I am having horrible dreams of buying some rust-free California VW and building up a new Baja Bug of my own. Do it right. Buy the nicest car I can afford, work from there. Maybe start with something unrestored like this, or something pretty like this. Those cars almost look too nice, but it would be fun to buy a car from my home state, drive it back to NYC, and see about building up that engine to the mystery spec my motor is at the moment. Get a new Baja kit and paint it to match the new car, get new bushings and shocks and brakes and swap the old wheels on. Maybe get a new carb, and a new alternator, and a set of rally lights. Six or seven grand all in, time unknown. Maybe it’s the smart play, knowing the Baja I’ve had for years has done maybe more winters than it could be asked to handle.

Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.