History of volksrod

The Early Years

It was in late 1966 when Warren Monks of Doncaster based Window Change, inspired by pictures he had seen in American magazines, set about creating his own vision of the Dune Buggy.  With his capable secretary Edna Gardom by his side, they bent chicken wire, moulded plaster and formed a basic and probably highly illegal shape.  A trip to the St Ledger Race Meeting at Doncaster in Sept ’67 caused great interest.  With some revision, production moulds were made and in mid ’68 the Mk I Volksrod was born.

Despite the vague motoring laws of the time, the austere styling held orders at bay.  With the buggy scene gathering momentum, the duo set about studying the Construction and Use Regulations.  In late ’69 they came up with the Mk II, with faired headlamps; built in side-pods; and excellent wheel coverage.  It was claimed to be legal in ways not even considered by other manufacturers.  The Mk II was shown for the first time at the Brussels Racing Car Show in Dec ’69.  The Mk II FL, made to fit an unaltered VW chassis, was also added to the range.  The last Mk I’s were moulded in 1970 with only about 20 being made in total. 

1970 also saw Warren Monks sell his Window Change company, including Volksrod, to Hartsdale Services.  Edna stayed on and the new Managing Director, David Taylor, was soon bitten by the bug.  With some 250 Mk II’s supplied, a good few being LWB, new revisions were implemented and in August at the DIY Exhibition at Olympia, the Mk III was introduced.  A stronger ribbed bonnet; sculptured dashboard; and a rolled edge all around the body defined the model, and with Specialist Mouldings carrying out the laminating, quality was better than before.  Mid ’71 saw a LWB model appear once more in the form of the Mk IV, an extended Mk III with rounded front wings and 7” headlamps.

Waning interest caused David Taylor to back away and hand the helm to the still enthusiastic Edna Gardom.  Sporadic production continued and a surge in interest in ’76 saw a hard top complete with doors designed for the Mk III.  Edna’s son Trevor took control in ’77 and kept Volksrod in production through to the 80’s. 

1984 saw a big change, the sale of Volksrod to John Whitworth and Andrew Leach (Whitlee Engineering) in Leicestershire.  After an unsure start R&W Mouldings were brought in to carry out the laminating and production began in earnest once more.  Andrew left some years later and the renamed Whitworth Engineering, which was John assisted by employee Jeff Copson, persevered and saw many more MK III’s hitting the streets.