the place has been a life saver, and proprietor Gary Haugley can do it all!
"It's a good shop for off-road cars. They carry a lot of after-market parts." -Wes
The preceding two shops are said to have body parts, large parts and accessories - more than your average Chevy parts store. BajaLuvr says he spends more time there than at the grocery store - I'd believe he knows what he's doing!
Steve's Import Auto Center
To Quote VWTurbo, "This family business offers stock or high-performance engine rebuilding, parts and repair services for all VW's and have built many baja's over the years. Provides support for my hobby car, the "Turbo Baja", which I claim to be the quickest street VW on any surface, from sand to asphalt."
I'm inquiring as to whether VWTurbo is the proprietor, or customer - like many of these entries, further info is hopefully on the way!
Not much known, but they have a tons of used VW stuff laying around, and they're a friendly bunch.
Bug and Hare
This recommendation has even less info than the former. Somebody thinks they're good.
They're good. Why, I have no idea. If any readers are in the bay area, try to gather me some info?
Moore Racing Team
According to the Posts, this shop is VERY baja friendly! , and is in tune w/VW in any form, From Formula VW to Street rods and all the dirt types. Prices are fair and better than other shops that they have frequented. Large floor space and many counters full of goodies. They sometimes "phone shop" and have UPS deliver. And, they recommend you say hello to Rodney, the owner.
Complete off-road fab shop. Trailing arms, long travel front shock towers, tabs, gussets, roll cages, expert advice. All hard parts. Too much to list....
This recommendation comes from a long-time friend of Larry's, who has a project baja. It ended up as a full pre-runner, and this is a recommendation worth noting!
Bow-Wow Auto Parts, Inc.
There's other references to Bow-Wow auto parts in this list, since they're a widespread chain, but the one in Boise gets high praise. 25 years experience, and they know which parts are best! Machine shop, too.
Is known to be one of the most-used Michigan parts stores. They sent me a catalog, and it's GOOD! Good selection, good prices, and the owner gave me permission to link to their stuff, so they must be OK!
Archway Import Auto Parts
Lots of stock and high-performance VW parts. MudBug of J & J Racing recommends them, and suggests you call & talk to Jim or Duke.
"A good stock of baja stuff, and able to order parts not-in-stock in just a few days. They carry a full line of top names like Bosch, Bugack, Chenowth, etc. They stock a few Sandrail frames, bumpers, seats, steering wheels, tires, wheels, stock and offroad parts. They've got a pretty amazing invetory for such a small operation. Plus, they're friendly and ready to answer any questions you might have."
Thanks to Paul for the good word.
A good baja-friendly shop!
Rich sent me an email about his business, and I had to inquire as to his specialty. I mention this because I don't want it to look like bragging - I asked, fair and square - and wait 'till you read this:
"The following is a list of services available to the VW customers that come to my shop. (Most, if not all, are at a discount over my regular repair customers.)
MIG Welding capabilities - floor pans - battery tray repair - front end swaps - pan shortening (dune buggies) - front end raising
Restoration - sandblasting and glass beading - rechroming available at local shop - minor body work and painting
Engine - stock rebuild to custom high-performance (I am presently setting up my buggy with a fuel- injected turbocharged setup that I designed and built myself) - engine dress-up kits and all repairs
Brakes and suspension - all repairs, upgrades(raising or lowering) - disc brake kits etc., etc.
Custom interior work - from stock replacement to complete custom interiors (My work on an S-10 blazer won best interior at several local shows)
Electrical - repairs and add-ons
All the work I have listed I have performed (at least once!). My biggest weak spot is bodywork and painting, but there is a VW friendly body shop right across the street.
And finally, I am interested in all fiberglass dune buggy bodies regardless of condition. Seeya!! Rich F. "
Bugs & Such
Recommended shop, for unknown reasons - but trying to gather more info.
This shop really supports their customers. Lots of parts kept in stock, and they offer outstanding support at no extra charge.
They'll even be sponsoring a car show on Sept. 27 & 28. In years past, Gene & Dee Berg were known to show up. Not a bad reference, I say!
The Chequered Flag
This shop is billed as an all-around parts store, but once inside, it turns out to be a VW candy store! They cover all aspects of VW's including resto and cal look, but have PLENTY of baja- and rail-stuff. Knowledgable people who have turned wrenches on VW's for years, and leaves no need to mail-order anything.
Thanks to John for the great recommendation, since I just plagarized his email severely) And thanks to Brad, who notified me of the duality of names of this shop.
Silverton VW Repair
The recommendation for these shops is from Carl, one of your baja brethren. He says, "The reason I like AutoCraft is they're honest. They mostly are a Bugpack dealer, but he has a small junkyard, and knows of many other resources. Silverton VW Repair's owner, Steve Bass, is not only an honest man, but will try to save you money. Silverton is located a few miles east of Salem, Oregon. I avoid the others in this area. Had a pair of 44m/m dell's literally stolen by a repair person. A lot of other horrer stories, but don't care to get sued."
According to Tom, they carry a ton of parts. Worth a look.
Discount Import Parts
Jake recommends these next few shops. About Discount he says, "They carry EVERYTHING."
M&M Automotive Service, Inc.
21135 S.W. TV Hwy
Aloha, OR 97006
This is a family owned business. They build really good engines. The owner, Nick, can help you out with any VW problems you have. Also they have a really cool broken VW parts museum in a display case, stuff you wouldn't believe.
They have a machine shop that does custom work, have a full-service mechanic, and they build custom motors to order!
Second Street Foreign Car Service
They, too, have full sevice mechanics.
Keith's Bug Shop
Keith, the owner, explains that their specialty is restoring Volkswagens. They also provide engine rebuilds, new & used parts, and full service repairs.
Thanks to Robert for the following quote: "I just got off the phone with "V-Dub Folks" and complimented them on how well they treat their customers by always being willing to talk to us on the phone about whatever buggy problems we are having. Some say they are a little pricey, but I haven't found that to be true. If they are, it is made up in customer service."
KNIGHTS FORIEGN AUTO PARTS
PISTON&PLUG AUTO complete vw shop
thanks to Anthony in Dallas for the good advice.
Bug-E Warehouse has been in business for 20 years, and their main focus is off-road! Not many shops you can say that about. Steve Foster, the owner, did a fair amount of off-road racing, and in addition built a record-breaking VW dragster. Word is, there's hundreds of off-road photos on the walls. Sounds like it's worth the trip just to see the place! c
If you see a better price, tell 'em about it - see what kind of deal they'll work you.
Darrel with the blue baja recommends Miller Lite or Bud Lite when asking questions.
John Pierce Automotive
Thanks again to Darrel with the Blue Baja for this recommendation. John is a transaxle specialist, who can recommend what to run for your application. He uses all steel bushings and shift forks(no brass). Much experience in building race trannys (on and offroad).
To quote Darrel with the Blue Baja, "When you call him you need to have your engine size, tire diameter, purpose of vehicle, and the performance expectations you have (top speed, or stump pulling, V8 eating torque and accelaration ?). He will be able to tell you the reality of the situation (if your engine is too wimpy, etc.)."
Sounds pretty respectable to this Lizrd!
Dale's Import Service
"Prices are decent and they have tons of Fiberglass Buggies." The submitter didn't leave a name but his good shop sounds good to me!
C & D Custom
Makers of frames, buggies, and everything in between. This is sent in from Bob, who's a customer/ part-time employee. His main job is with the bomb squad, and I truly like his slogan, "Keeping the quad states safe from the hazards of unexploded ordnance!"
C&D is a small shop, but has the ability to build custom rails with V-6 turbos, Norstar V-8's and the like. Pretty big-time for a small shop.
Bob's On 'n' Off-Road Haus
Another case where I'm waiting to hear what's special about this shop, but since it's recommended, it's posted!
The author didn't sign his/her name, but stated that they're possibly the best baja shop in the world! Based in Swansea, South Wales, UK, they can supply and fit simply any part, conversion or anything!
There's a web site (check the above link) and the baja parts, including body kits, exhaust systems and suspension components are active.
"Keep a look out for the world's No. 1 store!"
Quality repairs at a fair price and excellent advice.
Good advice, good parts stock, and they even sport a junkyard. They cater to both resto and off-road, and stock products produced by such quality names as Bugpack, Empi, and Jamar, just to name a few. Much thanks to Brad for the data!
Strictly offroad supplies, I hear! They carry a full line of Bugpack products, among other stuff.
Baja North West
Micah is a baja man to know - he'd sold his baja and shortly bought it back! "It needed a lot of work so I took it to the best Baja guy in the area. He has great prices and excellent product, not to mention he is the only authorized EMPI dealer in the area. He has great technical knowledge, for both Baja and street rod alike."
Ask for Scott or Teresa. And tell 'em Micah put 'em on the Baja Page!
Cal's Auto Repair
Bill likes this shop, and can recommend it in the strongest way. Read this quote, and see if you trust this baja person: "I grew up in a BAJA. My wife has a Baja, and my kids (if I have any) will drive a BAJA."
I might not follow him up a trail, but I'd trust him with my car's life!