walbug 01 webThere are many people who are mechanically inclined and there are people who have imagination. When you combine those two traits the result can be truly remarkable. Thirty years ago Harry Wohlbach, a Macungie resident, took $700, a transmission-damaged VW bug and a crash-damaged 1982 Suzuki motorcycle and created the “Walbug”.

I sat with Harry as he recounted the adventure.
The front end is the VW bug and the back end is the motorcycle. He discarded the VW’s transaxle and the front fork of the motorcycle. To his surprise the Suzuki fit nicely into the VW frame. The fuel tank is original Suzuki. All the gauges, except the VW speedometer, are Suzuki. He designed it so that the brakes work fine along with its signals and all other mechanical and electrical parts.

The body’s frame is covered with tough canvas, has a protective roll bar, is the first of its kind to have seat belts, his acrylic windshield folds down - a custom steering wheel and fiberglass seats round out the radical custom design.

If you think this is a thrown-together mish-mash of auto parts, you could not be further from the truth. Harry takes the “Walbug” in for inspection every year. He rides it regularly. His vehicle is cheap on gas and when you compare it to owning a “regular” motorcycle - he not only saved a ton of money, he created a conversation starter. When he pulls up anywhere people come right over and chat with him about the “Walbug”.

Harry knew that I ride motorcycle so he asked me if I would like a ride with him. Faster than you can “Volkswagen” I grabbed my helmet, jumped in the passenger seat and off we went.

You are much lower to the ground than usual so you really feel you are one with the road. As Harry took turns you feel the inertia press you against the sides. Even at regular speed it feels faster than the speedometer reading. It was a great ride. After we arrived back at his home, it took 5 minutes for the smile to come off my face.

I must admit I admire Harry. His work on the “Walbug” is impressive, ingenious and his vehicle is just pure fun. Many gearheads might think of a similar idea, but few can put it together and invent such a cool ride.

Maybe I should consider taking on a similar project. Then again maybe I should leave it to more skilled people. My ability with a wrench is limited to my ability to spell “wrench” correctly.

Harry is justly proud of his invention. His efforts have paid off with years of riding his own unique invention - the “Walbug”

More Lifestyle Articles

  • Celebrate Older Americans Month

    Celebrating Older Americans Month all older adults are encouraged to blaze a trail to civic engagement. Civic Engagement means working to make a difference in the lives of your community and its...

  • Strange and Unusual Facts

    William Marston engineered one of the earliest forms of the polygraph in the early 1900’s. Later he went on to create the comic strip Wonder Woman, a story about a displaced Amazon princess who...

  • ’69: Looking Back

    Do you remember ‘69? 1969, that is, not when you were 69! If you can’t get out and jog, you can jog your memory with these nostalgic lists!  Herein we have lists of memorable items that were notable...

  • ’Sno Time Like the Present

    Twelve hours ago, I was fast asleep, and there were 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Now, there is barely a trace on the ground, and the temperature is in the mid-40s. Welcome to February in...

  • “Small House” Design Nurtures Residents with Dementia

    Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is challenging. In addition to the emotional difficulty of seeing a loved one struggle cognitively, there are marked differences in how...

  • 10 Tips on How To Take Dad Fishing

    (BPT) - What are two things that dads all over America would love to do the most this coming summer? Spend time with their kids — and catch fish.So, if you're looking for a unique way to celebrate your...

  • 16th Annual Unsung Hero Event

    Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services is accepting nominations for Unsung Heroes! To celebrate Older American's Month, the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services recognizes Lehigh County...

  • 1972: Looking Back

      The Honda Civic is imported to the U.S. for the first time. President Nixon signs a bill authorizing a $5.5 billion, 6-year program, to develop a Space Shuttle craft. The U.S. Surgeon General...

  • A “Short” Biography of Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule, Jr., on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.Rooney passed away April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. Joe Yule, Jr., only 17 months old, joined his parents on the...

  • A Clean House Means Peace of Mind: A History of Spring Cleaning

    The first signs of spring create excitement in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the Northeast. After four months or more of staying inside because of cold, snow and rain, we can hardly wait to...

Contact Us

Please enter your data here. Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Please provide us with a phone number or email so we may respond to your request.

Full Name(*)

Please type your full name.


Invalid email address.


Invalid Input- please enter in form: 123-456-7890

How may we be of service?(*)

Please tell us how big is your company.

If you wish to subscribe enter your full address.

Invalid Input

Please enter the characters shown.(*)
Please enter the characters shown.
Invalid Input