1971 VW Beetle"Jungle Bug"
Year of manufacture1971
In more than five decades playing football in Cincinnati, the Bengals have developed a rabid following despite having never won the Super Bowl. Conceived as a tribute to the team purportedly named after the local zoo’s famous and rare white Bengal tiger, this custom Beetle has been extensively modified with a theme recognizable to any fan of the team that calls Paul Brown Stadium home.
At its base is a standard 1971 Super Beetle with a sunroof. Exterior trim was shaved, and the trunk lid was smoothed out to give the “Jungle Bug” an even cleaner look. Yellow-tinted headlight lenses give the car an animalistic look, reinforced by its custom orange body with black stripes, painted by Carl’s Auto FX in Dayton, Ohio. Modifications are extensive. The running boards were extended to flow with the tweaked fenders, and the bulky factory taillights were discarded in favor of a pair of strips built into the rear fenders. Purple-hued Colorado Custom Ft. Lupton wheels are wrapped in Kumho performance tires.
The theme goes even further inside. A reworked dashboard based on the Beetle’s design is painted light grey with dramatic orange pinstriping. Grey carpeting is matched with grey seat bolsters and orange vinyl center sections. Above the radio, eyes of a tiger appear to bust through the dashboard on a mural painted by Don Boeke, known locally as the proprietor of Egyptian Custom Body. White-faced VDO gauges rest in the dashboard in place of the original units. A Gene Berg shifter transfers power to a performance VW motor built by the Garaj in Kettering, Ohio, with a performance air cleaner and carburetor.
To make an aural impact as big as the car’s design, the Pioneer audio system features speakers in custom enclosures in the trunk area, six Planet Audio subwoofers where the rear seat would be located, and additional speakers housed in the door panels. Former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Shayne Graham signed the speaker housing built into the driver’s door in 2006.
This Bengal-themed custom Beetle makes a strong impression and would be the center of attention in any sports or car enthusiast’s collection. Even if the Bengals don’t win a Super Bowl, this tiger will always be the life of the party.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/tg19.