City Surf | 1975 Volkswagen Type 1 Baja Beetle
Photography: Manabu Kanda — Kalifornialook.
You may have noticed that we’re pretty keen on cool custom Volkswagens here at Fuel Tank. Koichiro Sano’s Tokyo-based Baja recently popped up on our radar so of course, we were keen to take a closer look. Thanks to our man on the ground in Japan, Manabu Kanda of Kalifornialook, we now have a full shoot of the car and an interview with Koichiro. Read on..
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Koichiro, I’m a graphic designer for VW Paradise Magazine and Stance Magazine here in Japan.
From where do you get inspiration?
I lived in the USA (NYC) for three years between the ages of 7 and 10. At that time I used to watch drag racing, stock car racing, hot rod rod events, Evel Knievel shows etc. These were all shocking to me, I had not experienced them in Japan. So, I became very inspired by American culture.
What was your first car?
A 1972 VW Type 1 Standard Beetle.
How many cars have you had?
1972 VW Type 1 Standard Beetle
1990 Mini Cooper
1968 VW Karmann Ghia
1968 VW EuroVan Multicamper
1958 VW Karmann Ghia Convertible
1998 VW EuroVan VR6 Multicamper
1959 VW Type 2 Panel Van
VW Type 1 Baja(1975 Standard Beetle base)
2002 Chevrolet Astro
2017 VW UP!
Why Volkswagens specifically? Are you into other genres?
I was affected by movies such as American Graffiti. I’d love to have had a hot rod. But I couldn’t buy one, so I bought a Beetle. I adore Porsche, but I couldn’t afford one… So I bought a Karmann Ghia, a poor man’s Porsche!
Do you have some hobbies and interests in your life?
Yes; Longboard surfing, My dog (a toy poodle), Sometimes I get out on my motorcycle (a Honda Motra).
What are we looking at here?
My Baja is a 1975 model, based on a Type 1 Standard Beetle.
When and how did you come to own it?
I have owned it for a year. I found it at a used car store.
In what condition was it when you bought it?
Although it was pretty much finished, I changed the engine, tyres, wheels, and other small parts.
Body + Paint
It’s a genuine VW colour; Mango Green, but not the original paint.
Flat 4 Seat covers
1835cc (92mmX69mm), Engle W-120 Racing Cam, Weber 44 IDF Dual Carbs, Tri-mil + Empi exhaust, chrome engine parts, MSD Ignition system.
Front Enkei mags 5.5j-15, 175/80R15 BF Goodrich Touring T/A tyres.
Rear US mags 7J-15, 255/70R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/A tyres.