Please forward all comments, suggestions or submissions to - deserterownersgroup(email at) yahoo.com
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Web site by - Bob Elliott - Last Update, 11/16/19

Copyright 2005-2013- Deserter Owners Group - All rights reserved No part of this website may be
reproduced without permission.
Here's some information and a few photo's of various parts and pieces from
different cars, (Deserter GT's) as they were quite different than the Manx
clones like the Series 1.

Where possible, I've included replacement part information. If you have anything
you can add, please just send it to -bimelliott(email at)comcast.net

FYI - Links to photos of each part is often provided in text below. - thanks - Bob
Bumper - Front - (Pic 1) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A custom GT Part - Originally supplied in chrome finish with 2 mounting stubs that accepted 1" tubing that extended to meet the tops of the shock mounts
supported the bumper.  Simple enough, and all that supported its weight were the two holes you made in the fiberglass body.   Originals are rare and there are no
current suppliers for replacements?  

Bumper - Rear - (Pic 1) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A few variations exist, and looks best in chrome, but this is another custom GT part.  Sorry, but originals are rare and there are no current suppliers for
replacements?  The most common double tube version was supported by 2 tubes that bolted to the bottom the rear seat and hung from the rear apron before it
extended to the bumper.  

If you decide to build one - The bend radius is 2". The tubing OD is 7/8". Height is 4-7/8". Length is about 58-1/4". There is a 3" bow across the width. The
mounting brackets are sheet metal bent in a U shape and are 29-1/2" between centers.

The weight of 7 pounds implies a tube wall thickness of about .08".

It could be a challenge to find a die for bends that tight. A quick search did not find anything smaller than a 3" radius. The 3" bow is another challenge. But you are
in this for the challenges, right?

I have used a rear baja cage and modified it by removing a 4 inches from the rear vertical as well as the to sections blocking the valve covers.  It's the same
diameter tubing as the front bumper and cover the 4 into one muffler I use? A good modern solution IMO?

Emblems (and Scripts) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I've seen 3 different front emblems used on these cars, the more generic
embossed aluminum Autodynamics version and either the Autodynamics or Dearborn
Automotive laminated Deserter versions.

Only 1 type of
Deserter script existed and it was plastic with chrome finish and appeared on all versions, Series 1, GT and GS cars.  Installed on the rear apron or
the buggy based cars and on the sides of the engine scoop on the GS cars.

Front Parking/Turn Signals - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Beside the usual VW versions on top of the front fenders that often rubbed the tire, one of the more common choices of the time was the early
Karman Ghia turn
signals. Another nice choice are early Mustang turn lamps.

Gas Cap (Pic 1) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Others were used, but this picture shows the most common gas cap for GT's,  Once again, I have no current source for this part, so either you have one or you
don't. Many other options work just fine - Berrien Buggy Stainless Steel Fuel Filler Kit with screw on vented cap $23.95 - www.berrienbuggy.com/id86.htm and
BUGPACK polished aluminum with flip top, mounting flange, vented P/N 6034, $28.78, www.bugsandbuggies.com/Parts.asp?CN=459&SN=40&GN=7 as
well as the 63-67 Corvette Stingray filler caps.

Gull Wing Hard Top - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This clearly was the holy grail for any Deserter GT owner. Not many were made, the top was priced higher than the body as a much more complex piece with
multiple parts and few remain today. Because the doors were a little flimsy, many must have broke and were tossed aside so today, you might find a top, but the
doors might be missing.  (
Pic 1, Pic 2 & Pic 3)  

Hard Top, One Piece (Low Profile) (item 6 above) - - - - -  - - - - - - - -   - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There were only a couple examples made of the one piece fiberglass hardtop that was a carry over from the Bounty Hunter line.  It was just impossible to get into
and out of.  It must have ultimately forced the creation of the Gull Wing Hard Top..  It was depicted in the sales GT Sales Literature at the time and provided great
visual lines for advertising, but a was a real back breaker to get in and out with it on.

Head Light Buckets - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - -
The original headlights supplied by AD were MGB or Lucas units and probably still available from UK suppliers, but you can use the inexpensive Baja units
available from most of the VW parts suppliers. They require a weird cut-out to fit, but will work with an 1/8th of an inch space around the bezel. Another option, the
units from a Jeep CJ fit matching the diameter of the mounting surface. Note: It's important with the Baja units to mount them with the bezel retaining screw at the
bottom, even though it's more difficult to attach the screw. (Thanks to Rich B and Bob H for this tip)

Rear Fender Extensions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
OK, maybe you've seen these and wished that you had a set. Like any other GT part, not many originals to be had, the good news, these were very simple little
pieces.  Some do not appear to be a custom molded part, some were simply were cut out of flat fiberglass stock and curved to fit the rear apron. Some were
actually a molded part.  Most that I've seen have been bolted (or riveted) to the body or possibly glassed in.  Make yours out of any sheet plastic or rubber you'd
like, or fiberglass.  Paint to match you car and you all set.

Rear Seat - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Not many of these sur
vived and there was a couple of varities offered by AD at the time. Here's a couple of photos of the original Deserter back seat. Here's one
of original basic rear seat. (Pic 1).  And one of the fancier, tufted version that wrapped over the rear and covered the rear wheel wells. (Pic 2).

Rear GS Shocks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Once again, a special part built specifically for the GS by Koni.  This is what I know, the shock you need is 15 in extended, 11 in compressed with a normal ride
height of 13 in. Coil -overs rates range from 200-300lb's. + on cars I've seen and vary with choice of power and if the "Z" bar actually carries some weight with solid
connections to the trailing arms?

The long out of production
Koni Special "D'' 80-1669 was the shock of choice back in the day, but you'll have a real had time locating originals.

Roll Bar - -(Pic Roll Bar, Pic Side Flange, Pic Bottom Plate)  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This part was unique to the GT with overall dimensions 36H by 48W; and 1 1/2 in diameter tubing. The side mounting tabs for the roll bar start at 16 in. up from the
bottom mounting plates. They are 4 1/2 long and 2 wide. The side mounting brackets have two holes, and the floor mounting brackets have three holes.

Side Pods or Tanks (item #3 in diagram above) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -
Another unique to the GT part, identical in looks to the Bounty Hunter version, but the Deserter GT version is a full 6 inches longer.  These are a "Must Have" item
on any Deserter GT as it is just not complete without them.  In addition to greatly improving the looks of the car, with a simple cut to create an access hole from the
inside you could create some much needed dry storage space.  With proper permanent mounting you actually created a stronger and stiffer chassis for a better
riding and handling car.  But the idea of filling them with foam as suggested in the original build manual would be a mistake in my mind as you need to access the
windshield post bolts, roll bar bolting and adding the cut out for the storage bins aid in this regard.

Soft Top - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - -
A pretty functional soft top for both the S-1 and GT cars existed.  While the S-1 soft top was very functional, I have to admit that entering or exiting the
GT soft top
takes some dexterity, it helps to be young.

Looking for a soft top for the GT?
I don't know all that can be done but if your interested, get in touch and find out yourself. In black from standard top material the price is about $600 for the top
and another $200 for side curtains + shipping. I hope to post pictures soon, but I don't have any yet. The 2 top bows are up to you and bent from 1/2 in. EMT. The
front windshield header can be made by you from wood or I can replicate it in fiberglass like the original. Check out any boat supply yard for help with other
mounting hardware.

Edwards Seat Cover Company, Inc.
1115 N. Liberty Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336/722-2817; 336/723-5638

Spoiler - (Pic 1 US Version, Pic 2 Euro Version) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To many maybe an unnecessary option but it did hide the front torsion bars and clean up the looks of the front end overall. There have been numerous attempts
for a front spoiler on a Deserter gt, here's the two most common versions.

- In the US, a simple flat piece of aluminum with rolled edges and painted black was the AD standard.  Held in place with screws to the front fiberglass and a couple
of brackets it helped eliminate the front end float you would notice at highway speeds.  This is a simple to replicate item that is worth the effort on any highway
driven road car but should be avoided on the off-road vehicles. It wont last long in the rough.  

- In Europe, they made a single piece mold and produced a fiberglass part, and I've seen more than one version, See link above to what I think was the most
common.

Steering Wheel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What I consider to be an original GT wheel was depicted in most of the GT adds, walnut rim, 3 chrome spokes, not sure of the original supplier, but to my eye, the
Superior 500 is a real close source today.  I'm looking for a little help here if you know of anything, please pass it along?

Tail Lights - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Too many choices to list here, but often just the early VW units were employed from the donor car, if you were lucky with chrome housings. Other choices were
round DOT or truck/trailer lamp assemblies, sometimes the popular Mustang or Corvette tail lights were used.

License Plate Lights - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The licence plate on most GT's was illuminated by of a pair of chrome covered, small eyeball lights that came from a Triumph TR4 and possibly other British cars.  
Look for any old British parts supplier and you should be able to locate a pair.  Plenty of other options exist here, so don't feel like you have to go this route.   

VIN or Serial Number ID Plate's - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I’ve only seen 2 different styles
VIN or Serial Number ID Plates used on these cars. The majority state Deserter by Autodynamics on top with DAC on the bottom
but a few have Autodynamics at the bottom?  Anyway, regarding the placement and serial numbering, it was never an exact science and things varied a bit from
car to car over the years.

Deserter Serial Numbers often (but not always) started with a D, GS or GT designation to indicate the type of body. That was often followed by a 2-digit indication
of the year (68, 69, 70 or 71) and lastly followed by 3 or sometimes 4 sequential numbers reflecting the production sequence at Autodynamics.

From what I can tell, Deserter Serial Numbers crossed body styles at AD and Dearborn.  What that means is that if your GT has the number G T 7 1 2 1 1, that
does not necessarily mean that 211 GT’s were made that year!  It most likely was the 211th production ID tag issued, and that number could have crossed all AD
production.  I don't believe that number was limited to strictly Deserter buggy;s? But maybe it does, I'm just not certain.

The “71”, also does not necessarily mean that it was made in 71.  I’ve never seen a “72” or a “73” year Serial Number, even though bodies were picked up or
delivered into 73 when the shop closed up.  Later year buggies just used up plates, apparently already stamped 71?  To date, after 40+ years of checking, I’ve
only seen; 67, 68, 69, 70 and 71 year plates.  Nothing with 72 or 73 plates?

In addition, it appears that some morphing of the numbers occurred in some cases.  Adding numbers or characters seemed to add legitimacy to the local
registration process for some when compared to longer numbers from traditional manufacturers? I don't think this was done maliciously and it might have even
been at the suggestion during the registering process?  

If you’re lucky, yours will have a Serial Number or body tag attached someplace, but not many do and there really was no official place to mount one.  Some had
them prominently located on the dash, but look under the dash on the body tub or in the rear near the battery and storage box compartments also. From what I've
seen many later (69-70 and on) will not have one.

Looking at the old Deserter Catalogs, the ID tag is listed as an option; some might have left it off knowing that the VW chassis numbers were required anyway for
registration purposes?  Others (Auto-X cars) might have left it off with no plans to register it?  Lastly, even if they were shipped with an ID plate, what the
owner/builder did with it varied.   The fact that most Deserter cars today do not have it installed is really pretty simple, using the original VW VIN #'s and Title was
simpler and cleaner and sped up the process.  Consider yourself lucky if you have a Deserter registered using the original Deserter Serial Number.  It was not that
popular here in Massachusetts, the home of Autodynamics and DAC.

At this point, the VW numbers registered the car and made the Deserter Serial Number tag unnecessary.  So over time most simply got lost.

Also, 2017 brought the first reproduction (copies) of the VIN tag to the internet.  They are a very nice copy with only subtle variations from the original that I will
keep to myself at this time.

Windshield Posts GT (item 4 in diagram above) - (Pic WS Posts BH-GT)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another item unique to the Deserter GT.  Similar to the Bounty Hunter from which the Deserter GT was derived and pretty much interchangeable to a point.

The Deserter GT post had a flat flange added to provide a surface for a door to rest and seal against. The Bounty Hunters did not.  Some original posts were not
that great of a casting to start with and aggressive buffing will reveal more flaws. Best advice, go slow and take it easy.

This honestly might be the one most difficult part to source in restoring any Deserter GT.
No current source is available that I'm aware of.  A few were made
around 2010 by Dave Barnes but none in a while.   I've seen several cars where the owners gave up and modified a Manx style flat windshield to fit, with varying
levels of success, None were that good actually but it did get the car drivable . (Click here for a photo of both types, BH on left and Deserter GT on the right)

Windshield GT (item 5 in diagram above)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Originally from a Renault Dauphine, but it also fit's the Bounty Hunter,
Deserter GT, Marauder GT and Renegade buggies

There never was any hard piece to cover the top of the glass. Most that I've seem used a rubber channel that wrapped completely around the windshield. It
provided some isolation on the bottom and sides as well as a visual edge for the top.  The rubber would also help seal to either the soft or hard tops when
installed. It can be held in place with the help of some silicone adhesive.  Also, black silicone helped fill any gaps and seal the rubber to the post and body.

Some people left the top of the glass edge exposed with nothing on it? For me, too much of an unfinished look and often the cops would think there was no
windshield in place and pull you over because of it.  I've seen some with foam weather-stripping on the bottom and lots of silicone on others.  All would work, some
better than others.

- For new Renault Dauphine windshields (aka Deserter GT windshields), call Pilkerton Classics 1-800 848-1351,  - or go to-  
pilkington.com to learn more.  Expect
to pay around $400 plus shipping. Note: New windshields have been running slightly wider than originals and often require an 1/8 in spacer be placed between the
WS posts and body to accomodate for the extra width.  You also could have the glass edges trimmed by someone that know how or even hog out the grooves in
the posts a little.  In the end, the spacer idea works just fine.
- For the
rubber gasket, look for a 1932-36 Ford Rear Window Seal - P/N B-704220, available from many old Ford parts suppliers and they often are less than
$20 bucks and fits great!

Wind Wings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another option that helped direct the air around the windshleld and away fro the driver and passenger with varying success.  Honestly, the shorter you are and
closer to the windshield, the less buffeting you will feel from the wind.  But, if your'e taller and sit back you will be surprised how much wind there is above 50mph.

While there is no current source for these fabricating up a fixed set with a bent piece of aluminum and some plexi (or lexan) is not that difficult or expensive to do.
See photo links for ideas.
Pic 1 is an original, Pic 2 is a replica, both are fixed and not hinged.

Windshield, (Deserter S1 or Manx Style) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Similar to many buggy's, you can often source a standard flat Manx Style windshield but measure the top of the dash (42 1/4in?) and then select a height from 16
to maybe as short as 10 depending on the look you might be after, classic or sport racer.

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